First-Ever all-female training course for UNPOL candidates launched

Monday, 20 October 2014

DPKO | OROLSI | PD | Charles Hurlbur & Denis Tikhomirov

In 2009, the United Nations launched a global effort to increase the representation of female police to comprise 20 percent of United Nations police in peace operations by 2014. To reach this target goal, the Police Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations developed the All-Female Selection Assistance and Assessment Team (SAAT) Training Project, designed to prepare and evaluate female officers for mandatory United Nations examinations for duty in the field. Successful female officers will then be deployed to peacekeeping missions, depending on their language capacity.

Support for this project was provided by the Governments of the United States of America and Canada, and it involved efforts by the United Nations Secretariat (the Police Division, the DPKO-DFS Executive Office, and the OHRM Language and Communication Programme) along with United Nations field staff (MONUSCO, UNOCI, UNAMID, MINUSMA, MINUSTAH) and the United Nations Development Programme.

The first preparatory training courses occurred last month in Rwanda and Burkina-Faso, with SAAT examinations yielding impressive results. Over 150 Rwandan female police officers participated in the programme and were divided into four groups based upon their language skills, so that three groups studied in French and one in English. Additionally, 58 female officers in Burkina-Faso attended the courses and were evaluated.

It is important to note that all of the officers had been screened by the Police Division beforehand, and were recognized as candidates with the necessary skill sets for serving in peacekeeping operations.

The SAAT examination results showed that the preparatory courses strengthened the officers’ proficiencies so that roughly twice as many female officer candidates passed than usual.

Preparations are currently underway for a SAAT training in Cameroon, which will take place later this month.