Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2023

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Melissa Labonte

Second Advisor

Christopher Toulouse, Ph.D.


The United Nations (UN) is making efforts to implement a gender mainstreaming perspective throughout its organization, specifically including women in the peace processes. One aspect of this is increasing the number of female peacekeepers. To determine the success of these efforts, this paper explores whether the lives of women and girls were improved during UN peacekeeping missions in Haiti and Liberia. Using women’s and girls’ participation in education, law enforcement, and politics, as well as the Gender Development Index and the Gender Inequality Index, this paper finds that including women in peacekeeping roles adds a new dimension of skills and insights that result in greater mission success. The UN had better outcomes in Liberia than Haiti. This was achieved in part due to the work of its Indian all-female Formed Police Unit (FFPU), which was able to remain engaged longer in Liberia than the Bangladesh FFPU in Haiti. The Indian unit flourished because it had 1) attainable goals, 2) consecutive deployments that were able to build off the success of their predecessors, and 3) basic government institutions and infrastructure with the support of its host-country female leadership. Including women peacekeepers enhances the UN’s gender mainstreaming efforts and produces meaningful results that benefit not only women and girls but also the entire population.