New York: India at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) underlined the contribution of women in the present social scenario, changing world and highlighted the need of integrated approach for the betterment of society on Friday.

Yojna Patel, India's Deputy Permanent Representative (DPR) to United Nations while addressing a debate on "Women's participation in International Peace and Security from theory to Practice" said, "Women are agents of social change and social cohesion. It is now universally acknowledged that achievement of gender equality and empowerment of women, are critical factors in maintaining international peace and security. Sustainable peace requires an integrated approach based on coherence between the pillars of security, development, human rights and rule of law and equality."

She added, "In this context, UNSC Resolution 1325 was path-breaking as for the first-time, it linked gender equality and the maintenance of international peace and security. It also recognized women's participation as being a key to resolving conflicts and securing peace."

India also went on to mention that the under-representation of women in the peace process and political dialogue and called for overcoming the issue to ensure sustainable peace.

Yojna Patel stated, "Over the years, we have seen a strengthening of the normative framework of the WPS agenda. However, despite that, women are still routinely under-represented in peace processes, political dialogues, and peacebuilding. The gender perspective is still neglected in conflict prevention, recovery, and reconstruction. For example, out of approximately 95,000 peacekeepers, women constitute only 4.8% of military contingents and 10.9% of formed police units in UN Peacekeeping missions. It is essential, that we increase the representation of female peacekeepers in UN peacekeeping operations to order to achieve sustainable peace and the improved well-being of women and girls in conflict-affected regions."

Yojana Patel also highlighted India's contribution in the matter and noted that as the UN's fifth largest troop contributor, India created history in 2007 by deploying the first-ever all-female Formed Police Unit (FPU) for UN Peacekeeping Mission in Liberia.

She added, "Indian female peacekeepers are playing an important mentoring role to prevent conflict-related sexual violence. We are proud that Major Suman Gawani, was awarded the UN Military Gender advocate for the year 2019. India was the first country to contribute to the Secretary-General's Trust Fund in Support of Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) and signed the voluntary compact on SEA with the Secretary-General in 2017."

Also affirming India's support for the women enhanced participation in ensuring peace and security in society, India's deputy permanent envoy to UN highlighted the recently passed Women's Reservation Bill to reserve one third of all seats in National and State legislatures for women in India.

She said, "We believe that enhanced participation of women is crucial in ensuring peace and security in society. With this in mind, women in India are being encouraged to be at the forefront of community mobilization and public-government interface."

She added, "In September this year, India took a historic step towards gender equality, when the Indian parliament passed the Women's Reservation Bill to reserve one third of all seats in National and State legislatures for women. Women of India now stand empowered more than ever to participate in all political decision-making processes at the national, regional and local levels, thereby fulfilling the vision of women-led development."