UNITED NATIONS The United Nations is stepping up efforts to recruit more female police officers to serve in peacekeeping missions around the world, the UN police chief said the other day. We hope that women will make up to 20 per cent of UN police by 2014, UN Police Adviser Ann-Marie Orler told news reporters in briefing at UN Headquarters in New York. Were asking member states to forward more female nominations, said Ms Orler, a Swede, who rose to the top UN police job in March this year, after having served as deputy police adviser since 2008. Pakistan is contributing 19 female police officers, she said. But India and Bangladesh appear to have taken a lead in the process to boost the number of female police officers. In 2007, India sent the first contingent of women officers to serve in Liberia and has since then rotated this team thrice. On June 01, the government of Bangladesh deployed 260 police officers, many of them women, to serve in Haiti that suffered a devastating earthquake in January. Women make up just 8.5 per cent of the 17,400 police officers, the UN has been authorised to deploy in the 17 peacekeeping missions it currently operates, the records show. Thats despite a UN Security Council resolution a decade ago that stressed the importance of giving women equal participation and full involvement in peace and security matters, and called for their role in decision making to be increased. Its not very easy for women to discuss sexual violence issues with a male officer, but they feel free to bring out their cases with female officers, said Doreen Malombo, the Police Gender Adviser for the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has separately noted female UN officers serve as role models, inspiring local women to want to serve in the police forces of their respective countries. Last August, the UN launched a so-called Global Effort to increase the number of female police officers in serving with peacekeeping missions. Currently, of the 17,407 UNPOL serving in 17 missions, just 8.5 per cent are women. By empowering women within the United Nations, we are not just upholding the principles for which we stand. We are making ourselves a better organisation, Orler quoted UN Chief Ban Ki-moon as saying recently. The number of female UNPOL must increase not just because deploying more women reflects natural justice ... but because women bring an essential extra dimension to one of our most important tasks bringing peace, stability and development to populations recovering from conflict, Ban said last week at a meeting with female blue helmets. One of the things we learned from female officers deployed in UN Peace missions, is that we must make our selection and training processes more efficiid. The goal of our global effort is not only to increase the number of female officers in the UN Police service, but also to increase the number of police women in member states services, she added.