Women lead the way in keeping the peace
The call for more women to participate in UN peacekeeping shows progressive and positive thinking, and is certainly yet another step in the right direction when it comes to women’s empowerment and participation.
The remarks, made by Ambassador Rabab Fatima, permanent representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations, rightfully notes that while Bangladesh continues to contribute the largest number of peacekeepers to the UN peace operations, regretfully, women’s participation in the peace process, including in peacekeeping operations, remains very low.
This is what needs to change, and will require a holistic approach to women’s role in peace as a whole, in order to bring the required change.
There is no doubting the myriad benefits of having increased women’s participation in peacekeeping missions will have; in particular, addressing sexual and gender-based violence, building mutual confidence, and inspiring women in those societies to contribute in nation-building efforts.
While women have long been an integral part of upholding peace and security, it was only in 2000 that Resolution 1325 became the first Security Council Resolution to recognize women’s roles.
What is required now is to encourage more women to participate in the first place. This calls for better training of women, and above all, women-friendly spaces and facilities in the mission settings. An enabling, inclusive environment is extremely important to ensure that women feel comfortable in contributing to this cause.
Research has consistently shown that more women in any workplace will only bring positive results. The same is true for UN peacekeeping missions, and thus, we hope that this is kept in mind and the ongoing efforts of the UN and other member countries in trying to increase women’s participation in peacekeeping is successful.