Women Involved in Army’s Humanitarian Demining Program Build Peace
By 1st Brigade of Humanitarian Demining Engineers December 07, 2016The Colombian Army’s Humanitarian Demining Brigade actively participated in the 15th Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, held in Santiago, Chile from November 28th to December 1st. During the four-day event, Colombia showcased its ability to develop demining operations before more than 150 countries in attendance. Second lieutenant Jésica Molina represented the Colombian Army at the event. She is the first woman certified as a leader in humanitarian demining. First Lt. Molina highlighted the work of her institution as a multi-mission force aimed at implementing skill-based objectives and her pride to be a part of it. “I accepted this proposal voluntarily and with great expectation. In the demining brigade, I have received technical education and training regarding all of the different aspects of humanitarian demining. This allows me to be a deminer and a leader in charge of leading humanitarian demining operations in dangerous areas. Therefore, field work has become an important aspect of my personal and professional life, since there is no greater satisfaction than the happiness brought by presenting a community with a territory free of anti-personnel mines. Then, my effort becomes hope and love for the land, progress, and tranquility. My work turns into peacebuilding for Colombia.” The work performed by Second Lt. Molina with the communities has demonstrated that women naturally build bonds of trust and support networks. “Because of this I consider that this is where the importance of women working in humanitarian demining operations lies. I confirm this statement every time the community recognizes female deminers as brave women, able to eliminate threats.” Second Lt. Molina concluded her speech by acknowledging that the work of women in demining operations has not only been recognized by the international community, but also by Colombia when it calls more women to become a part of this great team – the Colombian Army’s 1st Brigade of Humanitarian Demining Engineers – highlighting their work as peace builders in these territories. “I am a woman, I am a Colombian Army officer, I am a deminer, I am a humanitarian demining leader, I am a peace builder.” In addition to Second Lt. Molina, there are 16 other women – officers, enlisted personnel, and civilians – preparing to accomplish the unit’s goals according to their individual profile, profession, and the doctrinal foundations they received in the demining and leadership courses, which follow national and international mine action standards and operating procedures. The women will work in humanitarian demining operations (non-technical studies, technical studies, mine clearing), strategic communications, community link, care of military forces victims, military forces risk education, international cooperation, coordination of humanitarian demining processes with environmental management processes, legal advisory, and information management tracking.