MINUSMA

Project Description:

The MINUSMA project aims to improve the accommodation for women police officers in four camps for Formed Police Units (FPUs) from Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo. The mission’s goal is to increase the number of women in FPUs in order to improve the effectiveness of the mandate implementation.

The project focuses on two main areas of improvement:

  • Increasing the capacity of the camps to accommodate more women in FPUs, aiming for a minimum of 32 women per FPU (25% of each FPU) by 2025.
  • Enhancing the quality of accommodation for women already deployed, specifically focusing on improving hygiene facilities, to ensure parity of living conditions between men and women.

This project supports the follow EIF outcomes:

  • Primary: EIF Outcome 4 – improved working conditions for uniformed women peacekeepers in UN missions, and its associated indicators, and
  • Secondary: EIF Outcome 2 – increased meaningful deployment of uniformed women peacekeepers to United Nations missions.

By improving the accommodation and increasing the number of women police officers in FPUs, this project will enable the creation of a more inclusive and effective working environment for women peacekeepers in UN missions. As such, this project aims to improve the capacity and morale of the women police officers which will enabling the FPU to conduct their tasks more effectively in accordance with the mission mandate.

Uruguay

Project Description: 

The Uruguay Armed Forces (UAF) project aims to increase the deployment of women military peacekeepers to United Nations (UN) peace operations from 6.6% to 11% by 2024. Uruguay was one of the seven countries that piloted the DCAF – the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance Measuring Opportunities for Women in Peace Operations (MOWIP) barrier assessment study in 2020, funded by Canada and Norway. With this project, Uruguay Armed Forces will address barriers identified in the MOWIP report

Uruguay’s project brings an innovative approach to address several high- and medium- level barriers faced by women including household constraints, peace operations experiences, gender roles and deployment criteria. Specifically, project funding will be used for the following activities: 

  1. Pilot the provision of family support for women and men in single-parent households to enable their deployment to UN peace operations 
  1. Launch an outreach campaign targeting women within the UAF to raise awareness of deployment opportunities to UN peace operations 
  1. Conduct a communication campaign to recruit and retain women across all categories of the UAF 
  1. Conduct a study to understand obstacles to women’s participation in combat roles 
  1. Develop a training package to address peacekeeping and combat skills requirements for women interested in being deployed  

In close partnership with Uruguay’s Ministry of Defense, this project will be managed by UN Women Uruguay – a long-standing partner supporting the Uruguay government in empowering women and advancing gender equality. 

Ghana

Project description:

The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) project aims to increase the eligible pool of women within the GAF, identified as a high-priority barrier in the DCAF – the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance Measuring Opportunities for Women in Peace Operations (MOWIP) report, and to enable GAF women to meaningfully participate and deploy to peace operations. The Ghana Armed Forces have also committed to deploy a Gender Strong Unit (GSU) for a period of three years, with the GSU premium paid to the Ghana Armed Forces at the end of each deployment  

Project Funding will be used for the following activities and aim to address several high- and medium- level barriers faced by women, including the lack of eligible pool of women and lack of adequate infrastructure:

(i) conduct a national recruitment campaign targeting women with a focus on addressing misconceptions and stereotypes about women in the GAF. The campaign will also raise awareness of women’s career opportunities, especially in combat and combat support arms.

(ii) conduct regional visits to secondary and tertiary institutions to encourage young women to be enlisted and join the GAF and address stereotypes and gendered roles that influence their decision to join through awareness-raising campaigns

(iii) construct two women only accommodation facilities: a 200-bed facility at the GAF’s Shai-Hills Army Recruit Training Centre (ARTC) and a 100-bed facility at the Daboya Training Camp, also for recruit training

(iv) deploy a Gender Strong Unit (GSU) to UNIFIL in September 2022 for a period of three years.

This project will be complemented by a number of related activities supported by a bilateral agreement with Canada  including development of a gender policy and gender awareness training, and EIF project funding  for UNIFIL’s gender sensitive accommodation project, to enable the GAF to deploy a GSU to UNIFIL.

