Head of Mission and Force Commander message on International Women's Day

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8 Mar 2020

Head of Mission and Force Commander message on International Women's Day

Happy International Women’s Day to all. A special congratulations to women peacekeepers at UNIFIL, military and civilian.

International Women’s Day is an occasion to take stock of progress made and contemplate on how to face challenges.

At the international level, the year 2020 witnesses the anniversaries of many important milestones for women.

Women around the world are building a movement around such anniversaries. The 2020 movement must not be about empty new commitments, but about concrete behavioral shifts that change the lives of local women through participation, justice, and peace.

The 2020 theme for International Women’s Day is “I am generation equality: realizing women’s rights”.

25 years after the adoption of the beijing declaration and platform of action, progress has been slow. In particular the issue of women living under war and armed conflict remains a challenge. Women participation in peace building and conflict resolution, essential for inclusive peace processes is hard to accomplish.

At UNIFIL, we have made progress in many areas. Regarding gender parity in the military UNIFIL now stands at 5.5% women. The percentage in the civilian staff stands at 30%. Gender parity is but one indicator of gender equality. Gender mainstreaming is the major indicator for our progress.

At UNIFIL we strive to integrate gender into all our operations. UNIFIL 2019/2020 women, peace, and security guides our work and ensures the integration of gender as well as our compliance with the un security council agenda on women, peace, and security.

UNIFIL has supported Lebanese women in many ways. That includes training women mediators to participate in conflict resolution and peace building. 15% of UNIFIL quick impact projects are dedicated to improving women’s lives in our area of operation.

We have also donated items to the Lebanese communities including to women civil society organizations. Civil and military cooperation and military community outreach unit devote a large portion of their activities to women and girls.

Our female assessment, analysis, and support teams ensure the presence of female soldiers wherever they are needed, thus ensuring that gender mainstreaming in all UNIFIL operations.

UNIFIL adheres to un policy of zero tolerance to sexual exploitation and abuse. We also strive to maintain enabling environment for all our personnel: men and women, military and civilian to ensure the necessary attitudinal and cultural shift towards gender equality.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Thank you