Based on the premise that gender is a foundational pillar on which security can be built, RESDAL acts as a bridge to link regions from across the world in the pursuit of furthering this goal.
National cases study
A look at Women, Peace and Security at the national level as a pretext for reinforcing regional participation in peace operations.
National Case Studies
RESDAL began studying gender issues with an investigation on the incorporation of women in the armed forces across the Latin American region, as well as in peace operation. The subject emerged during the elaboration of an important publication of RESDAL, the Comparative Atlas of Defense in Latin America (2007, with several subsequent editions that include the Caribbean area). Indeed, one of the most difficult information to obtain was the date of the incorporation of women in the armed forces in each Latin American country. This lack of data contrasted with the increasing regional interest in the participation of Latin American armed forces (included women) in peace operations. In order to deeper understand the strength and challenges of women’s inclusion within armed forces, and particularly in peace missions, the initial project of the Comparative Atlas evolved in a second project, which began in 2008. This research project showed the extent to which the Latin American region was prepared for a discussion on gender issues within peace operations: in two years the issue was part of the regional agenda, it impacted the Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas, it was adopted by the countries themselves, studies and events were organised and, in some cases, the incorporation of women into branches of the armed forces that were previously closed to them was also set out.
The result of the initial research is published in Women in the Armed and Police Forces, Resolution 1325 and Peace Operations in Latin America. The selected national cases presented in the investigation are based on the countries that were participating in the United Nations peace operations in 2008, notably: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. In the succeeding editions, Colombia was incorporated. The research continue to be an important tool for readers interested in acquiring a deeper knowledge of a subject that is not yet very explored in Latin America, and to promote a joint collaboration among civil, military and police actors to improve gender equality within democratic institutions.
The program initiated by RESDAL in 2008 on the role of gender in peacekeeping operations (see National Case Studies section) represented a pioneering research on the incorporation of women in the armed forces in eleven Latin American countries. While the SCR 1325 and related material were originally neglected, in three years they were incorporated in the regional agenda.