MOGADISHU, April 12 (Xinhua) -- The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is rooting for the deployment of more women in peacekeeping operations in the continent given their effective role in stabilizing Somalia.
Nakibus Lakara, AMISOM deputy force commander in charge of operations and plans said women are endowed with unique abilities that make their role critical to the success of peacekeeping operations.
"Women peacekeepers have a way of establishing ties with their fellow womenfolk in a culturally sensitive society such as the Somali society," Lakara said in a statement issued by the AU mission on Friday after the conclusion of a three-day gender awareness training for military officers in Mogadishu.
He added that apart from fostering relations with host communities, women peacekeepers have vital skills in information gathering, critical for the effective functioning of the military.
According to the UN, female peacekeepers act as role models in the local environment, inspiring women and girls in often male-dominated societies to push for their own rights and for participation in peace processes.
Lakara urged African communities to abandon traditional practices and prejudices that impede women from joining the military to enable them effectively contribute to global peace and stability.
"In some African communities it was a taboo for women to join the military but this is a stigma that we need to get rid of, so that the women can play an appropriate role in peace support operations," he said.