Men can be allies in getting more women to join the military, which is a gateway to service with UN field operations, according to the only woman to lead a UN peacekeeping force.
I’m Dianne Penn and for this edition of our UN News Gender Focus podcast, I’ll be talking to Major General Kristin Lund of Norway.
The first woman in her country to reach the rank of Major General, she again made history in 2014 when she was appointed to command the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).
A former peacekeeper herself, Major General Lund first served with the UN in Lebanon in 1986.
She has also been deployed to multinational operations such as the US-led Operation Desert Storm in 1991, where she was based in Saudi Arabia, and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
“From some of my operations in Afghanistan I said we are not fulfilling the mandate because we only reach out to 50 per cent of the population. It’s so vital. And, you know, being a first in many things, you have to really fight for the other sisters to come along.”
Today, Major General Lund heads the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) in Jerusalem, which monitors ceasefires between Israel and neighbouring countries such as Lebanon.
I sat down with her when she was in New York earlier this month for the first-ever meeting of women heads and deputy heads of UN political and peacekeeping missions worldwide.
Major General Lund began by explaining the scope of her work in the Middle East.
That was Major General Kristin Lund, Head of Mission and Chief of Staff at the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) based in Jerusalem.
You’ve been listening to the Gender Focus podcast from UN News in New York. I’m Dianne Penn. Thanks for tuning in!
Men can be strong advocates for encouraging more women to serve with their national security forces and at UN operations worldwide.
That’s the view expressed by the first woman to command a UN peacekeeping force, Major General Kristin Lund of Norway, who now heads the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) based in Jerusalem.
Major General Lund spoke to Dianne Penn about her own path to a military career, and the obstacles that keep women from joining the ranks of the blue helmets.