Congo-Kinshasa: The First-Ever Female Pakistani UN Peacekeeping Team Receives UN Medals

press release

The first ever Pakistani Female Engagement team in any United Nations (UN) mission around the world received UN medals for serving in the Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).

A team of 15 Pakistani women officers, on Friday, 31 January 2020, received major recognition for being the first all-female group from Pakistan to serve in a UN peacekeeping mission.

South Kivu Province Governor Theo Ngwabidje presented the Members of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO)'s Female Engagement Team (FET) the UN medal at a ceremony in South Kivu. The UN medal is awarded for participation in military and police operations that include peacekeeping, humanitarian efforts, and disaster relief.

This first Pakistani Female Engagement Team (FET) was deployed in South Kivu on 18th June 2019. The team of 15 women provide a range of resources to the region. They are psychologists, stress counselors, vocational training officers, gender advisors, doctors, nurses, operations officers, information officers, and logistics officers. Seventeen additional Pakistani women officers joined them on 3rd February 2020.

Some of FET's roles include:

Building greater trust within the local community through interaction with the female population and understanding their problems. This helps not only in giving women and children a greater sense of security but sharing their problems besides gathering valuable information. FET's interactions with the local female population during patrols improve information-gathering especially with respect to women and children, allow to assess the security situation and to identify genuine need for quick-impact projects.

Enhancing local women's engagement at grassroots level and allowing the contingent commanders to develop all-encompassing understanding and resultant strategy to benefit this relatively neglected but needy segment of the population.

Providing psychological support to local women as they grapple with conflict-related violence, including sexual abuse and the resultant depression and stress.

Delivering awareness sessions for women regarding health, female empowerment, self-protection against violence, child abuse, among other issues.

Providing vocational training such as sowing, embroidery, first aid, computer skills, which enable women to become effective contributing members of the community.

Establishing medical camps in/or near villages to offer free health care especially to children and women.

Providing training to female staff of the National Police and Army to enhance their professional capacity.

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