An assessment report of women In Peace Keeping operations has revealed that female members of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) deployed in peacekeeping operations are given fewer opportunities than their male counterparts.
The report dubbed the Measuring Opportunities for Women in Peace Operations (MOWIP) assessment of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) or named MOWIP-RSLAF. Barrier Assessment Report disclosed several challenges and barriers female military officers face while serving in peacekeeping operations.
It says no women serve in senior leadership roles in those operations. Men take on more leadership roles than women, even across similar ranks. The highest-ranking women are majors (equivalent to UN OR-4), a rank below the rank of a lieutenant colonel.
Barracks and toilet facilities are not separate for men and women, and RSLAF has no proper mechanisms to report harassment and other misconduct.
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The institution lacks childcare facilities and accommodations for new mothers, pregnant women, and female officers who are not provided uniforms that accommodate their bodies during pregnancy, MOWIP-RSLAF Barrier Assessment Report disclosed.
The assessment was done to examine RSLAF’s ability to deploy women and ensure their meaningful participation in UN peacekeeping operations however recommends measures to address the challenges.
It recommends that RSLAF establish positive measures to promote women’s inclusion and reinforce their performance through courses and training that facilitate access to promotions.
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The report also suggests that RLSAF conduct a gendered needs assessment, develop spaces, facilities, and policies for nursing mothers and pregnant women, and address the specific health challenges of women which is making their retention difficult, recommending investment in training female medical practitioners who could be deployed with contingents in the future.
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