Reflections on Possibilities and Challenges of Discussing Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) in Role-play Simulations

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Abstract

Addressing sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in international peace and security frameworks is crucial. Yet SGBV often remains silenced in the peace and security literature. Relatedly, SGBV tends to be marginalised in the classroom. This can perpetuate challenges to achieving peace by producing graduates and practitioners who are neither knowledgeable about, nor prepared to deal with, SGBV in practice. To explore possibilities for engaging with this challenging topic, this article reflects on a role-play simulation in a graduate course on International Peacekeeping. In doing so, it discusses prospects for educating students around SGBV and challenges to doing so effectively. Role-play simulations may be useful tools for engaging with such complex topics. At the same time, learning outcomes will improve if the role-play is introduced after discussing a broader range of relevant literature and debates around gender in general and SGBV in particular. Furthermore, even with prior discussion, educators may need to prompt reflection and discussion around gender if students do not initiate such conversations themselves. Actions like this may have positive outcomes for gender mainstreaming of the discipline insofar as they in better prepare students for future professional roles in peace and security.

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