Raise women’s role in conflict prevention, resolution: India

Women have to play a greater role in conflict prevention and resolution and towards this goal India has been training women peacekeepers from around the world, Deputy Permanent Representative Tanmaya Lal told the Security Council on Monday.

“There is a need to increase and institutionalise the involvement of women in conflict prevention and resolution,” he said at the debate on Sexual Violence in Conflict as a Tactic of War and Terrorism.

“This requires not only normative advice but capacity building and institution building at the ground level.”

As its contribution to capacity building, “India has also taken the lead in hosting specialised training courses for peacekeepers on sexual violence in armed conflict situations,” he said.

“These have focused, among other issues, on the role of women in the context of post-conflict situations,” he added.

He said that over 40 women officers from around 30 countries attended the third such specialised course organised by the Centre for UN Peacekeeping in New Delhi in partnership with UN Women, the agency for empowering women and promoting gender equality.

“Such courses provide the participants not only an opportunity to train to be ready for deployment but also to network and share experiences and best practices,” he added.

Lal spoke of India’s contribution to increasing the role of women in peacekeeping operations and how it had a multiplier effect in the country they were deployed in.

India made history in 2007 by deploying in Liberia the first all-women police unit in a UN peacekeeping operation and since then the percentage of Liberian women in the security sector had trebled, he said.

Lal added that Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had acknowledged the contribution of Indian women police in “inspiring Liberian women, imparting in them the spirit of professionalism and encouraging them to join operations that protect the nation”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was committed to raising the representation of women in peacekeeping missions, Lal said.

“India is committed to fulfilling the pledge to have 15 per cent of military observers as women by the end of this year (2017),” he said.

“India has also committed to provide another all-female formed police unit.”

Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed said that sexual violence was a legitimate threat to peace and women and girls had to be protected and empowered as a part of the counter-terrorism efforts.

Extremists in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria, Mali and elsewhere were using sexual violence to advance their military, economic and ideological goals, she added.