The United Nations has appealed to the member countries to consider deploying more women police officers in its peacekeeping missions.
"We need more female police as soon as we can get them," Andrew Hughes, the UN Police Adviser, said, hailing the work being carried out by the women police officers.
Goal is to have countries raise the number of female police officers serving in peacekeeping missions to 20 per cent by 2014, up from its current number of eight per cent, he said during a press conference at the UN headquarters in New York, on Friday.
The briefing was held to highlight the Department of Peacekeeping Operations' worldwide push to recruit more women police, to enhance gender equity throughout the Organisation.
Currently, there are 11,000 United Nations police officers working in 17 peacekeeping missions around the world, though the Organisation is mandated to have 15,000.
"Deploying more women makes practical and operational sense in this line of work," Hughes argued, emphasising that female police officers in all roles added value to the missions in which they worked and were a benefit to relations with host populations.
One of the many areas where female police officers could "add value and break down barriers" was in facilitating investigations of gender-based violence.