For the first time, the UN Military Gender Advocate award has been awarded to two UN peacekeepers: Commander Carla Monteiro de Castro Araujo, a Brazilian Naval officer, and Major Suman Gawani, of the Indian Army.
The award, created in 2016, recognizes the dedication and effort of individual military peacekeepers in promoting the UN principles on Women, Peace and Security in peace operations. Women peacekeepers are nominated by the heads and force commanders of peace operations.
Major Gawani – the first Indian peacekeeper to win the award – is a Military Observer, formerly deployed to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), where she mentored over 230 UN Military Observers on conflict-related sexual violence, and ensured the presence of women military observers in each of the Mission’s team sites. She also trained South Sudanese government forces, and helped them to launch their action plan on conflict-related sexual violence.
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