31 May 2019

Defence Secretary promises more women in peacekeeping missions

The Defence Secretary has said that the number of women sent on UN peacekeeping missions will increase in a speech during a ceremony at the Cenotaph.

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt has announced a number of new measures to reaffirm the role of servicewomen on peacekeeping missions for the UN. The UK currently has around 600 personnel deployed on UN peacekeeping operations around the world, including approximately 270 in Cyprus and 300 in South Sudan.

The Defence Secretary has made a commitment to:

  • Ensure enough UK women are deployed to the UN peacekeeping operation in Cyprus to enable mixed gender patrols and commit to a minimum of 6% of personnel being women who are available for patrols
  • Conduct a MOD study to identify barriers to women joining peacekeeping operations and action the results of the study
  • Reaffirm the commitment that women make up at least 15% of UK personnel on UN peacekeeping missions by 2028

Penny Mordaunt said: “The protection of innocent civilians is some of the most valuable work that our Armed Forces undertake, and it is often done in the most dangerous places in the world.”

“Our armed forces already provide an invaluable contribution to peacekeeping operations both by protecting vulnerable women and empowering them to help bring about lasting peace. Having women in these roles is absolutely vital. On the day that we remember all those who have contributed to the successes of peacekeeping around the world, it is right that we redouble our efforts to engrain the role of women into our own operations.”

The Defence Secretary spoke after Minster for the Armed Forces Mark Lancaster commemorated the sacrifice and successes made by UN Peacekeepers around the world during a ceremony at the Cenotaph. Recently the UK armed forces have worked to provide medical care in South Sudan and provide protection to local inhabitants.

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