‘Canadian Armed Forces have done their work of making sure that we have the right people,’ says Harjit Sajjan
Canada’s first major peacekeeping deployment under the Trudeau Liberals will fall slightly short of its stated goal in terms of the participation of women, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says.
More female participation in the gritty, often dangerous work of rebuilding shattered nations is a signature ambition of both the UN Security Council and the Liberal government, which has gone to great lengths to promote what’s known as the Elsie Initiative.
The target, originally set by the world body, is intended to ensure that by 2020 women would make up 15 per cent of each military peacekeeping contingent.
The complement of women among Canadian aircrew and troops, which began deploying Sunday for a helicopter support mission in Mali, will be 14 per cent, Sajjan said in recent interview with CBC News.
He acknowledged it does not meet the target, but insisted that once other peacekeeping commitments make it to the field, including a proposed 200-soldier rapid reaction force, the numbers will improve.
“The Canadian Armed Forces have done their work of making sure that we have the right people,” he said.