People for Peace: Breaking prison barriers in Central African Republic |

Talk to UN News first International Day of PeacekeepersMarked annually on May 29, she explains how she continues to break down gender barriers.

“I am the Coordinator of the Security Team at Ngaragba Central Prison in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR).

It is the largest and most notorious prison in the country with about 1,335 inmates, accounting for 69% of the total population of the country.

My primary task is to work with national partners to build their capacity to maintain effective law, order and justice systems; This is a major function of peacekeeping.

As the primary trainer and coordinator of rapid intervention operations, I, and my team of 42 officers, assist national prison staff in incident and crisis management.

I have incorporated rapid intervention training modules into CAR’s national prison management curriculum.

A simulation exercise on inmate riot management took place at Ngaragba prison in the Central African Republic.

MINUSCA / Herve Serefio

A simulation exercise on inmate riot management took place at Ngaragba prison in the Central African Republic.

Male-dominated environment

The security sector is an often male-dominated environment, where women are often second or even overlooked, because of stereotypes that men are better suited for the job.

I had the courage and strength with the mission to break down barriers and confidently assert myself in this field.

I believe the key to my success as the coach and lead coordinator of rapid intervention operations at Ngaragba Prison has been my perseverance. Where other colleagues protest, I volunteer to lead.

This has helped to reduce certain stereotypes about women’s competence in this work environment. I give my best to the assigned tasks; often more than male colleagues.

Today my colleagues admire my work, and encourage me to move forward. This has caused other women from MINUSCA and prison management CAR is more concerned, with some women choosing to train and work in rapid intervention.

To help increase the number of women deployed in non-traditional roles, I organize group meetings where I inspire women to actively participate in tasks that some consider (more with) men.

I invite women to participate in training that gives them opportunities and allows them to enter spaces that were once considered male territory. I also entrust them with the same duties as men.

My proudest achievement is the recruitment and initial training of 300 professional civilian correctional officers, including 5 women, as part of the prison administration’s rapid intervention team established in year 2022.

By setting an example as the Commander of the Rapid Response Team of the MINUSCA Incident Unit, I am changing the views and perceptions of women… in the field of security.

Together with all other women pioneers, we have a responsibility to carry the torch and break down stereotypes, stereotypes and gender barriers against women in the field of correction and security.”

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