Posted by: unhcragd | June 4, 2009

U.N. Recognizes Need for More Women Peacekeepers

Excerpts from Inter Press News Service:  

Click here for the full story.

As the U.N. struggles to fill more police and military positions with women, one success story has been India’s 125-member contingent in Liberia, the first all-female U.N. force, which spent six months training Liberian police in 2007. 

“When you really embed in the concept of peacekeeping and its additional challenges, rebuilding the basic building blocks of the development of a society, the role of women in that society becomes critical, particularly when you are talking about post conflict when many men have died,” Susana Malcorra, undersecretary-general of field support, told journalists last week on the occasion of the International Day of U.N. Peacekeepers. 

“The leadership women play may make the difference between making or breaking it. So for us to mirror that challenge with our own staff is very important,” she added. 

Last week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged more member states to contribute female personnel to peacekeeping operations. 

Today, there are more than 113,000 peacekeepers, including 90,000 military and police personnel, serving in 18 U.N. operations in four continents. 

But women make up only eight percent of the U.N. police force and about two percent of the soldiers provided by member states. The ratio of women deployed as civilians in peacekeeping operations is higher, at 30 percent, but still not equally representative. 

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