Sri Lanka makes push for more women peacekeepers

Sri Lanka says over the years it has consistently made efforts to encourage women peacekeepers.

Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Mohan Peiris said that Sri Lanka will continue to support UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his endeavors to push for gender parity at all levels.

“We commend the Secretary-General for the leadership that he has taken to improve the gender parity at the UN, particularly at the senior leaders level and amongst the UN Resident Coordinators,” he said.

Mohan Peiris said that over the years, Sri Lanka has consistently made efforts to encourage women peacekeepers and currently Sri Lanka has 12 women peacekeepers serving in South Sudan.

“We believe that women peacekeepers improve overall peacekeeping performance, have greater access to communities, help in promoting human rights and protection of civilians and encourage women to become a meaningful part of peace and political processes,” he said.

Mohan Peiris also noted that violations of human rights in most conflict affected communities disproportionately affect women and children.

“In situations of heightened violence and insecurity, women are one of the most vulnerable segments of the population, they may even experience such violations from within the family itself, in addition to existing discrimination in society. We know that this has been exacerbated by the pandemic,” he said.

Mohan Peiris added that while it is useful to share the experience among the international community on the obstacles faced by women and the prescriptions needed to alleviate from such setbacks, one must also be sensitive to the diverse situations and circumstances, in which the proposed programs and strategies have to be implemented. (Colombo Gazette)