Beirut, 1 February 2022 (TDI): The Elsie Initiative Fund for Women in Peace Operations (EIF) announced that United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) is the first UN field mission to receive funding. As a result, this initiative is set to create an enabling and inclusive environment for women peacekeepers.

Canada and the UN jointly established the EIF with its secretariat with UN Women. The EIF, a UN trust fund, is funded by the Member States. $30 million are raised thus far.

The $357,000 EIF grant allows UNIFIL to build gender-sensitive accommodation. In addition to working conditions for women peacekeepers from the Ghanaian battalion. Nonetheless, It will enable the peacekeeping mission to attain gender parity and equality.

“For success in peacekeeping operations we need more uniformed women to participate.” – UN Women’s Executive Director, Sima Bahous

Yet, inadequate gender-responsive living and working conditions too often deter women’s equal participation in these missions. She also added that the UNIFIL project, funded by the Elsie Initiative Fund, is setting a great example by tackling this significant structural barrier.

Hence, its positive changes will help attain parity in peace operations. UNIFIL’s project is designed to address this barrier through installing four accommodation buildings.
In addition to an ablution unit and a welfare area for women.

The project follows guidelines and recommendations from the Department of Operational Support’s new gender-responsive conceptual peacekeeping camp. Plus accommodation designs created through the Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations, through Canada’s funding.

UNIFIL supports increased participation of Women Peacekeepers 

It went from five percent in 2018 to nearly seven percent (or a total of 659 women) in 2021. 

With this project, UNIFIL seeks to support troops and police-contributing countries. As a result, it will achieve the gender targets set in the UN’s Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy 2018-2028.

Consequently, this project contributes to UNIFIL’s implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on Women. Peace and Security (WPS) and UN Security Council resolution 2538 (2020) called for an increase in the deployments of women peacekeepers.

 It is also in line with the Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative and the A4P+. In this regard, its goal is to reinforce and harness the political commitment in advancing the WPS agenda along with reaffirming women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in peacekeeping and peace processes.