Major Suman Gawani of the Indian Army, a Military Observer formerly deployed with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan and Commander Carla Monteiro de Castro Araujo, a Brazilian Naval officer have been chosen for the award.
They will receive the award during an online ceremony presided over by UN Secretary-General António Guterres marking the International Day of UN Peacekeepers on 29 May.
Created in 2016, the United Nations “Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award” recognizes the dedication and effort of an individual military peacekeeper in promoting the principles of UN Security Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in a peace operation context. For the first time, two peacekeepers will receive the award jointly for their contribution to this important cause.
Major Gawani expressed gratification at seeing her work as UN Military Observer recognized. She said, whatever the function, position or rank, it is their duty as peacekeepers to integrate an all genders perspective to daily work and own it.
Since her deployment to UNMISS in December 2018, Major Gawani mentored over 230 UN Military Observers on conflict-related sexual violence and ensured the presence of women military observers in each of the Mission’s team sites.