Women police officers critical in combating sexual violence: UN official

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Women police officers in United Nations peacekeeping operations play a critical role in combating the scourge of sexual violence, according to the UN Police Adviser, Anne-Marie Orler.

Ms. Orler told UN Radio on Thursday that the goal of the United Nations is to have at least 20 per cent of women police officers in peacekeeping by 2014.

She said that currently 11 per cent of peacekeeping police officers are women but Member States strongly support the efforts to get more women officers interested in serving at UN missions.

Ms. Orler explains why women police officers are more effective in dealing with sexual violence.

 "In the context of peacekeeping we do have a lot of sexual and gender-based violence, and it's usually women and children who are the victims and the perpetrators are very often a man in uniform. So asking these women to trust another man in uniform is a little bit difficult. So female police officers have a possibility to reach out into villages to understand and learn more about what they have gone through, and to tell their stories, etc." (27")

Ms. Orler said that women police officers are also role models for young women in the countries where the United Nations is carrying out peacekeeping missions.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’19″

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