A security dividend: Peacekeeping and maternal health outcomes and access

Theodora Ismene Gizelis, Xun Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 highlights the distinct needs of women in security and well-being. Few studies explore how peacekeeping affects women’s access to health and education. Yet, women’s access to public services such as health is a form of gender inequality in post-conflict countries leading to unbalanced distribution of resources. We argue that peacekeeping operations (PKOs) have both a direct and an important indirect impact on maternal health and women’s well-being. First, peacekeeping can have a direct effect by providing medical and training facilities. Second, peacekeeping has an indirect effect as improvement in the overall level of security facilitates women’s access to medical services and education. We evaluate our argument by combining evidence from different levels of analysis. First, we use a difference-in-difference analysis of 45 African countries with data between 1990 and 2013, comparing the changes in maternal mortality rates (MMR) for countries with and without PKOs. Second, we look at within-country variations across areas with and without UN peacekeeping deployment in three countries with integrative PKOs, combining geo-coded peacekeeping data with individual data on maternal health and education from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte D’Ivoire, and Liberia. We find strong empirical support for a positive relationship between peacekeeping presence and maternal health outcomes and access to services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-278
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Peace Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Safety Research
  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'A security dividend: Peacekeeping and maternal health outcomes and access'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this