UNIFIL’s Resource Centre Opens

UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major-General Luciano Portolano cutting the ribbon to inaugurate UNIFIL’s Resource Centre.

UNIFIL senior leadership cutting the cake during the ceremony to mark International Women’s Day 2016. The campaign theme for this 2016 Day is ‘Planet 50-50: Step It Up for Gender Equality.’

UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major-General Luciano Portolano delivering a speech at the Mission headquarters in Naqoura during the inauguration ceremony of UNIFIL Resource Centre on International Women’s Day 2016.

UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major-General Luciano Portolano touring the photo exhibition held at UNIFIL Resource Centre on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2016.

UNIFIL civilian and military female peacekeepers posing for a photo during the inauguration of UNIFIL Resource Centre on International Women’s Day 2016.

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10 Mar 2016

UNIFIL’s Resource Centre Opens

The jazzy music played by Ghannbatt’s band could be heard across UNIFIL’s base, and set the tone for a celebratory commemoration of the UNIFIL Resource Centre on International Women’s Day 2016.

Before cutting the ribbon on the building, UNIFIL’s Head of Mission and Force Commander, Maj General Luciano Portolano, complimented the inclusive principals behind this new space. “Globally, while women worked most of their lives, only 58% are paid for their labor and at wage rates much lower than those of men. Women participation in formal labor markets, however, is changing our perceptions of the work place and on how to measure productivity.

The work place has been envisioned for a male worker, as the rates of women’s labor force participation increases, we become aware of the need to change the work place to account of work/life balance issues, hence increasing productivity for both men and women. UNIFIL Resource Center is an example of this.

The initiative to establish the Center came as a result of UNIFIL women staff requesting services and resources not accommodated for by traditional work place. The idea expanded to include services both women and men will benefit from and most likely will lead to higher productivity as staff achieve a more balanced work life.

The Center includes recreational room, coffee shop, a counseling office, and a breastfeeding/play room for emergent situations when staff have to bring their children to work.”

Ms. Afaf Omer, UNIFIL’s Gender Adviser, also addressed the crowd of peace keepers and civilian staff saying, “To arrive at the future we want, we cannot leave anyone behind. We have to start with those who are the least regarded. These are largely women and girls, although in poor and troubled areas, they can also include boys and men. Women and girls are critical to finding sustainable solutions to the challenges of poverty, inequality and the recovery of the communities hardest hit by conflicts, disasters and displacements.

On International Women’s Day, we reiterate the greater participation of women as one of the necessary conditions for an inclusive Agenda 2030. Their leadership is insufficiently recognized but must emerge with greater participation in decision-making bodies.

Each one of us is needed—in our countries, communities, organizations, governments and in the United Nations—to ensure decisive, visible and measurable actions are taken under the banner: Planet 50-50: Step It Up for Gender Equality.”

Article: Aoibheann O’Sullivan
Video Editor: Suzane Badereddine, Mohamad Hamze
Video Camera: Suzane Badereddine
Photo: Military Photographer Carletto Mascia