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Zimbabwean peacekeeper wins UN gender advocate award |

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Commending Military Observer Major Winnet Zharare, 39, as “a role model and a trailblazer”, Secretary-General António Guterres, will present her with the award on Thursday during a ceremony marking the* that is( of UN Peacekeepers. 

‘Building trust, advocating for peace’

Throughout her 17 month assignment with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Major Zharare advocated for gender parity and participation that is women’s within her very own ranks, among neighborhood army counterparts, plus in host communities.  

As the Chief Military Information Officer into the UNMISS Bentiu industry workplace, she assisted make certain that patrols included men and women to boost security and build trust between host communities as well as the Mission.   

The Major also contributed to a rise in gender-aggregated data to ensure that problems raised by neighborhood females and girls is completely recognized and offered their due value. 

Through her service, she has demonstrated the invaluable role that women play in building trust, advocating for change and forging peace,” stated the UN chief.   

Building a legacy 

Major Zharare advocated for sex parity and women’s involvement in a environment that is traditionally male-dominated has often excluded women from decision-making, 

She also encouraged local civilian and military authorities and community representatives to involve women in UN meetings.  

Her diligence and skills that are diplomatic gained her the trust of neighborhood army commanders who does systematically get in touch with her on issues of women’s security and liberties.   

During her patrols and community that is numerous initiatives, the well-regarded UN peacekeeper also successfully encouraged men and women to work together in farming and constructing dikes around Bentiu town to alleviate food shortages and prevent further displacement. 

Commitment and perseverance 

Created in 2016, the UN “Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award” recognizes the dedication and efforts of an individual peacekeeper that is military advertising the concepts of landmark resolution 1325 on females, comfort and safety. 

Her example shows how we will all gain with more women at the decision-making table, and gender parity in peace operations,” Mr. Guterres stated. 

Expressing her appreciation and pride, Major Zharare stated that being selected “motivates her to maintain her course towards gender equality”. 

Climbing the ladder 

At house in Mhondoro, Zimbabwe, the UN peacekeeper’s moms and dads raised their seven young ones without sex stereotyping.  

“My parents gave us equal opportunities with my brothers, so I believe that equal opportunities should be given to both men and women in all aspects of life,” Major Zharare stated. 

From 2015 to 2019, she worked as a* that is( before being nominated to serve in UNMISS as a Military Observer in Bentiu, in roles that included Chief Information Officer, Training Officer and Gender Focal Point.   

When her tour of duty there ended in April, she returned to serve in her home country. 

Before joining UN peacekeeping, her military career began in 2006 as a* that is( and soon after an Infantry Platoon Commander, where she doubled being a matron, in Mutare.   

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