Indian female peacekeeper to receive UN Gender Equality Award

Женщина-миротворец из Индии получит премию ООН в области гендерного равенства

Major Radhika Sen has been named the recipient of the UN Military Gender Champion Award for 2023. Indian female peacekeeper to receive UN Gender Equality Award UN

Major Radhika Sen, who served in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), helped create platforms for local people to voice their concerns about the security and humanitarian situation. She was announced Tuesday as the recipient of the 2023 UN Military Gender Champion Award.

From March 2023 to April 2024, Major Sen served with the MONUSCO peacekeeping mission in eastern DRC as a liaison platoon leader for the Indian Rapid Deployment Battalion.

She will receive the award from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during a ceremony on Thursday.

Compassion and selflessness

Guterres congratulated Major Sen and paid tribute to her achievements.

“As the conflict in North Kivu escalated, her battalion actively engaged with affected communities, including women and girls,” he said, noting that Sen had earned the trust of local residents with her compassion and dedication.

A world in diversity

“This award is especially important to me , as it recognizes the hard work done by all peacekeepers working in the difficult conditions of the DRC,” said Major Sen.

“Peacekeeping Gender inclusive activities are everyone’s business, not just us women’s. Peace begins with all of us in our beautiful diversity!” – she added.

Community Platforms

Женщина-миротворец из Индии получит премию ООН в области гендерного равенства

Major Sen led patrols of men and women in a volatile environment where many people, including women and children, were fleeing violence.

The warning networks she helped create in North Kivu served as a platform for community leaders, youth and women to raise their security concerns and humanitarian activities. Sen, in turn, along with her MONUSCO colleagues, sought solutions to these problems.

Safe Spaces

The platoon leader created a safe environment for men and women to work together and quickly became a role model for all peacekeepers.

She also ensured that to ensure that personnel under her command operate in a gender and sociocultural manner.

Major Sen helped organize English language classes for children, as well as health, gender and vocational education for adults from displaced and marginalized communities. Additionally, her efforts inspired solidarity among women and provided a safe space for open dialogue. 

Women’s Voices

Thanks to Sen’s work, women in the village of Kashlira began to collectively solve their problems, defend their rights, and their voices became heard, in particular during local community discussions on security and peace.

India currently ranks eleventh in the number of female military peacekeepers in the UN, with 124 employees. Major Sen became the second person from the country to receive the award. Past winners also came from Brazil, Ghana, Kenya, Niger, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

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