Chief Superintendent Phyllis Ama Tebuah Osei of the Ghanaian Police has been named the UN Female Police Officer of the Year 2018, for her peacekeeping efforts as part of the United Nations Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).
Ms. Osei says that “It is an honour to work for UNSOM, where I assisted in strengthening activities on gender and child related issues. I also support the police in Jubaland on issues of Justice and Human Rights.”
Despite only joining UNSOM in February, Ms. Osei has made swift and lasting contributions to the community and host state police of Jubaland, Somalia. With much of her work aimed to not only directly enhance the protection of women and girls in Somalia, but also to indirectly promote sustainable systematic changes within the state police force in Jubaland.
In a statement, UN Police Adviser, Commissioner Luis Carrilho, praised Ms. Osei’s rapid contributions to UNSOM, saying, “by April, she had already identified and trained two [staff to tackle gender issues] in AMISOM who went on to mentor and advise police officers in the host state police. Soon after, Ms. Osei established four gender desks in the host state police, facilitated a training on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), and initiated a proposal that called for the establishment of a police post near the community thus ensuring access for SGBV survivors.”
While working with UNSOM and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), Ms. Osei formed a Female Peacekeeper Network to support other female peacekeepers, successfully initiating adult literacy training for 49 female police officers. This once again demonstrates Ms. Osei’s dedication to making positive changes for both the community of Jubaland, and her colleagues in the UN Police and other peacekeeping bodies. As such, it is unsurprising to see Ms. Osei being recognized with this Award which – in accordance with the UN Secretary General’s Gender Parity Strategy and DPKO’s Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy – is aimed to encourage the deployment of female police officers to peacekeeping and special political missions through highlighting the contribution of women to sustainable peace.
By having a UN Female Police Officer of the Year Award (previously known as the International Female Police Peacekeeper Award), it is hoped that women police peacekeepers will receive the recognition they deserve, and that role models will be elevated to a wider platform. UN Peacekeeping adds, “Her contributions enhancing the protection of women and girls, as well as her initiatives to promote women rights in the host state police, embody the spirit of the Award and embrace the values of international policing.”