Female power in Liberia

Liberia already has some 15,000 peacekeeping troops in its borders. So what makes the latest batch of arrivals so special? Well, they’re all women. For the very first time, the U.N. has sent an all-female unit as part of a peacekeeping force. Just over 100 Indian policewomen arrived in Liberia today to help train local ...

604395_femaleUNpeacekeepers5.jpg
604395_femaleUNpeacekeepers5.jpg

Liberia already has some 15,000 peacekeeping troops in its borders. So what makes the latest batch of arrivals so special?

Well, they're all women. For the very first time, the U.N. has sent an all-female unit as part of a peacekeeping force. Just over 100 Indian policewomen arrived in Liberia today to help train local police and to work on security during upcoming local elections. Not so coincidentally, the director of Liberia's national police force is a woman. U.N. police adviser Mark Kroeker says that having female officers can feel neglected populations feel more protected:

It also sends a message to the post-conflict societies where we work that women officers can have any position and play any role in a police organisation."

Liberia already has some 15,000 peacekeeping troops in its borders. So what makes the latest batch of arrivals so special?

Well, they’re all women. For the very first time, the U.N. has sent an all-female unit as part of a peacekeeping force. Just over 100 Indian policewomen arrived in Liberia today to help train local police and to work on security during upcoming local elections. Not so coincidentally, the director of Liberia’s national police force is a woman. U.N. police adviser Mark Kroeker says that having female officers can feel neglected populations feel more protected:

It also sends a message to the post-conflict societies where we work that women officers can have any position and play any role in a police organisation.”

In seems that in Liberia, not only can women play any role in a police organization, they can play any role in governance, starting at the top. Liberia’s president is former banker Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first female African head of state. In her cabinet, she’s appointed women as minister of finance, minister of justice, and minister of commerce and industry, among other positions.   

Christine Y. Chen is a senior editor at Foreign Policy.

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