In a virtual ceremony on Friday, Indian Peacekeeper Major Suman Gawani was honored by the United Nations with the Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award 2019. Along with her, Commander Carla Monteiro de Castro Araujo from Brazil was also conferred with the same.
On the occasion of the International Day of Peacekeepers, the United Nations Chief awarded both Major Gawani and Commander Araujo and mentioned the inspiring work of the Major. He said,
“Inspiring work has made a remarkable difference in promoting gender equality and empowering local women and your own colleagues.”
With this, Major Suman Gawani has created a history as this is reportedly the first Indian Military Observer to be honored with a peacekeeper award. Major Gawani had served as a peacekeeper with the United Nations mission in South Sudan in 2019. According to Mr. Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, during her deployment in South Sudan, Major Gawani has managed to mentor over 230 military observers regarding the conflict-related sexual violence. The Major also ensured the presence of women military observers’ presence in each of the mission’s team operations.
Her contribution to South Sudan
Responding to the prestigious award being conferred to the army personnel, the Army put out a statement on Major Gawani. Talking about the Major Gawani’s mission in UNMISS, the Army said,
“The officer encouraged participation in joint military patrols to maintain gender balance, irrespective of the hardships under extreme field conditions.”
Major Gawani was selected to attend specialized training in conflict-related sexual violence at Nairobi and later participated in various United Nations forums where gender perspective demonstration took place. With that training, Major Gawani contributing to resolving or combating the conflict-related sexual violence in conflict-hit zones. Major Suman Gawani’s attempts to train South Sudanese government forces to take effective action against conflict-related sexual violence has reportedly made a huge impact in the region to eradicate the gender gap. Major Gawani has been determined to working towards bridging the gender gap and to bring equality among the genders across a lot of countries. The story of Major Gawani is bound to inspire many in the country.
Source: India Times