MANILA – United Nations officials are urging countries to deploy more female troops to international peacekeeping missions especially in regions where sexual violence remains prevalent.
During the recently conducted World Assembly for women in Tokyo, Zainab Hawa Bangura, UN Special Representative on sexual violence Melanne Verveer, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security executive director called for more women peacekeepers.
They also stressed the importance of deploying female peacekeepers in creating a safer environment for women, especially those who were sexually abused.
“The challenge is how to encourage governments of contributing countries to have more women in their battalions that they are offering,” Bangura said.
Verveer also noted on the importance of women as catalyst for change and as peacemakers.
“But women are not only victims, they are agents of change who are critical actors in bringing sustainable peace,” she said.
She also added that women must be encouraged to participate in all stages of peace keeping and become advocators of gender equality.
“We need to tap women in peace and security and ensure that the resources are available to support these efforts,” Verveer said.