Female participation strengthens peacekeeping protection efforts

UNMIL Photo/Christopher Herwig

Rwanda is currently hosting the final series of the 2018 Accord, at Rwanda’s military academy. The Accord is aimed at preparing soldiers and 15 African nations for the MINUSCA. The Army Africa is collaborating with its African partners to increase peacekeepers ability to project civilians in dangerous field environments.

“One of the measures of success for peacekeepers lies with the effective protection of civilians,” U.S. Army Lt. Col. Marci Hodge, told the training audience during exercise shared at Accord 2018 in Rwanda. Hodge is a peace operations analyst, specialising in women, peace and security with the Peacekeeping and Stability Institute.

“Research has found that when women are more involved in the peace process the agreement is 35% more likely to endure at least 15 years,” said Hodge. This is proof that women are essential to peace and security, she added.

Speakers at the 2018 Accord agreed that women are a value-added in conflicts, especially in areas where gender-segregated cultures exist and women’s voices are not considered. It’s been said that in situations where women are abused, they are more likely to approach women in uniform. Men are also more likely to approach female officers when they are sexually abused.

The involvement of women in peacekeeping is said to be essential as it strengthens the protection efforts of male peacekeepers, raises awareness of women’s issues, acts as a deterrent for sexual exploitation and abuse and increases operational effectiveness.

 

Source: Defense Web

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