News / Middle East

Women Play Increasingly Vital Role in Peace Missions

Women Play Increasingly Vital Role in Peace Missionsi
X
March 06, 2013 9:25 PM
Along the border of Israel and Lebanon, female peacekeepers are playing a vital role in the United Nations unit that patrols the area. Paige Kollock looks at the part women play in international military monitoring efforts
Paige Kollock

Along the border of Israel and Lebanon, female peacekeepers are playing a vital role in the United Nations unit that patrols the area.
 

Captain Annie - French soldiers don’t use their last names - is examining Gomo, a working security dog from France who lives at a base of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.
 

The captain is a veterinary specialist and one of approximately 30 women who live on this French base of 700 peacekeepers, keeping the border secure and assisting the Lebanese government.

 

She says she doesn’t consider herself a ‘female’ peacekeeper, but rather, a member of UNIFIL. But her feminine traits do sometimes help.

 

"The secret is to keep the smile and never raise the voice and a little bit of softness and communication and patience is always good," she said.

 

UNIFIL maintains a peacekeeping force of more than 11,000 in southern Lebanon, with troops contributed from 37 countries. In recent years, the United Nations has been working to deploy women in greater numbers.

 

Major Akriti Sharma is from Jammu and Kashmir and works to assess the security environment in Lebanon.

 

"As we all know, women are known for their compassion for their warmth, for their understanding. Being women in uniform it adds on to these factors obviously, and apart from this, we can have better access to the women and they feel more comfortable with us, we can act as a role model," Sharma said.

 

Women in UNIFIL serve on both the civilian and military staffs. Their roles range from military strategy to teaching French to local Lebanese school children. Male and female peacekeepers live together, work together and play sports together.

 

Squadron Leader and force commander Eric of the French battalion says women play a stabilizing role in an unstable area.

 

"Here in South Lebanon they have a more important place than in other missions. Women have always been peacemakers, or have been able to bring some peace, some calm, some serenity, and in this mission that’s an important quality," Eric said.

 

Although most Lebanese in southern Lebanon hold conservative views on gender roles, UNIFIL’s female peacekeepers say they get along well with the local community - men and women alike.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More