An Army Major from India has been selected for the United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award (2019). Major Suman Gawani, will be conferred with this award for her contribution to the United Nations' anti-sexual violence campaign.
Major Gawani works with the Army Signal Corps. She joined the army in 2011 after graduating from the Officers Training Academy. While announcing the award, the UN said that she has contributed to the campaign by 'supporting, mentoring, guidance and leadership, she helped to create an enabling environment for UN Peacekeepers.
While being deployed in South Sudan under the UN Mission, Major Gawani mentored more than 230 UN Military Observers on sexual violence stemming from conflict and ensured that women were part of the Mission's team sites.
She also provided training to South Sudanese government forces and assisted them in launching their action plan on conflict-related sexual violence. Major Gawani said, 'Whatever our function, position of rank, it is our duty as peacekeepers to integrate an all-genders perspective into our daily work and own it in our interactions with colleagues as well as with communities. '
The award will be conferred on May 29 by UN Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres. Maj Gawani will be sharing the award with Brazilian Naval Officer Commander Carla Monteiro de Castro Araujo. The ceremony will be held online in view of the coronavirus outbreak.