#LLANews: Major Winnet Zharare becomes the first Zimbabwean peacekeeper to receive the United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award.

Major Winnet Zharare

Major Zharare becomes the first Zimbabwean to receive the prestigious United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award for her outstanding efforts to integrate gender perspectives into peacekeeping activities.

 

In 2006, she joined the Zimbabwe Defense Forces as a 2nd Lieutenant, determined to boost the participation of women in the predominantly male-dominated military sector. The same aim inspired her to seize the opportunity to join UN Peacekeeping in 2020. In November 2020, Major Zharare was deployed to the Bentiu field office for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) as a Military Observer and Chief Military Information Officer.

 

Seeing firsthand how women are often excluded from decision-making, she immediately launched a plan to help empower them. Major Zharare promoted mixed-gender patrols to build trust, improve protection efforts, and boost community engagement.

She successfully brought together women and men from local communities to farm and build dikes together to alleviate food shortages and prevent further displacement.

She contributed to the increased production of gender-disaggregated data and advocated for gender parity within the mission. She made it a priority to ensure that local civilian and military authorities, as well as community representatives, involved both men and women in meetings with the UN.

 

 

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