United Nations Trailblazer Award for Women Justice and Corrections Officers
The first United Nations Trailblazer Award for Women Justice and Corrections Officers recognizes the outstanding contribution of government-provided personnel in United Nations peace operations by highlighting the powerful stories of women who blaze the trail in areas and roles typically dominated by men.
A Trailblazer is someone who paves new paths in areas where barriers persist. Trailblazers are courageous pioneers, risk-takers and innovators who are not afraid to challenge the status quo.
Harmful stereotypes and bias about women’s capabilities as peacekeepers persist today and pose barriers to women’s full participation in peace operations. Stereotyping women as being less capable and less fit creates unequal work environments where women end up doing tasks below their skill sets, do not advance in their career paths and are underrepresented in male-dominated and decision-making roles.
The Trailblazer Award showcases ten incredible women justice and corrections officers who have broken through gender barriers in difficult and dangerous contexts and proven that women are a crucial part of every peace operation’s mandate to create more sustainable peace.
On 7 June 2022, the winner of the United Nations Trailblazer Award for Women Justice and Corrections Officers will be honoured at United Nations Headquarters in New York.
You can follow the entire campaign on the United Nations Office of Rule of Law Facebook page or the Assistant Secretary-General for Rule of Law Alexandre Zouev’s Twitter page.
You can learn more about all our nominees here.
Justice and Corrections Service
Justice and Corrections components in peacekeeping and special political missions form an important part of the efforts of the United Nations to prevent conflict, protect civilians and restore stability in conflict-affected areas. Rule of law assistance is imperative to support State authorities, communities and people in rebuilding their social contract as a foundation for lasting peace. Corrections components support national authorities in enhancing prison security and management, including high-risk detainees, to mitigate the destabilizing effects of prison outbreaks, disturbances and risks of radicalization.
Ensuring women’s participation in all roles and on all levels is an operational necessity for effective peacekeeping. Evidence shows that greater numbers of women peacekeepers lead to protection responses that are more credible and meet the needs of all members of local communities. Diversity in perspectives, backgrounds and skill sets means United Nations peace operations are better equipped to deliver on their mandates.
Women currently represent 43 per cent of justice and corrections GPP deployed to peace operations, compared to 25 per cent in 2018. Many have assumed leadership roles, including in areas traditionally reserved for men, such as operational prison security and crisis intervention. They serve as powerful role models for the host country population and challenge assumptions about the role of women in the security sector.
Government-provided personnel (GPP) are individuals nominated by their governments to serve with United Nations peace operations. Justice and corrections GPP provide expertise that is generally only found in national government services, such as national prison services, the judiciary and prosecution among others. Depending on the mission mandate, GPP can] provide advisory and capacity-building support to national counterparts, or provide operational prison security and rapid intervention functions side by side with their national corrections colleagues. You can learn how to become a GPP here.