Winnet Zharare becomes 1st Zimbabwean peacekeeper to win the UN Military Award

Major Winnet Zharare has become the first Zimbabwean peacekeeper to receive the United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award.

Secretary-General, António Guterres presented her with the award on Thursday during a ceremony marking the International Day of UN Peacekeepers.

Throughout her 17 months assignment with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Zharare advocated gender parity and women’s participation, within her own ranks, among local military counterparts, and in host communities.

Born into a family of five girls and two boys in Mhondoro, Zharare was raised with the expectation of the same opportunities in life as her siblings, regardless of their gender.

In 2006, she joined the Zimbabwe Defence Forces as a 2nd Lieutenant.

From 2015 to 2019, she worked as a Protocol Officer before being nominated to serve in UNMISS as a Military Observer in Bentiu, in roles that included Chief Information Officer, Training Officer and Gender Focal Point.

In 2020 she joined UN Peacekeeping determined to boost the participation of women in the predominantly male-dominated military sector.