Zambian Peacekeeper Wins United Nations Woman Police Officer Of The Year Award

by Duke Magazine

A Zambian policewoman currently serving in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has been officially announced as the United Nations Woman Police Officer of the Year. Chief Inspector Doreen Malambo of Zambia was announced the winner of the award established in 2011 by the UN Department for Peace Operations.

The UN Undersecretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, at a virtual ceremony on Tuesday, praised Malambo for her “exceptional commitment to gender equality, in particular to advancing the rights of women and girls, by empowering them to claim their rights and to enhance their full participation in social, political, and economic life.”

He said Malambo has worked tirelessly with her colleagues inside and outside UNMISS to enhance the protection of civilians and encourage and empower both women and men to be advocates for the protection and advancement of the rights of women and girls. “Malambo represents the very best of UN peacekeeping,” he added.

“Congratulations to Chief Inspector Doreen Malambo of Zambia on being awarded the United Nations [@UN] Woman Police Officer of the Year! I’m grateful for her contributions to our UN Peacekeeping [@UNPeacekeeping] mission in South Sudan, where she leads efforts to help reduce & prevent sexual & gender-based crime,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a tweet.

Malambo was first deployed to UNMISS in 2016 as a joint integrated police trainer. She returned to UNMISS for the second time in 2019. Currently, she serves as a Gender Adviser in Juba, South Sudan. 

Her previous UN experience includes deployment with the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) from 2008 to 2009, where she assisted the Liberia National Police to prevent and investigate sexual and gender-based violence and domestic violence, according to a release by the UN. Her national experience spans 24 years with the Zambia Police Service. 

She is credited with working in partnership with the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) to establish the Stand Up for Rights of Women and Girls initiative that has helped to reduce and prevent sexual and gender-based crime in South Sudan. 

As part of this project, Malambo “created a network of groups led by male local police officers to engage other men in the community to disseminate information and promote the protection and advancement of the rights of women and girls.”

In her acceptance speech, she said she is motivated by the fact that she is making a difference by working to empower women and promote their active inclusion and participation in society. “Women’s empowerment is the key to increasing the visibility of interests, concerns, needs and contributions of women as we advance the Women, Peace and Security agenda,” she said. 

She dedicated the award to women in UN police missions and girls in South Sudan. “The world is full of opportunities, and I would encourage all the women and girls to dream. I dreamed that one day I would get this award. It has come. It has become a reality. And dreams come true if you work hard for it.” 

The award was established to recognize the exceptional contributions of women police officers to UN peace operations and to promote the empowerment of women. About 11,000 UN police, 1,300 of whom are women, are deployed in 16 United Nations peace operations today to enhance international peace and security by supporting host countries in conflict, post-conflict and other crises, the UN release said.

The UN’S goal is to deploy 30% women among individual police officers and 20% among formed police units by 2028.

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