Thursday 26 May 2022


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 activities.

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 Guterres. 

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




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