Peter Luff – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Ministry of Defence

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Peter Luff on 2014-06-09.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many of the 90 UK personnel plan to provide mentoring and related support to the Afghan national army officer academy he expects (a) to be female and (b) to be able to provide gender-sensitive training.

Mr Mark Francois

The UK currently provides six female mentors to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy’s (ANAOA) female training platoon. One additional female mentor is involved in the wider training programme at the Academy.

Many of the mentor posts at the ANAOA are reserved for male Service personnel, owing to the cultural sensibilities of our Afghan partners. We will continue to seek opportunities to deploy females into other mentoring posts to demonstrate to the Afghan National Army (ANA) that Servicewomen are exemplars and can be employed across a wide range of roles.

In relation to gender-sensitive training, one of the ANAOA’s core training objectives is: “Comply with ANA gender integration/equality and diversity policy”. The course covers international law, human rights and women’s rights, Islamic attitudes (including towards women) and the rights of the family, focusing on the role and equality of women in contemporary Afghan society.