Major Suman Gawani wins Military Gender Advocate award from UN

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: May 30, 2020, 07:42 AM(IST)

Major Suman Gawani Photograph:( Twitter )

Story highlights

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres gave away the award and Commander Carla Monteiro de Castro Araujo from Brazil in a virtual ceremony, commemorating the International Day of Peacekeepers on Friday.

 

An Indian army officer has been bestowed with 'United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the Year award'.

Major Suman Gawani has previously served as a woman peacekeeper with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in 2019.

With this honour, she has become the first Indian peacekeeper to win this prestigious award.

"Congratulations to the Military Gender Advocate of the Year Awardee, Major Suman Gawani of India serving with @unmissmedia in South Sudan," UN Department of Peace Operations tweeted.

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Secretary-General Antonio Guterres gave away the award and Commander Carla Monteiro de Castro Araujo from Brazil in a virtual ceremony, commemorating the International Day of Peacekeepers on Friday.

She took to the internet to thank everyone for this honour and the immense love she has received. "Working towards peace as a military observer in South Sudan has been a life-changing experience. Serving under the blue helmet and wearing my country's flag on my uniform is a matter of pride," Major Suman said.

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During her role, she focused on the gender issues in military. She also encouraged participation in joint military patrols to maintain gender balance, irrespective of the hardships under extreme field conditions, according to a statement by the Defence Ministry.

"Apart from supporting the UNMISS Force initiatives, she also trained the South Sudan government forces on CRSV related aspects. The officer also commanded the UN Peacekeepers Day Parade organised at UNMISS, where she commanded twelve contingents of UNPOL, Military and Civilians," the Defence Ministry release said.

She has also participated in a specialised training on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (CRSV) at Nairobi and in various UN forums focusing on how a gender perspective can help in protecting civilians, especially from conflict-related sexual violence

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