BEIRUT, April 14 -- Military Gender Adviser Major Maartje van Reedt Dortland of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) made a special trip to the Chinese peacekeeping camp in Hanniyah village in southern Lebanon on April 12.
Dortland met the female peacekeepers of the 20th Chinese peacekeeping force to Lebanon. She highly affirmed the efforts made by Chinese servicewomen in the cause of peacekeeping and expressed her appreciation for their enthusiasm and selfless dedication.
When talking with Chinese female peacekeepers, Dortland said that China's support for the UN peacekeeping cause has set an example for all parties. She praised the Chinese women soldiers for the strength they have demonstrated in important positions, especially in mine clearance. "You are a real role model. With your encouragement, I believe that more women will join in peacekeeping operations."
Focusing on the theme of safeguarding women's rights and interests, Dortland also shared her views with the Chinese female peacekeepers on how to give better play to the roles of servicewomen under the premise of ensuring their safety.
Huang Yuan, a nurse from the Chinese peacekeeping medical contingent, said: "On the peacekeeping battlefield, we not only protect the safety of lives of peacekeepers, but also do our best to provide the local people with medical service to relieve their pain from diseases."
Dai Zhengqin, a female deminer from the Chinese multi-role engineering contingent, said: "We are not only the blue helmets on the minefields, but also builders of the bridge of communication with local women and children. We will actively respond to the UN Advocacy Campaign for Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality, continue to complete each task with good performance, and contribute to UN peacekeeping operations."
In response to the call of the UN, China has increased the proportion of women in its peacekeeping forces in recent years and has sent more than 1,000 female peacekeepers to UN peacekeeping operations.
Among the more than 400 peacekeepers of the 20th Chinese peacekeeping force to Lebanon, 16 are female. Since their deployment in the mission area in August last year, the female mine-sweeping operators in the Chinese multi-role engineering contingent have successfully destroyed more than 100 landmines, and the female medics have participated in humanitarian medical assistance on many occasions.