Namibian Women in Security and Peacekeeping

Final project
Year of publication:
Supervisors: Amanda Chisholm


United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 is an important component of Namibia’s security and peacekeeping strategy. As initiator of the resolution at the Security Council, Namibia has claimed a certain level of leadership over the agenda, and has demonstrated this by the increased numbers of women in the security sector; by developing the National Action Plan (2019-2024), and by launching an International Women’s Peace Centre. However, there is limited understanding of how these women are recruited, trained and integrated into the sector, particularly given the highly militarized masculine norms that underpin this industry. Understanding these practices can show how Namibia values women in this sector, and demonstrate the country’s standpoint on the women, peace and security agenda. Through limited interviews and document analysis, I find two main themes on how Namibia approaches recruitment, training and deployment. First, that Namibia has taken a gender-blind approach in recruitment practices, and second, that the implementation is not sufficiently resourced. In order to improve the implementation of the WPS agenda, it is important to consider how these factors might be changed. Moving from a gender-blind approach requires that the challenges women face in joining and progressing in this masculine sector are addressed. This can be done through appropriate and timely policies, properly staffed gender units, and an approach that embraces feminine values. When women’s experiences and perspectives are sufficiently addressed, there is scope for a gender-balanced security and peacekeeping environment.