Vietnamese female soldiers to join forces with U.N. peacekeepers

By Ngan Giang   July 7, 2016 | 05:48 am PT
Vietnamese female soldiers to join forces with U.N. peacekeepers
UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon with Vietnamese peacekeepers during his visit to Vietnam on May, 2015. Photo by VnExpress
The country supports U.N.'s notion on gender balance within the peacekeeping forces.

Vietnam will send two of its female military officers to join the U.N. Peacekeeping Forces, in support of the U.N.'s agenda in improving gender balance among soldiers engaged in peacekeeping operations.

Director of Viet Nam Peacekeeping Center Colonel Hoang Kim Phung said the center is currently recruiting candidates from a pool of well trained female military officers. The two recruits are expected to be dispatched by the end of 2016 or early next year, after the U.N. and Vietnam have reached an agreement on the tasks and location.

The selected officers will be put through extra specialized training programs designed to prepare them for U.N. peacekeeping operations, added Phung.

The move follows multiple requests from U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, asking Vietnam to consider sending female soldiers to work in the U.N. peacekeeping forces.

A Vietnamese military attaché in the U.N. said there is a lot of work in U.N. peacekeeping units suitable for women while it has been proved that work efficiency improves when women join the military.

In some cases, female soldiers might be better than their male colleagues, such as negotiating with opposition forces, investigating and resolving sexual abuse problems in war zones, connecting peacekeeping agencies with governments and local people, he said.


Vietnamese female military officers joins with colleagues from other nations in a U.N. peacekeeping training program. Photo by VnExpress

Specific nature of the job has created an apparent gender imbalance within the U.N. Peacekeeping Forces around the world. The U.N. passed a resolution in 2000 in an attempt to resolve the gender equality issue. However, as of January 2016, women still constitute only 4.8 percent of 107,000 U.N. peacekeepers across the world.

The United Nations aims to increase the proportion of female soldiers engaged in the peacekeeping operations up to 35 percent while the current ratio is sitting at 8 to 10 percent.

Vietnam currently has five officers working in the U.N. peacekeeping forces located in South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

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