Yes, we need more women in peacekeeping

1 Jun 2020


The General Assembly, in its resolution 57/129, designated 29 May as the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. This is the date when in 1948 the first UN peacekeeping mission, United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, or UNTSO, began operations in the Middle East.

As this year marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR1325), the theme for Peacekeepers’ Day 2020 is “Women in Peacekeeping – A Key to Peace.” Women peacekeepers are essential for promoting sustainable peace and help in improving overall peacekeeping performance.

2020 Theme: “Women in Peacekeeping – A Key to Peace”

Through UNSCR1325, ensuing resolutions and the Action for Peacekeeping initiative (A4P), the UN has called for an expansion of the role and contribution of women in its operations, including of uniformed peacekeepers. In this context, promoting the participation of women, both in peacekeeping and within the societies in which we serve, is at the centre of our efforts.

UN Peacekeepers are facing one of their greatest challenges yet – the COVID-19 pandemic. Peacekeepers are assisting governments and local communities in the response to the pandemic and are continuing to adapt their activities to execute their mandates, including protecting vulnerable communities. Women peacekeepers are on the front lines in this fight, and we are grateful for their dedication and sacrifices in supporting COVID-19 response efforts as well as in implementing mission mandates, within current constraints and amid difficult circumstances.

Throughout May, our digital platforms will highlight the invaluable contributions of women peacekeepers. For example, we feature one job each day held by a woman peacekeeper to show their unique and diverse roles in peacekeeping. Our digital campaign kicked off with an Instagram Live conversation on the COVID-19 impact on work and life with Lt. Dr. Arya Khadka, Nepali peacekeeper of MINUSCA. Subsequent Instagram Live interviews featured Sanam Dolatshahi, spokesperson for UNMIKand Nigerian Police Officer Gladys Edegware of MONUSCO.