Indian Army officer gets UN award


New Delhi: Major Suman Gawani, an Indian Army officer who served as a woman peacekeeper with the UN Mission in South Sudan last year, has been conferred with a prestigious award by the world body for her role in addressing gender-related issues in the war-ravaged nation.

Gawani has been given the ‘United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the year Award’ along with a Brazilian naval commander, Carla Monteiro de Castro Araujo, an Army official said.

Major Suman served as a Military observer in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) from November 2018 to December 2019. She was the principal focal point of contact for gender issues for military observers in the mission, the official said.

“The officer encouraged participation in joint military patrols to maintain gender balance, irrespective of the hardships under extreme field conditions. She visited various mission team sites across South Sudan to integrate gender perspective into the planning and military activity in the mission,” he said.

Gawani was selected to attend a specialised training on conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) at Nairobi and participated in various UN forums to demonstrate how a gender perspective can help in protecting civilians, especially from conflict-related sexual violence, the official added. -PTI