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

Photogallery Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid