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Jakarta Post

Why there are so few women in UN peacekeeping

  • Ko Lyn Cheang

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, June 28, 2019   /  09:24 am
The Jakarta Post Image
Indonesian female peacekeepers in Al Junaynah, Sudan.(courtesy of /Revila Oulina. )

It was 2017 and Lt. Col. Revila Oulina was the only female Indonesian peacekeeper at her camp in Darfur. In the 40-degree heat of Al-Fashir, the capital of North Darfur, Sudan, she was on a year-long mission as chief of civil-military coordination at the headquarters of the United Nations–African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). She longed for home in Jakarta, Indonesia, where her husband and two young sons were awaiting her return. But as the highest ranking female peacekeeper in a UN mission where only 3.6 percent of military personnel were women, she had an important role to fill. Revila is part of a new generation of female peacekeepers tasked with enhancing the effectiveness of United Nations peacekeeping in conflict regions, particularly in dealing with victims of sexual violence. “Women peacekeepers, perhaps because they are also mothers, sisters and daughter...