Recognizing that women continue to face significant barriers to equitable and meaningful participation in peace operations, in November / December 2021, UNITAR and the UN DPO Justice and Corrections Service (JCS) jointly held an Assessment and outreach exercise for women corrections officers in Dakar, Senegal. The exercise aimed to ultimately help increase the number of women GPP corrections officers in peace operations, while simultaneously strengthening the overall quality of deployed GPPs, in line with actions and targets of the Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy 2018-2028. The comprehensive scenario-based assessment served to distil each candidate’s competencies, based on the job requirements, while also giving the candidates a solid understanding of what life in mission might look like. General areas assessed included communication skills, team-work, advising and mentoring, planning and organizing. All 59 candidates reported a high level of satisfaction with the event, as well as increased confidence. Discussions will continue with partners on how to best operationalize lessons learned and further integrate this into the regular assessment process.
An instrumental part of the assessment team was Mboahangy Fanambinana RAKOTOARISOA, a GPP Corrections officer from Madagascar currently serving in MINUSMA – Justice and Correction. Her impressions of this events are summarized below:
“The participation of women in UN peace operations is real and undeniable. The efforts undertaken by UNITAR in co-organizing the process of recruiting and evaluating women corrections experts are laudable. At the end of the assessment and outreach exercise, held in Dakar, Senegal, MINUSMA Justice and Corrections Service (JCS) was able to identify potential candidates for Government-Provided Personnel (GPP) positions, who could strengthen its team in the Corrections unit and promote gender parity. Also, this work was marked by information-sharing sessions for the future candidates. Indeed, being a co-facilitator allowed me to share my experiences in a UN mission as a GPP woman. Finally, it would be highly desirable if this valuable initiative can continue going forward.”
Partners: United Nations Department of Peace Operations Justice and Corrections Service (JCS), Ministry of Justice of Senegal - Penitentiary administration directorate