Karim is an assistant professor of Government at Cornell University. Her research interests include gender reforms in the post-conflict security sector and in peacekeeping, the effect of security sector reform on peace and security, third party involvement in peace processes, and the relationship between conflict-related violence and post-conflict sexual violence. She is the co-author of a forthcoming book with Oxford University Press entitled Equal Opportunity Peacekeeping. She has published work related to security, peacekeeping, and gender in International Organization, The Journal of Peace Research, International Interactions, and International Peacekeeping.
During 2016-2017, she is a Dartmouth Fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy and International Security. She is a recipient of both the Fulbright Fellowship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship and has received grants from the International Growth Centre, the Folke Bernadotte Academy and the National Science Foundation to conduct her research. She received her master’s degree as a Clarendon Scholar from Oxford University and her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University.
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Discusses to what extent UN peacekeeping operations have achieved gender equality within peacekeeping missions and have been vehicles for promoting gender equality in post-conflict states.
Uses the UN Mission in Liberia as a case study and finds that there is an “access gap” that prevents female peacekeepers from fully contributing to the mission’s operations and therefore prevents the peacekeeping mission from reaching its full potential.
Randomly selected 1,381 households using satellite imagery and GPS locators and randomly sampled 475 women between the ages of eighteen and thirty. Finds that more than half of them had engaged in transactional sex, a large majority of them (more than 75 percent) with UN personnel. Further estimates that each additional battalion of UN peacekeepers caused a significant increase in a woman’s probability of engaging in her first transactional sex.
Examines if the composition of peacekeeping forces along two dimensions – the proportion of women and the records of gender (in)equality in the contributing countries – helps explain variation in sexual exploitation and abuse allegations in peacekeeping missions. Indicates that including higher proportions of both female peacekeepers and personnel from countries with better records of gender equality is associated with lower levels of SEA allegations reported against military contingents.