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Fostering trust – the key role of women in defense and security forces


Interpeace, DCAF and the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations will host a panel discussion: Fostering trust – the key role of women in defense and security forces, on 17 May 2019 at the Permanent Mission of Canada

  • Moderator: Ms Renée Larivière, Senior Director of Programmes, Interpeace
  • H.E. Ambassador Rosemary McCarney, Permanent Mission of Canada
  • TBC – Representative of the Ministry of Defense of Colombia
  • Lt. Col. Aminata Diabaté - Lieutenant Colonel of the Malian Armed Forces
  • Ms Lucie Bello - Project Coordinator Women, Peace and Security (WPS), Malian Institute of Action Research for Peace (IMRAP)
  • Ms Ann Blomberg, Deputy Head Gender and Security Division, DCAF - Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance


Register to attend the event


The lack of trust towards defence and security forces in fragile contexts is often cited as one key obstacle to ensuring lasting peace. In Mali for instance, a participatory action research carried out by Interpeace and its partner, IMRAP, have highlighted its critical dimension of a better for the success of security sector reform and the implementation of the peace agreement.  This challenge is also reflected in Colombia where the presence of police and defense forces into areas previously controlled by armed groups requires a new model of engagement.

One key vehicle to improve trust is the participation of women in DSF. It increases the population’s acceptance of the armed forces, which enables the DSF to better fulfill their mission and reduce violent confrontations, ultimately contributing to peace. This is also key for the success of UN peacekeeping operations as underlined by the Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations. This demonstrates that gender inclusion is thus not only an end in itself, but also a means to advance the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) overall.

With insights from Colombia, Interpeace and IMRAP’s engagement in Mali as well as DCAF’s recent “barrier” assessment on UN Peacekeeping operations, this panel will discuss how gender inclusion in Defense and Security Forces (DSF) and other government institutions can contribute to peace in different contexts. It will also explore how the international community, through mechanisms such as the Group of Friends of Women, Peace and Security (WPS) in Geneva, can advance women’s participation and contribute to peace.

The panel will be held in French and English with simultaneous translation.