A Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) officer who was on a United
Nations peacekeeping mission for 17 months in Bentiu, South Sudan, is today set
to receive a top UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award for her
outstanding efforts to integrate gender perspectives into peacekeeping
Major Winnet Zharare (39) will receive her award, the first
to be awarded to a Zimbabwean, from the Secretary-General Mr António Guterres
during a ceremony marking the International Day of UN Peacekeepers.
Inaugurated in 2016, the award recognises the dedication
and efforts of an individual military peacekeeper in promoting the principles
of UN Security Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, as nominated by
Heads and Force Commanders of UN peace operations.
“Major Zharare is a role model and a trailblazer. Through
her service, she has demonstrated the invaluable role that women play in
building trust, advocating for change and forging peace.
“Her example shows how we will all gain with more women at
the decision-making table and gender parity in peace operations,” said Mr
Speaking to UN Peacekeeping, Major Zharare, who joined the
army in 2006 as an Infantry Platoon Commander, while doubling as a matron in
Mutare, expressed her appreciation for the honour adding that she has always
been an advocate for equal opportunities for both women and men.
“Growing up in a patriarchal society where men have always
been given preference over women, to eventually see a shift with the turn of
the millennium, when countries started focusing on gender mainstreaming, served
as motivation for me to work on addressing gender issues.
“Also, my parents gave us (girls) equal opportunities as my
brothers. I believe that equal opportunities should be given to both women and
men in all aspects of life,” said Major Zharare. Chronicle