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HomeWorldEmpowering Women In Peace Operations Remains Top Priority, Says UN Peacekeeping Chief

Empowering Women In Peace Operations Remains Top Priority, Says UN Peacekeeping Chief


Praising women’s fundamental contributions to
peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts, the UN peacekeeping
chief reiterated on Thursday that empowering women in the
military remains a top priority, but to achieve this goal
needs “all hands on deck”.

Jean-Pierre
Lacroix
, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations,
was speaking at a side event focusing on “Women Leaders in
the Military”, part of the 65th session of the Commission
on the Status of Women (CSW).

“Increasing
women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in UN
Peacekeeping has become one of the top priorities of my
Department”, said Mr. Lacroix, adding that “it is
anchored in the Security
Council
resolutions on Women, Peace and Security, and in
the Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping Initiative
(A4P).

The
guiding framework for peacekeeping over the past three
years, A4P aims to increase the number of civilian and
uniformed women in peacekeeping at all levels and in key
positions.

“It will continue to be a priority for
the next phase”, Mr. Lacroix underscored.

Slow
progress

Despite making great strides towards achieve
gender parity within uniformed components of peacekeeping
missions, Mr. Lacroix said progress overall remains
slow.

In January 2021, less than one-fifth of Military
Experts on Mission and Staff Officers were women and made up
only 5.4 percent of personnel in military
units.

However, Mr. Lacroix noted that two women are
currently serving in the most senior military level within
the 12 field missions: one is the newly appointed Force
Commander in the peacekeeping mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP), and the
other is a Deputy Force Commander in the Western Sahara
mission, MINURSO.

“We
still have a long way to go, but we are seeing progress,”
he said.

TANZBATT_8/Kapteni
Tumaini Bigambo | Tanzanian women peacekeepers in DRC
engaging with women in North Kivu during an introductory
tour.

Diverse
leadership

“Diverse leadership and teams bring
diverse perspectives so we can take better decisions and
improve our operations,” said Mr. Lacroix, stressing the
need to “ensure that this is rectified, that barriers are
broken, and that more women can make it to the top
positions.”

He went on to emphasize the importance
of recognizing women’s leadership in different roles and
positions, as well as creating enabling environments, at
Headquarters and in the missions, to allow peace operations
to be effective and succeed with their mandates.

The
UN peacekeeping chief also highlighted initiatives focusing
on gender parity such as professional development, networks
and mentorship, talent management, and workplace culture.
Initiatives are also in place to combat sexual harassment,
discrimination, unconscious biases and
stereotyping.

Advocates and agents

“The
Department of Peace Operations depends on the collaboration
with all contributing countries,” said Mr. Lacroix,
stressing that everyone, regardless of gender, needs to be
engaged as “advocates and agents of change for gender
equality.”

He urged Troop Contributing Countries and
all peace contributors, to recognize gender equality, women,
peace and security and gender parity as a shared political
priority and continue to allocate resources and political
will to this cause.

“We certainly cannot do this
alone,” he
said.

© Scoop Media

 



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