Africa: Zambian Peacekeeper Wins 2020 UN Woman Police Officer of the Year Award

Chief Inspector Doreen Malambo, serving in the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has been selected as the 2020 United Nations Woman Police Officer of the Year.

Chief Inspector Doreen Malambo of Zambia, currently serving in the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), is this year's United Nations Woman Police Officer of the Year, the UN Department of Peace Operations has announced.

Chief Inspector Malambo is a Gender Adviser in Juba, South Sudan, where, working with the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), she has helped establish the Stand Up for Rights of Women and Girls initiative that has helped to reduce and prevent sexual and gender-based crime in South Sudan.

As part of this project, Chief Inspector Malambo created a network of groups led by male local police officers to engage other men in the community to disseminate information and promote the protection and advancement of the rights of women and girls.

Chief Inspector Malambo also contributed to UNMISS' efforts to disseminate information on COVID-19 prevention to vulnerable communities, including those with disabilities.

The United Nations Woman Police Officer of the Year award was established in 2011 to recognize the exceptional contributions of women police officers to UN peace operations and to promote the empowerment of women.

The award carries special significance this year when we mark the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security and 60 years since the first deployment of UN police, to the UN Operation in the Congo.

Greater women's participation in peacekeeping sends a strong message to our host populations. This message is amplified when women police officers like Chief Inspector Malambo take the lead to empower and protect others, even more so in a pandemic context.

"Greater women's participation in peacekeeping sends a strong message to our host populations. This message is amplified when women police officers like Chief Inspector Malambo take the lead to empower and protect others, even more so in a pandemic context" said UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix, who will present her with the award at a virtual ceremony on 3 November 2020. "Through both her ideas and actions Doreen Malambo exemplifies the best of United Nations policing."

"Like many peacekeepers during this challenging time, Chief Inspector Malambo continues to go above and beyond the call of duty to serve our communities," said UN Police Adviser Luis Carrilho.

"Gender-responsive policing is a responsibility shared by all, and her efforts within the Mission and in the community to engage more men have led to greater awareness of the role each of us can play," Carrilho added.

On her part, Chief Inspector Malambo said: "Knowing that I am making a difference by working to empower women and promote their active inclusion and participation in society motivates me. Women's empowerment is the key to increasing the visibility of interests, concerns, needs and contributions of women as we advance the Women, Peace and Security agenda."

Her previous UN experience includes a deployment with the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) from 2008 to 2009, where she assisted the Liberia National Police to prevent and investigate sexual and gender-based violence and domestic violence. Her national experience spans 24 years with the Zambia Police Service.

The award will be presented during the 15th United Nations Police Week that will take place virtually from 2 to 6 November. At this annual event, heads of UN police components and police experts from peacekeeping operations, special political missions and regional offices and UN senior leadership discuss performance, conduct and discipline, protection of civilians, conflict prevention, sustaining peace and other topics and priorities affecting United Nations policing.

About 11,000 UN police, 1,300 of whom are women, are deployed in 16 United Nations peace operations today to enhance international peace and security by supporting host countries in conflict, post-conflict and other crisis situations.

The UN'S goal is to deploy 30% women among individual police officers and 20% among formed police units by 2028.

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