2021 Annual Report

New York, June 10, 2022 – The Elsie Initiative Fund (EIF) launched its 2021 Annual Report:  “Diversity. Inclusion. Transformation” – English version, highlighting initial results and the impact of pilot projects. The report features eleven projects that contribute to the meaningful participation of uniformed women to United Nations peace operations. Of note, Senegal—the largest police contributing country— deployed its first ever woman Formed Police Unit commander and two gender-strong units with 16 per cent women, a fourfold increase from a baseline of 4 per cent in 2019. Initiatives from Niger, Togo and Senegal will train at least 3,150 women for recruitment into national security institutions and establish a pool of more than 740 trained uniformed women eligible for deployment as United Nations peacekeepers.

“The EIF remains a valuable instrument to enable troop- and police- contributing countries to fulfil their international commitments”, said Sima Bahous, UN Women’s Executive Director. “Gains made towards gender parity, especially in the security sector, cannot be taken for granted. To expand and increase uniformed women’s meaningful participation, we need sustained, transformative action, ensuring that their voices are included in all matters of peace and security, and that their contributions and leadership are supported and harnessed for the benefit of all,” she added.

During 2021, EIF-funded projects have contributed to transforming security institutions to be more inclusive by identifying and tackling barriers at various levels.

Six security institutions: the Liberia Armed Forces, the Mexico Armed Forces, Navy and Police, the Sierra Leone Armed Forces, and the Togo Armed Forces are undertaking assessment studies to identify national barriers to the full participation of women in their security institutions and deployments to United Nations peacekeeping.

Five security institutions – the Niger Armed Forces and Police, the Senegal National Gendarmerie and Police, and the Togo Armed Forces – have committed to developing gender-sensitive legal frameworks and policies to ensure that the inclusive transformation to be achieved through EIF-funded projects is sustainable and creates long-lasting impact.

“Despite the good progress, women are still starkly underrepresented in certain uniformed categories, such as military contingents, and in some roles and functions.” said Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for United Nations Peace Operations. “To overcome barriers that prevent women from playing meaningful roles in their national services and in peacekeeping, we need to harness the power of partnerships. The Elsie Initiative Fund is a key partner in our work to increase the meaningful participation of uniformed women in peacekeeping,” he added.

This year also marked the EIF’s first project with a United Nations peace operation, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). Aiming to build gender-sensitive accommodation for women peacekeepers from the Ghana Armed Forces, the UNIFIL project will pave the way for the mission to attain gender parity and equality.

Looking ahead, the EIF will continue to support more troop- and police- contributing countries and United Nations organisations to address barriers to women throughout the cycle of selection, deployment and return from peace operations, harnessing the power of gender equality in national security institutions and United Nations peace operations.

Achieving inclusive transformation is at the heart of the EIF’s work and would not have been possible

without the generous support from donors – Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom. Continuous and strong support from donors is essential to ensure the EIF reaches its US $40 million fundraising target in order to scale up the success of achievements made, and further accelerate progress towards gender equality particularly within international peace and security.

The EIF Annual Report in French will be launched shortly, along with a corresponding press release and announcements.

Download your copy of the EIF Annual Report 2021


About the Elsie Initiative Fund (EIF)

Established by the United Nations and Canada in 2019, the EIF is an innovative, multilateral fund that aims to accelerate progress towards the United Nation’s gender targets in line with Security Council resolutions and the United Nations Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy 2018-2028. The EIF, a UN trust fund hosted by UN Women, supports the sustainable deployment and meaningful participation of uniformed women peacekeepers by providing financial assistance and incentives. To date, the EIF has raised US $30 million of its initial US $40 million target.

The French version of the EIF Annual Report will be available soon. For more information about the report and the EIF-funded projects, please visit elsiefund.org and follow @ElsieFund on Twitter.

