Barrier assessment

T/PCCs interested in accessing Fund resources are required to conduct credible national barrier assessments to ascertain the nature and extent of obstacles impeding their deployment of eligible uniformed women peacekeepers. 

A barrier assessment creates an empirically grounded foundation for the elaboration of troop and police contributing countries (T/PCC)-specific projects. It also generates a baseline assessment of existing barriers to the meaningful deployment of women peacekeepers against which progress can be assessed. 

There are multiple potential barriers to the meaningful deployment of uniformed women in United Nations peace operations, including barriers:  

  • to the recruitment, promotion, and training of women in national militaries and police services;  
  • restricting uniformed womens access to United Nations peace operations deployments;  
  • affecting uniformed womens willingness to deploy in United Nations peace operations;  
  • within United Nations missions that hinder the full participation of uniformed women peacekeepers.  

These barriers are not mutually exclusive, can interact, and may be cumulative: each successive barrier further diminishes the scope for increased meaningful participation of uniformed women in United Nations peace operations. The salience of particular barriers and their relative importance varies amongst T/PCCs and from mission to mission. Relevant state and international actors are not always fully aware of the full range and relative severity of barriers in the situations they are facing. 

Six categories of barriers have been identified as inhibiting the increased meaningful deployment of women in United Nations peace operations:  

  1. Women are not given the equal opportunity to deploy in peace operations;  
  2. Criteria for deployment exclude disproportionate numbers of women;  
  3. Women are not provided with the necessary working and living environment, facilities and equipment to deploy to and fully participate in peace operations;  
  4. Family constraints disproportionately prevent women from deploying;  
  5. Women are not treated equally on deployment and they do not have equal opportunities and incentives for redeployment; and  
  6. Women do not have equal opportunities for career advancement through deployment, either on- mission or at home. 

Some barriers have systemic roots and may take a significant time to remedy, while others can be addressed in a shorter timeframe. 

Not all of these barriers can be addressed through increased financial resources. However, additional financing can assist T/PCCs to identify which barriers are most significant in their specific national context. It can also fund efforts to mitigate some barriers, and it may provide additional incentives for T/PCCs to do so. 

National Barrier Assessment   

A national barrier assessment should seek to identify and validate the reasons for which uniformed women are not participating in United Nations peace operations in greater numbers. Further, this assessment should facilitate the identification of potential interventions that could be supported by the Fund with consideration to the probable effectiveness of those interventions, and an understanding of associated risks and risk mitigation. 

A T/PCC can submit a credible national barrier assessment according to the criteria set out below or use the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) Measuring Opportunities for Women in Peace Operations Barrier Assessment Methodology (MOWIP).   

Criteria for a credible national barrier assessment  

An assessment of barriers to women ́s participation in peace operations should include observational indicators that focus, inter alia, on relevant legislation, the distribution of women and men in national military and police institutions, these institutions’ policies and practices regarding peacekeeping, as well as perceptional indicators that analyze the attitudes and experiences of both women and men to better understand the barriers. Consultations will involve women and men both with and without direct experience of serving in peace operations. 

An appropriate barrier assessment should: 

  • Include a risk mitigation strategy to ensure the safety and appropriate privacy of all participants in the assessment, as well as the sustainability of interventions supported by this Fund. Information should be collected, stored and analyzed via practices that allow it to be done accurately and anonymously.  
  • Include basic baseline data collection (targeted questionnaires, surveys and target group interviews) with a statistically significant number of men and women with direct and indirect experience of peacekeeping as well as in leadership and decision-making positions related to personnel management and peacekeeping, training and deployment.  
  • Address the following areas as they relate to uniformed women’s meaningful participation in United Nations peace operations:
  1. Institutional initiatives to increase the participation of uniformed women in peace operations (to date), and their effect, if any
  2. The impact of the social context in the T/PCC on institutional policies and decision-making with regard to the deployment of uniformed women
  3. The institutional and governmental motivation to increase women’s meaningful participation in United Nations peace operations
  4. The institutional capacity and political will for change Outputs
  • The barrier assessment will serve as the principal tool in identifying a project-specific pathway to measurable change that the Fund can support.