A second cohort of women began peace and security training under a UN and Ministry of Defence programme in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
The 180 women, from 11 African, Asian and Arab countries, will be learn to become peacekeepers before being deployed in areas where needed.
Almost half of the women have backgrounds in the military and police, having served in their countries’ national forces. They were nominated by their respective governments to take part in the training, organised by UN Women in partnership with the UAE’s Ministry of Defence and the General Women’s Union.
The kick-off ceremony was held at Khawla Bint Al Azwar Military School for Women in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
“The UAE is proud to implement the second round of this programme, which … [trains] female officers to participate in maintaining security and peace in areas of conflict or disaster,” said Maj Gen Pilot Sheikh Ahmed bin
Tahnoon, chairman of the National Service and Reserve Authority.
“Empowering women through rehabilitation to participate in peacekeeping in their communities and around the world is the aim of the programme."
The Women, Peace and Security Training programme promotes women's participation in United Nations peacekeeping operations, increases the number of women qualified to work in the military and establishes networks to support women in the military.
The role of female peacekeepers is to help prevent sexual violence during and after conflict, provide safe environments for survivors of sexual violence and promote women’s participation in political processes. Additionally, they make the peacekeeping force more approachable, can interact more easily with women in gender-segregated societies, and help female ex-combatants reintegrate into civilian life.
One hundred and thirty four Arab women completed the first round of training, which launched early last year.
Afterwards, the UAE Government and UN Women agreed to expand participation to include countries from Africa and Asia.
This round’s participants come from countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Chad, Gambia, Ghana, Jordan, Mauritania, Pakistan, Senegal, Yemen, and the UAE.