Transactional Sex, Peacekeeping-Style

Over at Microcon, Kathleen Jennings and Vesna Niklic-Ristanovic analyze the sexual dimensions of peacekeeping economies. Word on the street is that peacekeeping kind of bloats the sex-trade industry, in, you know, maybe not the best of ways:

Peacekeeping economies [do not] affect everyone equally, benigngly, or beneficially. Notably, many of the activities encompassed in peacekeeping economies – particularly in the unskilled or service sectors – can be considered as comprising specifically “women’s work”. In the case of the sex industry, this is not to imply that men and boys are not also providing sexual services to peacekeepers, but rather that women and girls are generally more implicated in these activities, if not necessarily organizing them.

The peacekeeping economy is considered as something marginal, incidental, or separate from the mandated activities and desired impact of the mission – and/or is ‘normalized’ by mission personal as an inevitable and, therefore unremarkable aspect of contemporary peace operation[s]….

The real question:  does the bust of this industry after peacekeepers leave get filled by post-conflict development workers?

Check out Jennings and Niklic-Ristanovic’s excellent paper.

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One response to “Transactional Sex, Peacekeeping-Style

  1. No – I would posit that most development workers do not have the same per diem level as peacekeepers; many are more invested in their environment (i.e. more aware of exploitation and more likely to avoid it); they may come for longer tours; and they may bring their families. For all of these reasons, I would argue that the sex industry will suffer when the peacekeeping mission leaves.

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