Senegal

Project description:

Gendarmerie

As at December 2020, Senegal is the highest police contributing country (PCC) deploying 12% of police officers in United Nations peace operations (1,071 total with 7% women among formed police units (FPUs) and 14% among individual police officers (IPOs): combined deployments of Senegal Police and Gendarmerie). The Senegal Gendarmerie seek to address barriers to women’s meaningful participation in United Nations peace operations, including: lack of understanding of gender equality in the institution, difficulties for women to reconcile family obligations with international deployments, and insufficient numbers of female gendarmes to participate in peace operations. The project aims to increase the recruitment of women within the Senegal Gendarmerie and their deployment to United Nations peace operations through a range of training initiatives, particularly additional training on gender equality. It also seeks to tackles structural barriers by adopting a gender policy, training on women’s leadership and constructing a daycare center.

This project funding over three years will enable the:

  1. Development of a gender policy including training of decision-makers and personnel (2021).
  2. Increased recruitment to 10% women of total intake per year (baseline: 5.4%).
  3. Creation of a roster of 140 to 150 women for deployment to peace operations.
  4. Deployment of up to three gender-strong units for (up to) three consecutive years: 16% in 2021, 17% in 2022, and 18% in 2023 in MINUSCA, MINUSMA and MONUSCO (baseline: 4%).
  5. Deployment of IPOs: 23% women in 2021- 22 and 24% in 2023 (baseline: 13%).
  6. Mass recruitment drive for women (2021-2023)
  7. Training and recruitment activities:(a) 2,400 women for recruitment, (b) 160 women for promotions, (c) 30 women on leadership, (d) 186 women in preparation for the UN-led test for IPOs, (e) 843 female and male officers for additional gender-related training prior to deployment (2021-2023).
  8. Construction of a daycare center (2021).

Police

Senegal is the highest police contributing country (PCC) deploying 12% of police officers in United Nations peace operations (1,071 total with 7% women among formed police units (FPUs) and 14% among individual police officers (IPOs): combined deployments of Senegal Police and Gendarmerie).

The Senegal Police seek to address barriers to women’s meaningful participation in United Nations peace operations, including: lack of institutionalization of gender equality; lack of women in the police; lack of information on deployment opportunities and lack of necessary skills to pass internal and United Nations-led tests on minimum proficiency levels for deployment as FPUs and IPOs. The project aims to increase the recruitment of women within the Senegal police and their deployment to United Nations peace operations through a range of training initiatives. It also seeks to tackle structural barriers by adopting a gender policy, dialogue with police leadership, empowering female police officers across all ranks, and a national communication strategy. 

This project funding over three years will enable the:

  1. Development of a gender policy including a strategy and implementation plan, and the establishment of gender units across the institution (2021).
  2. Increased recruitment and retention of women in the Senegal police to 15% (baseline: 9,18%) (2021 – 2023).
  3. Creation of a roster of 100 women for deployment as FPU and 50 women as IPO (ongoing).
  4. Deployment of up to three gender-strong units for (up to) three consecutive years, with an average of 21% women in 2021, 25% in 2022 and 30% in 2023 in MINUSCA, MINUSMA and MONUSCO (baseline: 14%).
  5. Deployment of IPOs: 35% women in 2021, 50% in 2022 and 75% women in 2023 (baseline: 28%)
  6. Training support for (a) 150 women for recruitment; (b) 150 women for promotion in the national police; (c) 300 women for preparation to undergo the Senegalese internal selection process for FPU and the UN-led tests, and (d) 150 women for the UN-led test for IPOs (2021-2023).
  7. Creation of a Female Police Association and roll out of a national communication strategy including the development of a film and community outreach.

Armed Forces

Senegal will conduct a comprehensive barrier assessment on the armed forces using the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) – Measuring Opportunities for Women in Peace operations (MOWIP) barrier assessment methodology.

The project contributes to the Elsie Initiative Fund’s outcome on expanded country specific knowledge of barriers to the deployment of women peacekeepers to United Nations peace operations. 

By implementing a MOWIP assessment, this project will achieve the following results: 

  • Provide factual data and information on the nature and scope of obstacles and opportunities in Senegal related to the deployment of women military to United Nations peace operations; 
  • Use the findings and recommendations from the assessment to develop tailored interventions, as well as evaluate and update strategies to address the identified barriers to increase the number of women eligible for deployment to UN peace operations.

