At Last, Another Female UN Force Commander

November 11, 2018

November 11, 2018: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently announced the appointment of Australian Brigadier Cheryl Pearce, on promotion to major general, as the next force commander of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP). It’s a significant decision not only for Australia, but also for the international community.

When Pearce takes up the new role, she will be only the second women to be appointed force commander of a UN peacekeeping mission in the organisation’s 70-plus-year history. Her appointment comes at a time when Guterres is making an effort to improve gender parity across the organisation, with mixed results.

While the UN has made improvements to women’s representation in its New York headquarters, progress is much slower in the field. Women make up 21% of UN peacekeeping personnel, yet they constitute only around 4% of the overall military component.

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Sarah Zorn Finishes Tenure as First Female Commander at U.S. Military Academy, the Citadel

May 20, 2019

May 20, 2019: The Citadel, the military academy which was forced to admit women after a 1995 Supreme Court ruling, selected it's first female regimental commander last year. Sarah Zorn's time as the first woman to lead 2,400 cadets is documented in a photo essay by Alyssa Schukar. Women now make up 10% of the student body.See more: I Serve as a Stepping Stone (

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A Cultural Shift Is Helping Keep Talented Mothers in the U.S. Navy

May 16, 2019

May 15, 2019: Lt. Cmdr. Karen Sankes-Ritland never imagined life outside the military.But more than a decade into her career, the strains of family life and a dual-military household were taking a toll. Something had to change. She needed a break. But she didn't want to leave the Navy. So after her fourth child's arrival in 2016, she took advantage of a program that lets enlisted sailors and officers take a sabbatical. For a year, she was a stay-at-home mom.

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Blue Helmets: Model for Global Partnership

May 14, 2019

May 13, 2019: Retno LP Marsudi, Foreign Minister of Indonesia, delivered a speech touching upon the importance of female peacekeepers on May 7 at the United Nations Security Council. Minister Marsudi noted that "investing in women equals investing in peace. Female peacekeepers are more effective in winning the hearts and minds of local populations;providing comfort for those traumatized by conflicts.

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