UN chief Antonio Guterres on Friday honoured peacekeepers Major Suman Gawani from India and Commander Carla Monteiro de Castro Araujo from Brazil with the 2019 UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award, saying their “inspiring work” promotes equality in the forces.
Mr Guterres bestowed the award to Ms Gawani and Ms Araujo in a virtual ceremony, commemorating the International Day of Peacekeepers.
This is the first year the prestigious award has gone to a peacekeeper from India. Military Observer Ms Gawani has recently completed an assignment in South Sudan. Ms Araujo is working in the United Nations’ Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic.
Mr Guterres underscored the essential role played by women peacekeepers for the success of UN peace operations.
He said both Ms Gawani and Ms Araujo’s “inspiring work has made a remarkable difference in promoting gender equality and empowering local women and your own colleagues.”
“Your contributions are proof that women peacekeepers are vital to peace and security everywhere,” the UN secretary general said.
Mr Guterres said during her deployment with the UN Mission in South Sudan, Ms Gawani mentored more than 230 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 the South Sudanese government…