First Zimbabwean peacekeeper wins UN 2021 gender advocate award |

Commends Military Observer Major Winnet Zharare, 39, as “a role model and a forerunner”, Secretary General António Guterreswill present the award to her on Thursday in a ceremony to mark International Day of UN Peacekeepers.

‘Building trust, supporting peace’

During her 17-month service with the UN Mission in South Sudan (MISS), Major Zharare advocates for gender equality and women’s participation, within her own ranks, among local military partners, and in host communities.

As Director of Military Information at UNMISS Bentiu’s field office, she helped ensure that patrols included both women and men to enhance protection and build trust among host communities and the Mission.

Major also contributes to the increase of aggregated data on gender so that issues raised by local women and girls will be given due attention.

Through her service, she has demonstrated the invaluable role women play in building trust, advocating change, and building peace.“The head of the United Nations said.

Build a legacy

Major Zharare advocates for gender equality and women’s participation in a traditionally male-dominated environment that excludes women from decision-making,

She also encouraged local civilian and military authorities and community representatives to include women in United Nations meetings.

The award recipient’s diligence and diplomatic skills quickly earned her the trust of local military commanders, who would systematically contact her about women’s rights and interests.

In patrols and undertaking many community engagement initiatives, the highly regarded UN peacekeeper has also successfully encouraged men and women to work together in agriculture and construction. dikes around the town of Bentiu to alleviate food shortages and prevent further displacement.

Commitment and Perseverance

Established in 2016, the United Nations “Military Advocate of the Year” Award recognizes the dedication and efforts of an individual military peacekeeper in advancing the principles that matter. turning point 1325 . resolution on women, peace and security.

Her example shows how we all benefit from having more women at the decision-making table and gender equality in peace activism.Mr. Guterres said.

Expressing gratitude and pride, Major Zharare said that being selected “pushes her to stay on course towards gender equality”.

Climb the stairs, round by round

In his hometown of Mhondoro, Zimbabwe, the parents of the United Nations peacekeeper raised their seven children without gender stereotypes.

“My parents gave us equal opportunities with my brothers, so I believe equal opportunities should be given to both men and women in all aspects of life“Major Zharare said.

From 2015 to 2019, she worked as a Front Office Officer before being nominated to serve in UNMISS as a Military Observer in Bentiu, in roles including Director of Information, Officer Department of Training and Gender Contacts.

When her tour ended in April, the world champion returned to serve in her home country.

Prior to joining the United Nations peacekeepers, her military career began in 2006 as a Second Lieutenant and then as Infantry Platoon Commander, where she was assigned as a soldier in Mutare .

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