Women help make mine action more efficient and effective: UN

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A bomb-disposal, or explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), robot is remotely driven to disarm an ordnance. UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Women's participation is crucial at all stages of mine action from surveying mined areas to deciding where to begin clearance, according to the United Nations.

On International Mine Action Day, observed 4 April, the UN is promoting the efforts made by women to make mine action more efficient and effective.

The UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) employs over 40 per cent of females, says Paul Heslop, Chief of Programmes.

"It's not just having female deminers. But it's more about empowering women because of the consequences of mines and getting them involved in all aspects of it. Quite often in Afghanistan, 20 years ago, mine awareness teams would go out and they would be men and they would only be able to speak to men. But now we always make sure there is a gender mix in the community liaison teams and they will go off and break out with women in the women's area of a house or community centre and the men with the men."  (26″)

About ten people a day are being killed or injured by mines, says Mr. Heslop.

It's a mass reduction compared to 20 years ago, but it's still ten too many, he notes.

To date, the UN Development Programme says 161 countries have signed the Anti-personal mine Convention which prohibits the use of landmines.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration:  1’16″

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