Canada seeks to get more women into UN peacekeeping operations

Canada is looking at ways to help other countries boost the number of female peacekeepers, despite having only a handful of Canadian women in blue helmets and berets.
Canadian peacekeepers prepare for a parade at Maple Leaf Camp in Port-au-Prince on Nov. 28,1997. Canada is looking at ways to help other countries boost the number of female peacekeepers, despite having only a handful of Canadian women in blue helmets and berets. (Daniel Morel/Canadian Press, AP)

Canada is looking at ways to help other countries boost the number of female peacekeepers, despite having only a handful of Canadian women in blue helmets and berets.

Global Affairs Canada is hosting a session today with representatives from several countries and the United Nations to brainstorm ways to get more female peacekeepers deployed.

The Trudeau government and the UN have emphasized the need for more women in peacekeeping as an essential contributor to long-term peace and stability in war-ravaged parts of the world.

Yet Walter Dorn, an expert on peacekeeping at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto, said Canada isn't walking the walk, as only six of the 40 Canadians deployed as peacekeepers in January were women.

Five of those were police officers in Haiti, with the sole military member posted to Cyprus.

Dorn said Canada needs to dramatically increase its overall contributions to peacekeeping and the percentage of women if it expects other countries to follow its lead.

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