We saw in various United Nations peacekeeping missions that Indian women’s army became a significant part of them. India is also one of the largest contributors of these UN Peacekeeping missions. With the mission being carried out in eight countries, the country is taking a lead by incorporating more women into the force.

The mission is now moving towards ensuring post-conflict resolutions. It aims to bring lasting peace and experts believe that women prove to be peace-makers in such situations.

“From deciding the mandate of the peacekeeping missions to negotiating ceasefires and post-conflict resolution, women need to play a larger role. Currently, women constitute under 4% of the military component of peacekeeping missions. The United Nations Secretary-General wants it to be 8% by next year. They have also instructed us (Indian Army) to double the number of women on our end and we will keep up our end of these commitments,” Lt. General Sarath Chand, Vice-Chief of Army Staff (VCoAs), told News 18 India.

From deciding the mandate of the peacekeeping missions to negotiating ceasefires and post-conflict resolution, women need to play a larger role. Currently, women constitute under 4% of the military component of peacekeeping missions.

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Lt. Gen, Chand remembered his own anecdotes from the times when he served in UN peacekeeping mission at a UN Women event that recently took place in New Delhi. He recollected horrors of conflict-related sexual violence on the battlefield. “I have also been a part of UN peacekeeping missions and I have witnessed first-hand the suffering of women. Rape and sexual violence are used as tactics of war by rebel groups. This isn’t something that the UN didn’t know. This was happening despite UN resolutions being passed against it.”

UN is running peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), Iraq, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Syria. “More and more, we see the nature of international conflict change. We are moving from inter-state conflict to intra-state conflict,” said Lt. Gen. Chand.

“We need to take care that when we include women in peacekeeping missions, they also need to be provided adequate security as part of the mission,” he added.

In 2007 India for the first time sent an all-woman United Nations Peacekeeping Force of 105 Indian policewomen to Liberia.

 

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