Major Do Thi Hang Nga of the Vietnam Peacekeeping Centre under the Ministry of National Defence has become the country’s first female officer to join the UN (United Nations) peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.
The Ministry of National Defense granted a decision of the State President for the first female official to UN peacekeeping missions on October 30. The move aims to realize the policy on gender equality, which is one of the UN millennium development goals.
|Deputy Minister of National Defence Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh (L) hands over to Major Do Thi Hang Nga a decision sending her to UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan
Accordingly, Major Do Thi Hang Nga was assigned to begin working as a staff officer in charge of overseeing military operations for 12 months from October 29. Before embarking on the task, Nga partook in various training courses in Sri Lanka, China, the Netherlands and the Republic of Korea.
Deputy Minister of National Defence Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh said that the dispatch of a female officer to the UN peacekeeping mission shows gender equality and affirms the role of women in global activities.
Deputy Minister Vinh asked Nga to try her best and well coordinate with colleagues in order to promptly be in tune with the job, improve her knowledge and competence, strictly abide by the UN and mission’s regulations and ensure safety while being on duty.
Colonel Hoang Kim Phung, Director of the Vietnam Peacekeeping Centre, said Vietnam is making preparation for launching the second-level field hospital in South Sudan with a total of 70 staff, including female officers.
"The UN has encouraged Vietnam to send more female officers in order to increase the numbers of female staff in UN peace keeping missions. Vietnam’s dispatch of the first female officer and plan to send 9 more to second-field hospital in South Sudan show the country’s active participation in UN peace keeping activities," Phung said, adding that Vietnam has sent 20 officers on missions to Central Africa and South Sudan.
Specific nature of the job has created an apparent gender imbalance within the U.N. Peacekeeping Forces around the world. The UN passed a resolution in 2000 in an attempt to resolve the gender equality issue. However, as of January 2016, women still constitute only 4.8 percent of 107,000 U.N. peacekeepers across the world.
The UN aims to increase the proportion of female soldiers engaged in the peacekeeping operations up to 35 percent while the current ratio is sitting at 8 to 10 percent.
By Phung Nguyen