Bugesera, 22 August 2018
In line with the Security Council Resolution, Rwanda Defense Force has embarked on the mission to increase the numbers of women in peace keeping missions and also within the army through recruitment, but more needs to be done.
According to the RDF Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba there is need to ensure that women are protected, engaged, that their voices are heard and their perspectives are considered in the peace process.
“Each of us can contribute to this by ensuring that women’s issues are really at the heart of the agenda, not a mere slogan. This would give us the opportunity to give our full contribution to international peace and security,’’ said Gen. Nyamvumba at the opening of the EXERCISE SHARED ACCORD 18 (SA18) ceremony held at the Rwanda Military Academy in Gako.
Speaking during a panel discussion themed “Women in Peace Keeping” Capt. Lausanne Nsengiyumva from Rwanda explained the importance of having female peacekeepers.
“Vulnerable groups such as women, children can easily open up to fellow women about the issues they face such as rape, gender-based violence among others hence women empowerment,” she said adding that women bring another perspective in decision making, thus the need to advocate for their increased presence in peacekeeping operations.
Maj. Ketty Chikwekwe, who served in United Nations mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) also noted that “A woman is a force multiplier, she gives other people a platform and assurance that there is hope at the end of the tunnel,”
For SSP Goreth Mwenzangu, men should also have sessions on how to manage issues that affect women such as gender-based violence, rape, reproductive health and among others.” SSP Mwenzangu is a female police officer who served in African Union-United Nations Operations in Darfur (UNAMID).
Since the UN Security council resolution was passed 18 years ago, women have proved that they are powerful players in the peacekeeping operations where they have taken part.