Women serving as peacekeepers in Africa are of “critical importance”, a UN official said in a call to increase the number of women in UN peacekeeping missions.

Briefing the UN Security Council (UNSC) on her recent Joint Solidarity Mission with the African Union, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed on Monday said: “These women, against all odds, strengthen our protection efforts, increase the credibility of our efforts, engage in local level mediation and make communities feel more at ease.”

Mohammed called for the addressing of practical challenges women might face while serving in UN security missions, such as lack of deployment

Read more: UN official calls for more women peacekeepers in Africa