The United Nations (UN) has honoured a Zimbabwean soldier, Major Winnet Zharare, who recently completed her assignment as a peacekeeper with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
Military Observer Major Zharare (39), will receive the 2021 United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award.
She will receive the award from Secretary-General António Guterres during a ceremony marking the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers on Thursday, 26 May.
Secretary-General António Guterres commended Major Zharare for her award. He said:
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.
Major Zharare expressed her gratitude and pride for being selected to receive the award, which, she said, “motivates her to maintain her course towards gender equality”. She added:
My parents gave us equal opportunities with my brothers, so I believe that equal opportunities should be given to both men and women in all aspects of life.
Major Zharare deployed to UNMISS in November 2020 and served in Bentiu, South Sudan, from 2021 to 2022.
Throughout her 17-month-long service, she advocated for gender parity and women’s participation, within her own ranks, among local military counterparts, and in host communities.
The United Nations “Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award” was created in 2016.
It recognizes the dedication and efforts of an individual military peacekeeper in promoting the principles of United Nations Security resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security, as nominated by Heads and Force Commanders of United Nations peace operations.