Annah Chota, who served in the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), was awarded on Monday at the International Women and Law Enforcement Conference in Cairns, Australia.
She was the head of the Gender and Children Affairs unit in the police component of UNISFA and helped establish a women’s network in Abyei, the UN said in a statement.
“Through training workshops and campaigns with local communities, Ms. Chota contributed to a shift in how communities deal with rape, domestic violence, child marriages and forced marriages, by recognising rape of a wife by a husband as an offence,” the statement said.
As a result of her effort, the community has witnessed more women reporting gender-based violence and community protection committees can now record and recognize sexual and gender-based crimes in the absence of a police service, it added.
She is the first police officer from Zimbabwe to receive the award which was instituted in 2011 to recognize outstanding accomplishments of female police officers serving the United Nations.
Zimbabwe contributes 85 police officers to UN operations in South Sudan (UNMISS), Sudan (UNAMID), and Abyei (UNISFA) and Guinea Bissau (UNIOGBIS). 31 percent of the officers are women.