Major Radhika Sen Awarded UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year 2023
Major Radhika Sen Awarded UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year 2023

New Delhi: Major Radhika Sen of the Indian Army has been honored with the prestigious 'United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the Year' award for 2023. This accolade recognizes her exceptional efforts in promoting gender equality and women's empowerment within United Nations peacekeeping operations.

Major Radhika Sen was deployed to the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) from March 2023 to April 2024, where she served as the Engagement Team Commander of the Indian Rapidly Deployed Battalion. According to an official release, she demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment in her role as Engagement Platoon Commander, leading a team of 20 women soldiers and 10 male soldiers.

Her primary responsibilities involved engaging with civilians, addressing the security concerns of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and advocating for the rights of women, girls, and children in conflict zones. Under her leadership, the engagement teams conducted educational sessions on critical topics such as women's health, education, childcare, gender equality, and employment. These initiatives, combined with skill development programs, have enhanced self-reliance among local populations, built trust, and facilitated effective information gathering.

Expressing her gratitude upon receiving the award, Major Radhika Sen thanked her dedicated engagement platoon, particularly Major Saumya Singh, her second in command, for their unwavering support. She also acknowledged the Indian Army for the trust placed in her to serve in the DRC and expressed appreciation to her parents for their encouragement and support, which motivated her to excel in challenging conditions.

Major Sen's efforts have had a significant impact on the local communities in the DRC, setting a high standard for future peacekeeping missions. Her achievements exemplify the values of service, integrity, and a commitment to building peaceful and inclusive societies.

Major Radhika Sen hails from Sunder Nagar, a small town in the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. Her parents, now retired, were state government employees working as teachers. Her younger sister is pursuing an MD in Anesthesia. Major Sen completed her high school education in Sunder Nagar before moving to Chandigarh for higher education. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Engineering in Biotechnology and was pursuing her M.Tech from IIT Mumbai before joining the Indian Army.

Commissioned into the Indian Army on September 10, 2016, Major Sen joined the Army Service Corps and has served in challenging conditions in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, and North Sikkim.

"The Indian Army and the nation celebrate Major Radhika Sen for her remarkable achievements and unwavering dedication to advancing global peace and gender equality," the release concluded.

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