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U.S. Pledges $3 Million to Support Women’s Body Armor Project in UN Peacekeeping

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield Announces $3 Million for Women’s Body Armour Project at UN Peacekeeping Ministerial in Accra, Ghana.

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. Representative to the United Nations, announced a significant pledge of $3 million at the UN Peacekeeping Ministerial in Accra, Ghana. This funding will support a groundbreaking women’s body armor pilot project, aiming to address the inadequacy of personal protective equipment (PPE) provided to women peacekeepers. The initiative, a joint partnership with the Netherlands, will benefit Ghana and Zambia, focusing on creating women-specific body armor to enhance the participation of women in peacekeeping missions.

Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield highlighted a significant barrier to women’s entry into peacekeeping – the ill-fitting ‘unisex’ personal protective equipment. She expressed enthusiasm for the $3 million commitment, emphasizing its role in supporting the pilot project for women-specific body armor. The tailored design includes features such as a rounded chest, shortened torso, and adjustable back, allowing better coverage and conforming to a woman’s anatomy.

 Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield

The primary goal of the pilot project is to assess how the women-specific body armor enhances operations and safety during training and deployment. By addressing the issue of inadequate PPE, the initiative aims to diminish barriers to women’s full and meaningful participation in UN peace operations.

“women peacekeepers are more approachable to women and girls – especially survivors of gender-based violence…they offer valuable perspectives on conflict, reconciliation, and peacebuilding…and they serve as powerful role models for the next generation of peacekeepers – inspiring women and girls to imagine a future after conflicts end.”

Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield underscored the importance of women peacekeepers, noting their approachability to women and girls, valuable perspectives on conflict and reconciliation, and their role as powerful role models. She emphasized that investing in this specialized armor is an investment in women and the communities they serve. The Ambassador concluded by stating that it’s time to empower and protect peacekeepers dedicating their lives to civilians in conflict zones.

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