Cambodia

Project description:

The Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) National Center for Peacekeeping Forces (NPMEC)—in partnership with UN Women Cambodia, will conduct a comprehensive barrier assessment on the Royal Cambodian Army, using the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance’s (DCAF) Measuring Opportunities for Women in Peace Operations (MOWIP) barrier assessment methodology.

The project will contribute to the Elsie Initiative Fund’s first outcome—expanded country specific knowledge of barriers to the deployment of women peacekeepers to United Nations peace operations.

By implementing a MOWIP assessment, this project will achieve the following results:

  • Provide factual data and information on the nature and scope of obstacles and opportunities in the RCAF that are related to the deployment of uniformed women in United Nations peace operations;
  • Enable the use of evidence-based recommendations from the assessment in the development of interventions and initiatives to address the barriers identified, in order to increase the number of military women to deploy to United Nations peace operations.

Bangladesh

Project description:

The Bangladesh Armed Forces project is for the construction of a three-storied accommodation building for uniformed women at the Bangladesh Armed Forces Institute of Peace Support Training (BIPSOT) to enable Bangladesh to accommodate 240 military women to be trained annually. The lack of dedicated accommodation for women at the BIPSOT was identified as a main barrier to women’s participation in the Bangladesh Armed Forces, as it limited women’s access to the same training opportunities as men.

Outcomes of this project will include:

  • Increased numbers of uniformed women peacekeepers deployed to UN missions
  • Increased pool of uniformed women who are eligible to deploy as UN Peacekeepers

The submission also details a number of other key activities and actions that the Bangladesh Armed Forces are implementing in accordance with Bangladesh’s WPS National Action Plan 2019-2022 (link) which demonstrates a long-term intent to ensure continued progress in implementing the WPS agenda in the Bangladesh Armed Forces.

UNIFIL

Project description:

UNIFIL’s project is designed to provide gender-sensitive accommodation and working conditions for women peacekeepers from the Ghanaian battalion. It will also enable UNIFIL to attain gender parity and equality.

This camp improvement project will follow guidelines and recommendations from the Department of Operational Support’s new gender-responsive conceptual peacekeeping camp and accommodation designs created through the Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations, funded by Canada – designed to improve working and living conditions for women peacekeepers.

Outcomes of this  project will include:

  • Provision of improved working conditions for uniformed women peacekeepers
  • Increased deployment of women peacekeepers from the Ghana Armed Forces

The project will also showcase to other UN missions—as well as other regional peacekeeping missions, the types of projects that can be undertaken to encourage Troop and Police Contributing Countries (T/PCC) to  increase the number of uniformed women peacekeepers they deploy, especially when in close cooperation with a T/PCC who is fully committed to deploying more women peacekeepers into UN peace operations.

Uganda

Project description:

The Uganda Police Force, in collaboration with UN Women Uganda, will conduct a comprehensive barrier assessment on the national police using the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) – Measuring Opportunities for Women in Peace operations (MOWIP) barrier assessment methodology.

The project contributes to the Elsie Initiative Fund’s outcome on expanded country specific knowledge of barriers to the deployment of women peacekeepers to United Nations peace operations. 

By implementing a MOWIP assessment, this project will achieve the following results: 

  • Provide factual data and information on the nature and scope of obstacles and opportunities in Uganda related to the deployment of women police officers to UN peace operations; 
  • Use the findings and recommendations from the assessment to develop interventions and refine initiatives to address the identified barriers to increase the number of women police officers eligible for deployment to UN peace operations. 

Côte d’Ivoire

Project description:

Côte d’Ivoire will conduct a comprehensive barrier assessment on the national police using the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) – Measuring Opportunities for Women in Peace operations (MOWIP) barrier assessment methodology.

The project contributes to the Elsie Initiative Fund’s outcome on expanded country specific knowledge of barriers to the deployment of women peacekeepers to United Nations peace operations. 

By implementing a MOWIP assessment, this project will achieve the following results: 

  • Provide factual data and information on the nature and scope of obstacles and opportunities in Côte d’Ivoire related to the deployment of women police officers to UN peace operations; 
  • Use the findings and recommendations from the assessment to develop interventions and refine initiatives to address the identified barriers to increase the number of women police officers eligible for deployment to UN peace operations.