Beirut, 6 February 2022 (TDI): The issue of gender equality has marked the world for many years. For the first time, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon or otherwise known as UNIFIL has striven to become a UN (United Nations) peacekeeping mission.

It provides gender-sensitive housing and working conditions for the female peacekeeping officers serving within the country.

This has been made possible through the Elsie Initiative Fun for Women in Peace Operations. The grant provided with this fund equals a total of 370,000 US dollars. It has allowed the provision of welfare areas, restrooms, and female-specified accommodation buildings for the Lebanese soldiers.

This grant is estimated to initiate when Ghana increases the number of women soldiers deployed as ‘blue helmets. This is because Ghana is responsible for provisioning the UNIFIL with 861 military personnel is estimated to

UN Blue Helmets 

According to the United Nations blue helmets consists of the military personnel that is responsible for on-ground operations. Currently, there is approximately 70,000 military personnel from all the member states across the world that are operating on-ground.

This military personnel is mostly responsible for protecting civilians in conflict-affected areas against any form of threat and they aim to create a peaceful environment for the civilians from these areas.

UN in Lebanon Peacekeeping
Blue helmet peacekeeping soldiers serve all around the world in Peacekeeping, Peacebuilding, and Peace Enforcement.
Gender disparity within the UN

According to the Chief of United Nations Peacekeeping, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, women face many problems when it comes to peacekeeping operations. From a lack of information regarding the opportunities for deployment, receiving a lack of training, among others. All when it comes to peacekeeping missions.

In the words of the UN Women Executive Director, women are often discouraged or deterred to serve due to inadequate working and living conditions.

The project in Lebanon signifies to be an important expression of gender equality and acts as an important step to realize and promote women to have an equal. Besides highlighting their meaningful and full participation within the peacekeeping process.

Currently, there are a total of 10,000 peacekeeping soldiers operational within Lebanon out of which 659 are females.

Through this project, UNIFIL hopes to give support to the current troops operating within conflicted areas. In addition to looking forward to a future where there will be a greater number of women deployed within such operations.