NPA Deploys First Female Demining Team in Middle East

Norwegian Peoples Aid, a leading NGO involved in humanitarian demining, has deployed the first female demining team in the Middle East in its Jordan program. (Click here to read more about it).

The demining profession is overwhelmingly dominated by men, largely due to demining agencies’ reliance on hiring former combatants and the often patriarchal contexts in which they work.  There has been a deep reluctance in many quarters to hire female deminers.

However, in several places, demining agencies have successfully deployed female deminers.  To read more about NPA’s female deminers in Sudan, click here.  In addition to providing employment and economic empowerment, hiring female deminers can be an important challenge to conceptions of masculinity forged during conflict.  To have women involved in the process of restoring security — traditionally a male role — can send a powerful message.

To learn more about gender issues in mine action, go to the Swiss Campaign to Ban Landmines’ “Gender and Mine Action Portal.”  Specifically, have a look at their study on gender issues in mine action. Click here to read the UN’s policy on gender and mine action.

~ by Matthew Bolton on 27 November 2008.

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