Burkinabe is top UN woman cop

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Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) Alizeta Kabore Kinda of Burkina Faso is the 2022 United Nations (UN) Woman Police Officer of the Year.

The honour will be bestowed on her tomorrow (31 August) during the third UN Chiefs of Police Summit (UNCOPS) at UN headquarters in New York.

CWO Kinda serves as a gender focal point with the UN Multi-dimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) supporting Malian Security Forces in the Menaka region to promote and improve understanding of gender, child protection, human rights and civil protection issues. Her efforts contribute to more victims of sexual and gender-based violence coming forward to report cases to local authorities and receive medical care. Before she arrived in Menaka there were no reports of sexual and gender-based violence and encouragingly there are now at least three and sometimes more incidents reported monthly. She also works at increasing the number of girls in schools and reducing early marriages.

“CWO Kinda’s work is a shining example of how participation of women police in peace operations impacts the sustainability of peace bringing different perspectives and making our work more inclusive. Through her actions, she embodies a more representative, efficient police service better equipped to serve and protect the public.” Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix said.

When told of the award, Kinda said she “hopes it will inspire women and girls around the world to pursue policing careers despite gender stereotypes often associated with the profession”.

UN Police Adviser Luis Carrilho said: “CWO Kinda demonstrated creativity and commitment in addressing specific security needs of communities she serves. She and her team are increasing trust between Malian local authorities and communities, making the work of UN police more effective and people safer.”

Kinda’s career focusses on protecting and promoting women’s and children’s rights, including 2013 to 2015, when she was a gender focal point in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with MONUSCO. In her home country, she performed these duties for the Ministry of Security and the Regional Brigade for the Protection of Women and Children, a unit of the national police, as an investigator on sexual violence and exploitation.