KUALA LUMPUR: Senior female police officers from 22 countries are here to attend the Female Senior Officer Command Development Course at the Royal Malaysian Police College (RMPC) in Cheras.
The course, from Jan 14 to 20, is part of a United Nations (UN) effort to put more women in command roles in its peacekeeping operations.
"Currently, only 12% of such roles are occupied by women, and we want to bring it up to 50%," said UN Police Adviser in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations Commissioner Luis Carrilho.
A total of 35 senior female officers - including 11 Malaysians - are enrolled in the course, which is the second of four planned UN courses, focusing on English-speaking countries.
"The first was in Morocco, second here, the third will be in Latin America and the final one will be somewhere that will host French-speaking countries," Carrilho told reporters on Monday after opening the event.
He was joined by Bukit Aman Management (Training) deputy director Deputy Comm Datuk T. Narenasagaran, RMPC Commandant Deputy Comm Datuk Yong Lei Choo and High Commissioner of Canada to Malaysia H.E. Julia Bentley.
The programme is co-hosted by the Royal Malaysian Police, Aseanapol and the UN, along with Canada as a sponsor.
Meanwhile, DCP Narenasagaran said the course would go a long way to help the UN in keeping the peace in tense conflict zones.
"It is important to let women have more say in command roles as they bring a different perspective and empathy to the equation," he said.
Bentley shared similar views, adding that the police should reflect the gender diversity of the community in order to better serve them.
"We need a feminist foreign policy that promotes peace and security, conflict resolution and community engagement," she said.
Officers from Malaysia, Bangladesh, India, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Fiji, Finland, Thailand, Indonesia, Jamaica, Singapore, and Nepal are among those participating in the course.
The course will be taught by instructors from Portugal, Nigeria, Britain, Canada, Switzerland, and China.
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