Underscoring the role that women play in building stronger societies, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for greater numbers of female police officers to serve with United Nations peacekeeping missions worldwide.
Women and girls who have been abused know they will find a sympathetic ear " when they see female peacekeepers, he told Member States at an event aimed at increasing the participation of female police officers in UN missions.
Mr. Ban also noted that they serve as role models, inspiring women to join their national police forces.
Women bring an essential extra dimension " to the crucial task of bring peace and stability to countries recovering from conflict, he said. Let us commit to give women the power to empower. "
The Secretary-General recalled the landmark Security Council resolution 1325 on the role of women in peace and security, adopted one decade ago.
That resolution stresses the importance of giving women equal participation and full involvement in peace and security matters and the need to increase their role in decision-making.
Currently, women comprise only 8 per cent of the more than 13,000 UN Police (UNPOL) officers from over 84 countries serving in UN missions around the world.
No society has 92 per cent men and 8 per cent women, " UN Police Adviser Ann-Marie Orler said, encouraging nations to nominate more women to police positions in peacekeeping operations.
She called on Member States to review their recruitment requirements to ensure that female candidates are not unduly restricted " from applying.
The UN seeks to boost the current proportion of female police officers deployed to 20 per cent by 2014.