Published by Senator Mobina Jaffer on 23 November 2010
Last week, the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights tabled a report on UN Resolution 1325. This report covers a range of issues affecting women in situations of armed conflict. In addition to providing an in-depth analysis, the report also sets out 26 recommendations. Although there are a variety of examples from our report that I could mention I would like to focus on one area in particular. That area deals with the training that Canada provides to its own personnel and to foreign military and police forces.
Based on our hearings the Committee determined that UN Resolutions on women, peace and security are not dealt with in any level of detail during training or in professional development. I strongly believe that this is a mistake. Women, peace and security issues must be integrated throughout all pre-deployment and in-theatre training received by Canadian Forces and RCMP personnel. This same model should also be applied to all training delivered to foreign militaries and police forces, particularly those in Afghanistan.
In light of Prime Minister Harper’s recent decision to keep troops in Afghanistan in a noncombat training role until 2014, this aspect of our report is particularly relevant. I strongly believe that we have been presented with a unique opportunity to put into practice the training guidelines advanced in our report. If we are successful at integrating gender sensitive training, we will be going a long way towards advancing a security sector in Afghanistan that is professional, effective and legitimate in the eyes of the entire Afghan society.
Please click here for a link to the Senate Standing Committees report entitled “Women, Peace and Security : Canada Moves Forward to Increase Women’s Engagement.” I also encourage you to follow the committee’s current study which deals with women’s rights in Afghanistan.