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Empowering Women in Peacekeeping: A Milestone in UNISFA


In a historic move towards gender equality and empowerment, the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) achieved a significant milestone on 9th March 2023. The Nigerian Base Defence Company (NBDC-1) joined UNISFA with a contingent of 160 personnel, including an impressive 32 female peacekeepers – the highest number of female peacekeepers ever seen in the Mission.

This accomplishment not only marked a step towards gender parity but also aligned with the United Nations’ mandate of ensuring at least 10 percent representation of women in peacekeeping operations from any Troop Contributing Country (TCC).

The inclusion of 32 female peacekeepers within the NBDC-1 contingent remains a testament to the commitment of Nigeria towards promoting gender equality and empowering women in peacekeeping missions.

These women, serving in various ranks, brought a unique perspective and skill set to the mission, enriching the overall effectiveness of UNISFA’s peacekeeping efforts.

Recognizing the importance of enhancing the representation of women in peacekeeping operations, the unit’s strength was further bolstered to 171 personnel.

In a groundbreaking move, an additional Close Protection Team was established to provide security for the Acting Head of Mission and Force Commander. This team comprised 11 personnel, out of which four are women, and they were deployed on 25th November 2023. T

This geature not only showcased the capabilities and professionalism of women in security roles but also highlighted the importance of women’s participation in all aspects of peacekeeping operations.

These women not only excelled in their roles but have also continued to shatter stereotypes and paved the way for greater gender inclusivity in traditionally male-dominated fields.

The presence of women in peacekeeping missions brings a unique perspective, enhances the mission’s effectiveness, and contributes to building trust and engaging with local communities. By ensuring diverse and inclusive participation, UNISFA sets a powerful example for other peacekeeping missions worldwide, demonstrating the transformative impact of empowering women in peace and security efforts.

As the world continues to strive for gender equality and women’s empowerment, UNISFA’s commitment to providing opportunities for women in peacekeeping serves as a beacon of progress and a testament to the invaluable contributions that women bring to promoting peace and security globally.

The achievements of the NBDC-1 contingent and the establishment of the Close Protection Team with a sizeable number of women, stand as inspiring examples of how gender diversity strengthens peacekeeping operations and advances the goals of the United Nations towards a more peaceful and inclusive world.

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