UN to recruit more women peacekeepers from India

Aiming to enhance gender balance in peacekeeping operations, a United Nations team will visit India soon to recruit more women in the force to achieve a target of at least 20 per cent representation by the end of this year.

The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UNDPKO) plans to deploy another 250 women police officers this year. At present, 785 women police are part of 16 peacekeeping operations across the world, including in Afghanistan, Haiti and Congo.

The UNDPKO will organise visits of the all-woman Selection Assistance and Assessment Team to contributing countries who would be ready to nominate at least 50 women police officers already screened by authorities.

The Union home ministry has written to all states and paramilitary forces to nominate at least five women personnel of ranks between head constable and superintendent of police. “This initiative is in line with the implementation of a UN Security Council Resolution that recognises equal participation of women in peacekeeping process,” said the letter. 

In 2009, the UN launched efforts to increase representation of women, and by 2011, the benchmark of 10 per cent representation of women police personnel was achieved. It now hopes to achieve 20 per cent by 2014-end. In India, women constitute a miniscule 5.87 per cent of the police forces, though the government has set an ambitious target of having 30 per cent representation from them in the forces. 

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