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Friday, July 19, 2024

India: 5 Facts About Radhika Sen, Indian Army Officer Set To Be Honoured By UN

Radhika Sen initially pursued a career in biotechnology engineering but decided to leave her degree midway to join the Indian Army. 

Major Radhika Sen, who served with the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Democratic Republic of Congo, will be honoured with the prestigious 2023 Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award. The UN award is an acknowledgement of her remarkable efforts and advocacy for the rights of women and girls during her tenure as a peacekeeper.

The award also recognises her efforts in line with the 2000 Security Council resolution aimed at protecting women and girls from conflict-related sexual violence. The ceremony will take place on the International Day of UN Peacekeepers. 

Who is Radhika Sen?

1. Born in Himachal Pradesh, Radhika Sen initially pursued a career in biotechnology engineering. She was in the middle of her master’s degree at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay when she decided to join the Indian Army.

2. Ms Sen was assigned to the MONUSCO (United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 2023. She served as the Engagement Platoon Commander with the Indian Rapid Deployment Battalion till April 2024.

3. Radhika Sen is the second Indian peacekeeper to receive the Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award. Before Ms Sen, Major Suman Gawani was recognised for her service with the UN Mission in South Sudan. She was honoured in 2019.

4. Among the 6,063 Indian personnel deployed in UN peacekeeping operations, Ms Sen served alongside 1,954 individuals within MONUSCO, of which 32 were women. Her work created safe spaces for women to unite and discuss issues.

5. Ms Sen led peacekeeping efforts in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with a focus on gender equality, according to the UN. She organised programs like English classes for kids and health and vocational training for adults. Ms Sen also established Community Alert Networks, aiding conflict-affected communities in North Kivu.

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