• In 2000, not a single woman from the Asia-Pacific countries served in UN peacekeeping forces. Today, women from across the region pursue careers thousands of kilometres from home and family.

When Vu Nhat Huong, a 31-year-old army captain from Vietnam, told her parents she was going to be deployed on a foreign mission as a United Nations peacekeeper, her mother burst into tears. “You are a very strong woman,” she said, “but why do you want to do something so different from other women?”

Although such questions were not easy for her to hear, let alone answer, Huong went on to serve as a UN communications officer in the Central African Republic, one of the world’s poorest countries and one which has struggled with decades of instability and violence.

Originally posted on South China Morning Post: https://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/long-reads/article/3234388/not-other-girls-meet-asian-women-who-have-enlisted-united-nations-peacekeepers

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