ABSTRACT As a result of UNSCR 1325, the UN has been eager to decrease incidents of sexual
exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping operations, improve local women’s security, and balance
out the number of women and men in the police and military at both local and international levels.
As peacekeeping missions begin to include more female peacekeepers, questions are raised about
what this means for women in national militaries, local women in peacekeeping missions, and
soldiers or militarized laborers from the ‘developing’ world. While countries such as Uruguay
have been sending increasing numbers of female peacekeepers to various UN missions, it was
not until 2007 that an all-female contingent was first deployed from India to Liberia and hailed
as a gendered success. But in altering the gendered landscape, will the UN merely continue to
exploit the cheap military labor of the global South? Will countries like India and Uruguay
(major troop-contributing countries to UN peacekeeping operations) continue to bear the
burden of providing security? This article examines the limits of a conventional interest in
gender and gender relations in thinking about peacekeepers and advocates for an
intersectional approach to the issue of female peacekeepers, importantly including the role of
geography (and therefore ‘race’, empire and colonialism) in the thinking through the social,
cultural, and political effects of peacekeeping deployments.