Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro handed over the Victory Medal of the Defense Ministry to Lieutenant Commander Marcia Andrade Braga, corvette captain of the Brazilian Navy. She is a member of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (Minusca) and was granted the UN Military Advocate of Gender Equality award for her efforts as military adviser for gender.

The mission started in April 2014 to protect civilians in the Central African Republic from the violent civil war assailing the country. Active in the mission since April 2018, Braga helped build a network of trained advisers for gender-related issues within the military units.

Defense Minister Fernando Azevedo e Silva thanked Marcia “for being an example to inspire women who fight, for making Brazilians proud and for confirming that women’s president in the Armed Forces makes us better.”

“The UN award goes beyond the acknowledgment of deeds. It reflects the confidence of a woman who was exposed to a hostile environment, based on the belief of what she was capable of.” “It’s an important achievement in the path towards appreciation and military competence of women,” he argued.

Over the course of UN’s 70 years of existence, the minister said, some 46 thousand Brazilian civilians and military agents have worn the blue helmet characteristic of peace missions in 41 of the 71 peace missions launched with the UN flag. Brazil led five of them, those in Egypt, Mozambique, Angola, East Timor, and Haiti.

Today, the country spearheads the military mission in Congo and has mobilized 300 people from nine of the 14 missions carried out by the UN peace operations department, with either troops or observers.