Women in Peacekeeping – A Key to Peace
Oṃ Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinaḥ, Sarve Santu Nirāmayāḥ“May all sentient beings be at peace, May no one suffer from illness,
Ma Kascidduḥ Khabhagbhaveta, Oṃ Santiḥ Santiḥ Santiḥ
May all see what is auspicious, May no one suffer.
Om peace, peace, peace.”
Be peaceful, the scriptures have been advising mankind from ancient times. The feeling of peace and harmony towards each other not only brings people closer but would give an opportunity of being there in happiness and sorrow.
Over the period, countries across the world, pursued diversified paths to achieve progress to bring prosperity. We stand today being silent spectators to very disturbing situations and differences, not learned to live within and accept diversity both in thought and action. Some of the countries plagued by poverty, scarcity of resources, violence and gender inequality, but still are going through factional armed conflicts and terrorism. To help countries torn by conflicts and to create the conditions for lasting peace, the peacekeeping force by the UN.
The beginning of UN peacekeeping can be traced back to the Cold War era. The first peacekeeping mission was launched in 1948 was sent to the newly created State of Israel and remains in operation to this day. Same is the case with the Korean peninsula. The Indian subcontinent has also seen the presence of peacekeeping force during the partition. In more recent times, it is seen that UN peacekeeping forces are being deployed in non-military operations like the conduct of elections in a fair manner.
Citizens, military and police personnel of many countries spend their lives in the service of others with a feeling of peace and security in the world. As of March 31, 2020, 81,370 personnel from around 121 countries are serving in 13 peacekeeping operations. By the end of 2019, 72 UN peacekeeping operations were conducted. Currently, there are 17 operations are ongoing spread over three continents.
This year’s theme “Women in Peacekeeping – A key to Peace” has been decided to celebrate the role of women and giving them increasing opportunities and a warning to male-dominated society to change its attitude towards women. According to 2019 data out of 95,000 peacekeepers, women constitute 4.7% of military contingents and 10.8% of formed police units in UN Peacekeeping missions. Proving that women can perform the same action or role in any difficult and serious situations. Women playing higher military roles is seen in women performing the duties at the level of Force Commander.
COVID-19 is a great equaliser, it bothers about neither the differences nor the preferences. UN peacekeeping forces in many countries are helping many nations to tackle the pandemic and women forces are playing a very important role. In this battle of life-threatening disease, women are standing on the frontline and, without caring for their lives, trying to save the lives of millions of people.
On this special day (May 29) let us all pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in UN peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication, and courage and to honour the memory of those who have lost.