Barriers and challenges to women’s participation in peacekeeping still exist, which inhibits the fight against gender-based violence in conflict areas, according to Col Jill Rutaremara, the director of Rwanda Peace Academy (RPA).
Col Rutaremara said this, yesterday, while opening a course for regional officers at the Musanze-based academy, which will focus on gender leadership and peace building.
The training has brought together 24 military, police and civilian officers from the Republic of Comoros, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, the Republic of Sudan and Uganda.
Rutaremara said despite the gains made by Rwanda in terms mainstreaming gender in all sectors of the country, some challenges still remain, calling upon participants to use the course to come up with solutions to these challenges, which are shared across all nations.
He said women are more vulnerable in violent conflict which escalates inequality between men and women.
“Women are more vulnerable particularly during conflict and the fact that such conflicts intensify inequalities between men and women is something that cannot be disputed,” Col Rutaremara said.
Maj Rene Neemba, from Uganda, said the training is a good occasion to share experience with colleagues from different backgrounds.
“We will be able to work better in a more integrated way when we go for peacekeeping missions. The biggest challenge we face pertaining to gender and peace building understanding and embracing other people’s culture and their way of socialisation,” she said.
Neemba added that the training will enable them create a strong network in peace building.
The course is a result of collaborative efforts between the Rwanda Peace Academy and the United Nations Institute for Training Research.