The number of women in ‘non-traditional’ roles, such as pilots and engineers, exposes a pro-found imbalance of men and women in the workplace.
How-ever, Second Lieutenants Chantal Mucyo Karerangabo and Meron Mutesi Rugazora are among the first qualified female pilots to be deployed with UNMISS.
Over the past five years, the Government of Rwanda has taken steps to increase the number of female personnel and promote gender mainstreaming in the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF).
As pioneers in the field of aviation, Ms. Karerangabo and Ms. Rugazora are doing their part to overcome the low representation of women in the aviation sector.
While the pace of change has been slow, new education policies and the arrival of more visible role models like the RDF second lieutenants are helping to blaze new trails for female peacekeepers.
The Rwanda Aviation Unit has six Mi-17 helicopters that provide air support ranging from administrative and logistic support flights to cargo re-supply, medical evacuations, and search and rescue operations.
Three of the helicopters are based in Juba while the other three helicopters operate out of Bor.