This week, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) Brooke Darby welcomed India's Deputy Inspector General Seema Dhundia to the Department of State for a series of meetings. Deputy Inspector General Dhundia is the commander of the first all-female formed police unit (FPU) to a UN mission. She is currently in charge of five battalions within the Central Reserve Police Force's Rapid Action Force and also oversees the training, equipping, and other pre-deployment support for units deploying to UN missions. India deployed the all-female FPU to the UN Mission in Liberia in 2007 and continues to send the all-female units to patrol the streets, provide crowd control, and back up the local Liberia National Police.
Ms. Dhundia was invited to the United States to participate in the International Association of Women Police (IAWP) 2011 Conference in Lexington, Kentucky. During the IAWP Conference in Lexington, Ms. Dhundia spoke on a panel entitled, "Enhancing the Participation of Women in International Law Enforcement Missions," with INL personnel, including Acting Director Michele Greenstein.
Following the conference, Ms. Dhundia traveled to Washington, where she spoke at a State Department roundtable jointly hosted by INL and the Office of Global Women's Issues. Ms. Dhundia shared with us her varied experiences, including how she dealt with the challenges encountered in recruiting and retaining female international police officers.
Increasing the participation of women in international peacekeeping missions has long been an important goal of the United States. The United States is nearing completion of a National Action Plan that helps realize the principles outlined in UN Security Council Resolution 1325. UNSCR 1325 urges nations to increase the participation of women in all UN peacekeeping and security efforts. INL is supporting that effort by vigorously conducting outreach and recruitment efforts to increase the participation of women in our missions. INL is also reaching out to state, local, and municipal police departments to recruit and deploy top-notch officers, including female officers, overseas.
The INL Bureau continues to encourage partner countriesto whom we provided training and support to increase the participation of female officers in training efforts, in their police forces, and in other security programs. You can learn more about these efforts on the INL Bureau's webpage.