Exemplary Effort: India Deploys Women Peacekeepers in Abyei

Foreign Affairs

New Delhi: India is all set to deploy a platoon of women peacekeepers as part of the Indian battalion in the United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA) on January 6.

Abyei, is a disputed border region between Sudan and South Sudan. This is India’s largest deployment of women peacekeepers in a United Nation (UN) mission after the first deployment of women contingent in the UN Mission in Liberia (2007).  This crucial step reflects India’s exemplary efforts towards mainstreaming gender in UN peacekeeping deployments and continuous support for the UN Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda.

In recent years, the UN has advocated that gender mainstreaming is essential for the effectiveness of peacekeeping missions across the world. The United Nations has increased the number of women in peacekeeping missions, citing the latter’s unique contributions that improve peacekeeping unit’s operational efficiency and the human security of vulnerable communities.

The UN Agenda on Women, Peace and Security can be traced back to the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325 in 2000. This was the first resolution that recognised the unique impact of armed conflict on women, acknowledged the contributions women make towards conflict prevention, peacekeeping, conflict resolution and highlighted the importance of their participation in ensuring peace and security.

India’s contribution to the UN peacekeeping efforts is enormous. Since 1948, it has participated in 49 out of 71 UN peacekeeping missions and contributed  over 2, 50,000 troops.