NATION

RFMF Achieves UN Gender Policy Target

Captain Browne added the RFMF was not to only administer to the men and women who were part of the RFMF but also to their families.
25 Feb 2021 10:11
RFMF Achieves UN Gender Policy Target
Republic of Fiji Military Forces Sergeant Akanisi Takala with her husband, Kaminioni Takala and son Malakai Takala. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

The Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) has achieved one of its United Nation’s targets by increasing female representation on deployment.

And the military celebrates its achievement after attaining far more of the UN requirement of having a certain percentage of females sent for placement.

Under its requirements, the UN requests to have at least 10 to 15 per cent of females included with the troops selected to go on deployments.

This year, the RFMF successfully went above and beyond the requirement to have at least 20 per cent of females part of this year’s United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights.

A total of 139 RFMF troops who are part of the 1st Battalion Fiji Infantry Regiment (1FIR) Task Force Daimani (2) including staff officers will depart from the country in early April.

Their deployment will last for 12 months.

Yesterday, the RFMF held a family open day for the deploying contingent and their families who were briefed on the host country, roles and mission the troops will be engaged in while on deployment.

The RFMF Directorate of Peace Support Operations, Captain Robert Browne said having at least 20 per cent of female representation going on deployment was an achievement.

“Something that we want to emphasise on is our commitment to ensuring that we have a good amount of female representation in the peacekeeping missions,” said Captain Browne.

“Out of the 139, we have 20 females that will be going, 19 soldiers and one staff officer. I think this is one of the battalions, compared to the previous years in the deployments that we have been able to fulfil the UN requirements to have 10 to 15 per cent of the total number of troops going.”

He said a total of 160 personnel were part of the pre-deployment training but the remaining number would be on standby in Fiji for the mission.

Captain Browne added the RFMF was not to only administer to the men and women who were part of the RFMF but also to their families.

The deploying contingent will spend the next two weeks with their families before departing from the country.

Challenges Faced – COVID-19

Captain Browne said because of the current COVID-19 restrictions that are in place all over the world, the troops and their families were advised that the deployment in the Golan Heights could be extended.

“We are normally supposed to deploy for one year but because of COVID-19 restrictions, we have prepared ourselves to stay for a further 17 or 18 months,” he said.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback: nicolette.chambers@fijisun.com.fj



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