Special technical course for female military officersUN Women in India in partnership with Centre for United Nations Peacekeeping develops a pilot course for female military officers of major Troop Contributing Countries
Author: Rineeta Naik
New Delhi - In a first of its kind initiative, UN Women in India in partnership with Centre for United Nations Peacekeeping (CUNPK) has developed a special technical course for female military officers which is being piloted in New Delhi, India.
The two-week Special Female Military Officers Course began on 19 March and will eventually become a standard for national peacekeeping training centres in all Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs).
Women’s participation in the security sector has been recognized as a critical component of UN peacekeeping mission success, both in the UN normative frameworks on peacekeeping and women, peace and security, as well as by commanders on the ground themselves.
However, a very low number of female military personnel are currently deployed in peacekeeping missions and military operations in general. On average, only 3 per cent of military personnel in UN missions are women, and these are mostly employed as support staff, rather than in protection tasks. Even for specialized positions, such as UN Military Experts in missions, there are currently only 65 women out of a total of 1,757 (or 3.6 per cent).
There is currently no dedicated course to help member states train female military officers in tasks such as community outreach and interaction with survivors of violence against women in post-armed conflict UN mission areas, hence the significance of the training. The pilot course is also timely, following numerous reports on Conflict Related Sexual Violence (CRSV) and the lack of uniformed women specialized in reaching out to CRSV survivors.
This first pilot course at CUNPK will involve 40 female military officers – holding the rank of Captain, Major or Lt. Col – from major TCCs around the world. UN Women is working with the participating countries to enable the female participants to be cleared by their governments for deployment to a UN Peacekeeping Mission after completion of the course. Close coordination with UN–DPKO Force Generation Service (FGS) and the Office of the Military Affairs (OMA) is being maintained to streamline this effort.
India is the third largest TCC to UN missions. UN Women in India has been partnering with the Indian National Peacekeeping Training Centre to facilitate courses on sexual violence in armed conflict during the past four years.