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Celebrate Major Radhika Sen receives UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award

Indian Army, Major Radhika Sen was honored with the United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award in 2023 on Thursday due to her powering contribution to promoting gender equality and women empowerment in the United Nations peacekeeping operations. 

In the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), Major Sen was deployed from March 2023 to April 2024, where she took charge as the engagement team commander of the Indian Rapidly Deployed Battalion.

While she was serving as the Engagement Platoon Commander of the Indian Rapidly Deployed Battalion in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where she led a team of 30 soldiers 20 women and 10 men. Her work primarily focused on interacting with civilians, addressing the security concerns of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and Advocating for the voices of women, girls, and children in the conflict zones.

Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN, said, “True leader and a role model. Her service was a true credit to the United Nations as a whole.”

Under her leadership, the engagement teams conducted a successful educational session on essential topics, including women’s health, education, childcare, gender equality, and employment. These drives and skills development programs have enhanced the local population’s self-reliance, built trust, and facilitated effective information gathering.

When asked about her feelings about receiving this award, she expressed her heartfelt gratitude to her dedicated engagement platoon, particularly Major Saumya Singh, her second in command, for their unwavering support and guidance from her contingent members. With the trust and opportunity bestowed by the Indian Army for letting her serve in the DRC, she is truly grateful. She thanked her greatest support and encouragement from her parents, who helped her push past her limits and always give her best in difficult situations.

Her work has profoundly impacted the local communities in the DRC and has set a high standard for future peacekeeping missions worldwide.

Major Radhika Sen has her roots in Sunder Nagar, in Mandi District in Himachal Pradesh. Both her parents were State Government employees as teachers and they are retired. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in the field of engineering in the Biotechnology sector and she was pursuing her M-Tech from IIT Bombay before joining the Indian Army on September 10th, 2016. During her Army career, she has served in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, and Sikkim.

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