Major Cleo Bigwood is the Force Gender and Child Protection Officer at the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). She participated at a UN Women training on ‘Mainstreaming gender in UN Peacekeeping to End Conflict Related Sexual Violence’, which took place in New Delhi in February 2018, funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy. The course trained 41 military and police officers and humanitarian actors from ten Member States on strategic, operational and tactical approaches to end conflict-related sexual violence.
With at least one in three women worldwide experiencing intimate partner violence or sexual violence perpetrated by a non-partner, violence against women and girls is a persistent problem.
Captain Anaseini Navua Vuniwaqa of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, has taken part in two very different kinds of UN Peacekeeper trainings. At the UN Staff Officer’s Course in Beijing in 2017, she was the only international woman participant.
“There were two other females that joined, but they were both from China, and then one had to drop out midway through the course,” said Captain Vuniwaqa, who first joined the military in 2009 and is now ready to be deployed to UN peacekeeping missions.
The Apolitical inaugural list of 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy in 2018, which was announced today, includes five gender equality experts from UN Women.
Along with UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammad, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Deputy Executive Director Åsa Regnér feature among the top 20 influencers, alongside trailblazers and global champions of women’s rights, such as Justin Trudeau, Malala Yousafzai, and Melinda Gates.
In its highly anticipated parliamentary election in almost ten years, Lebanon saw a record number of women on the ballot. An unprecedented 113 women registered as candidates, and 86 of them made it to candidate lists. This was a whopping increase from 2009, when only 12 women candidates had registered.
The elections resulted in six women being elected to Parliament, reflecting hard-won victories, but also the long road ahead for women candidates. The outgoing parliament had only four women parliamentarians out of 128.