Women in Peacekeeping: A Key to Peace

UN Peacekeeping
13 min readMay 21, 2020

This year marks the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR1325), recognising the importance of women’s equal participation and full involvement in all efforts to maintain and promote peace and security.

The resolution has called for the expansion of the role and contribution of women in UN Peacekeeping missions — military, police, civilians — including in positions of leadership. Research shows that the deployment of women helps improve overall peacekeeping performance at all levels and contributes to longer-lasting and sustainable peace.

Today, women represent a small but increasing percentage of more than 97,000 peacekeepers serving under the UN flag.

The global community is marking 2020’s International Day of UN Peacekeepers with the theme “Women in Peacekeeping: A Key to Peace,” highlighting the invaluable contributions women peacekeepers make across the globe, including in response to COVID-19.

This photo exhibition features a snapshot of their accomplishments, their impact, and their sacrifices in the service of millions of vulnerable people who depend on UN Peacekeeping every single day.


Photo by Herandane Dicko

Since the founding of the United Nations in 1945, no other international or multinational institution has played a greater role in supporting democratic elections across the globe. The UN Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and the members of its Electoral Affairs Section, have provided a wide range of support and assistance since the mission’s inception in 2013. Here, they are preparing materials ahead of Mali’s presidential election in July 2018.

Photo by Courtney Martin

The UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNIFICYP) was the first mission to have women simultaneously leading its civilian, military and police components. Here, the Special Representative of the Secretary General in Cyprus and Head of UNIFICYP, Elizabeth Spehar, and Force Commander Major General Cheryl Pearce, review the missions’s deployment maps.

UN Peacekeeping

We help countries navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace.