In a bid to increase women’s meaningful participation in peacekeeping, Rwanda together with the Permanent Missions of Indonesia and Norway co-hosted a seminar that showcased the progress made in the recruitment of more women in their armed and police forces as well as in UN peacekeeping missions.

The seminar with a theme; ‘Shattering the glass ceiling: – why and how?’ was held on the 3rd of May 2018 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. It sought to spur a conversation on strategies and commitments that are necessary to meet the United Nations goal of increasing by 15% female staff officers and military observers and 20% female police officers by the end of 2018.

In her remarks, the Permanent Representative of Rwanda, Ambassador Valentine Rugwabiza, outlined suggestions on how to increase women’s meaningful participation in peacekeeping such as identifying and eliminating the inequalities that reinforce prejudice towards women, employing a gender perspective and instilling a mechanism for accountability while respecting women and prioritizing their dignity and equality.

As a peacekeeper in the Central African Republic (CAR), Captain Lausanne Nsengimana shared her experiences, saying that her work in peacekeeping was not only about securing a cease-fire, but also a matter of education and sharing experiences between women in a normal day setting.

“As female peacekeepers, they can build stronger relationships with communities and gain more access to information than all-male contingents”, she said.

“Younger Rwandan women, those born after the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, are increasingly joining the officer corps, but more mobilization is needed to be done to increase the numbers of women joining the armed forces”, she noted while sharing her observations on the recruitment of women in Rwanda Defence Forces.

Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani from Indonesia, asserted that there were many reasons to increase women’s participation in peacekeeping and pointed out the fact that ‘not a single woman peacekeeper has been accused of sexual exploitation and abuse in any peacekeeping mission’.

Ambassador Tore Hattrem from Norway, recommended that ‘member states can learn from each other and work together to reach the goal of having more female peacekeepers in UN operations. For the simple reason that it makes UN Peacekeeping Operations more effective’.

In her closing remarks, Ambassador Rugwabiza stressed on the centrality of transformative leadership in the promotion of women’s participation in peacekeeping, she said ‘good leaders change bad attitudes, and open up opportunities’.

She also recommended that countries with high numbers of peacekeeping forces such as Rwanda, should collaborate and share best practices and strategies.

‘After all, Success stories can only bring more success stories’, Rugwabiza said src :Igihe

The Express News


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