LIBERIA / WOMEN AND PEACEKEEPING

11-Jun-2008 00:03:10
Applications from Liberian women to join the national police force tripled after the first all-female unit of UN police in history arrived in Liberia last year. Today, Liberian policewomen are keeping the streets of Monrovia safe. UNMIL / UNAMA / UNTV

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STORY: LIBERIA / WOMEN AND PEACEKEEPING
TRT: 3.10
SOURCE: UNMIL / UNAMA / UNTV
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / FRENCH / NATS

DATELINE: 12-16 MAY 2008, MONROVIA, LIBERIA / 22 MAY 2008, KABUL, AFGHANISTAN / 15 APRIL 2008, NEW YORK CITY / FILE / ARCHIVE


SHOTLIST:

FILE – UNMIL – 22 DECEMBER 2007, MONROVIA, LIBERIA

1. Wide shot, female Liberia National Police (LNP) graduates salute Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
2. Various shots, female LNP officers at graduation ceremony
3. Wide shot, Liberian President shaking hands with LNP officials
4. Wide shot, female LNP officers lined up at graduation ceremony

UNAMA - 22 MAY 2008, KABUL, AFGHANISTAN

5. SOUNDBITE (French) Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations:
"Women are often the first victims of conflict, and for example in the police, if we don't have female police officers to help women who were victims of violence, it's much more difficult. Having women in a peacekeeping mission allows us to have a much more trusting relationship with half of the population."

ARCHIVE – UNKNOWN

6. Wide shot, UNTSO troops waving farewell at airport

ARCHIVE – EGYPT, DATE UNKNOWN

7. Wide shot, peacekeepers setting up sandbags along the Suez canal

ARCHIVE – CONGO, DATE UNKNOWN

8. Wide shot, UN civilian in suit feeding child

ARCHIVE – UNKNOWN

9. Wide shot, UN peacekeepers lining up for lunch
10. Various shots, UN peacekeepers relaxing

FILE – CYPRUS – DATE UNKNOWN

11. Wide shot, female peacekeepers driving by in tanks

FILE – NAMIBIA – DATE UNKNOWN

12. Wide shot, male peacekeepers getting into tank and closing doors
13. Wide shot, tank driving off, male peacekeeper waving

FILE – UNMIL – 30 JANUARY 2007, MONROVIA, LIBERIA

14. Wide shot, female UN peacekeepers from India stepping off aircraft
15. Various shots, female UN peacekeepers in line formation

UNTV – 15 APRIL 2008, NEW YORK CITY

16. SOUNDBITE (English) Alan Doss, Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of Congo and former Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Liberia:
"In Liberia, the most frequently committed serious crime is rape. We talk a lot about the Congo, and rightly so because the scale of the problem is enormous, but it's a problem in many other countries, particularly post-conflict, where society has broken down, where standards no longer apply."

UNMIL – 14 MAY 2008, MONROVIA, LIBERIA

17. Wide shot, female UN peacekeepers gathered for night patrol
18. Close up, female UN peacekeeper speaking into walkie-talkie
19. Wide shot, joint night patrol by female UN peacekeepers and female LNP officers
20. Pan right, police officers in UN vehicle driving off into the night
21. Tracking shot, driving through Monrovia street at night

UNMIL – 16 MAY 2008, MONROVIA, LIBERIA

22. VOX POP (English) Barbi Momolu, male Monrovia resident:
"When it comes to gender, we can not have a Liberian police squarely based upon the male, you have to have the female, because when female is a part of Liberia National Police, it will serve as an encouragement. You can do a lot more."

FILE – UNMIL – 22 DECEMBER 2007, MONROVIA, LIBERIA

23. Wide shot, female LNP graduates demonstrating arrest procedures
24. Wide shot, President Johnson-Sirleaf applauding

UNMIL – 16 MAY 2008, MONROVIA, LIBERIA

25. VOX POP (English) Anniebel Karnga, female Monrovia resident:
"It gives them a sense of belonging, sense of pride. They are not longer in the streets, they are determined to do something for tomorrow, and they can be respectable people tomorrow".

UNMIL – 12 MAY 2008, MONROVIA, LIBERIA

26. Med shot, female LNP officer directing traffic
27. Wide shot, female LNP officer directing traffic


STORYLINE

On their graduation day, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf – Africa's first female head of state – was present to salute the first class of female officers to join the Liberian National Police (LNP).

Trust in the military and police was shattered during Liberia's fourteen-year civil war. Thousands of women suffered from sexual violence during the conflict.

More than a hundred new recruits have so far completed a police training programme backed by the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) that aims to raise the proportion of women on Liberia's police force to 20 percent.

SOUNDBITE (French) Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations:
"Women are often the first victims of conflict, and for example in the police, if we don't have female police officers to help women who were victims of violence, it's much more difficult. Having women in a peacekeeping mission allows us to have a much more trusting relationship with half of the population."

Such examples of the role women can play as peacekeepers are relatively rare in the sixty-year history of UN peacekeeping.

Most early peacekeeping operations were exclusively military in orientation. Among a total of approximately 10,000 military personnel serving during the period 1957-1989, there were only twenty women.

In 1979, twelve members of the Swedish Infantry Battalion were the first women to serve in the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNCYP).

With the advent of multidimensional peacekeeping, more women participated in the civilian components of peacekeeping operations. But military and police operations continued to be dominated by men.

In 2007, the historic deployment in Liberia of the first all-women formed police unit to ever serve in a peacekeeping mission attracted much media attention.

The police officers from India joined the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) to assist with national security reform. One of their tasks was to train the Liberian national police.

SOUNDBITE (English) Alan Doss, Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of Congo and former Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Liberia:
"In Liberia, the most frequently committed serious crime is rape. We talk a lot about the Congo, and rightly so because the scale of the problem is enormous, but it's a problem in many other countries, particularly post-conflict, where society has broken down, where standards no longer apply."

The hope behind the training programme for female officers is that having women patrolling the streets of Monrovia will make victims of sexual violence more comfortable in coming forward and reporting rape.

Local residents also see the participation of women in the Liberian National Police as an element of national reconciliation.

SOUNDBITE (English) Barbi Momolu:
"Looking at the situation in the country, we have to decentralize in terms of gender. When it comes to gender, we can not have a Liberian police squarely based upon the male, you have to have a female, because when female is a part of Liberia National Police, it serves as an encouragement. You can do a lot more."

For the young police officers themselves, their new career provides a perspective for the future.

SOUNDBITE (English): Anniebel Karnga:
"It gives them a sense of belonging, sense of pride. They are not longer in the streets, they are determined to do something for tomorrow, and they can be respectable people tomorrow".

The goal of 20 percent female representation on the Liberian National Police force is within reach – but so far the proportion of women on the force is only half that.
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UNMIL / UNAMA / UNTV
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U080611c