Foreign Minister Retno Lestari Priansari Marsudi said the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) should deploy more female soldiers to carry out peacekeeping missions.
During the UNSC Open Debate in New York on Wednesday, the minister said women peacekeepers could work more effectively to help win the hearts and minds of local people.
Speaking after the debate, Retno said after she visited Indonesian soldiers deployed with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) earlier this year she could see the influence of female soldiers.
"I witnessed how women peacekeepers could win the hearts and minds of the locals,” added Retno who was given the UN Women’s Agent of Change Award for gender equality and women’s empowerment last year.
Indonesia is currently campaigning to be a UNSC non-permanent member in 2019 and 2020.
Indonesia has 2,700 peacekeeping personnel, placing it as one of 10 countries with the largest number of peacekeeping soldiers in the UN. It has set a target of sending 4,000 peacekeeping troops by 2019 as a part of its UNSC non-permanent membership campaign.
Indonesia has 1,900 personnel deployed with UNIFIL Of that number, 84 are females, Foreign Ministry data states. (ebf)