European Union External Action

A routine of female leadership - Antje, Deputy Head of Mission, EUCAP Sahel Niger

13/06/2019 - 18:20
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There is no security without women. Women set currently 30 % of the staff of the ten civilian CSDP Missions. Antje, a senior police officer from Germany, is the Deputy Head of EUCAP Niger, the capacity building Mission that supports Niger since 2012.

Antje is deputy head of Mission at EUCAP Sahel Niger

Every time I talk to female officers in Niger, I can feel that they have chosen their professions in full conviction to serve their country and sometimes overcame major obstacles to reach their goals. It is their ambition and strength that drive my motivation to support their work", Antje says.

EUCAP advises and trains Nigerien security forces
EUCAP advises and trains Nigerien security forces

With a German police rank equivalent to Police Commissioner, Antje Pittelklau looks back on a unique career in national security services for more than 30 years. Prior to her current position, she was head of the minister’s office at Berlin’s Senate Department of Interior and led the Islamism department of Germany’s internal intelligence agency. Additionally to her outstanding experience in the German security sector, Mrs Pittelklau has worked several years for EU crisis management institutions such as the operational headquarter of the civilian Missions, the CPCC in Brussels and EUPOL Afghanistan.

 “Women in the Sahel often exert strong influence on their male family members to either join violence and extremism or to lay down weapons." Antje reflects." It is thus key for us to assist all efforts aiming to increase women’s participation in security.”

No security without women - civilian Missions integrate a gender perspective
No security without women - civilian Missions integrate a gender perspective

The CSDP Missions and Operations integrate a gender perspective into their work on a daily basis and promote women's participation in national security structures as part of the delivery of their mandates. Concrete activities include advising on gender mainstreaming and providing human rights and gender training for local counterparts.


EUCAP Niger works with 173 staff supporting the Nigerien security forces through training and advice to fight terrorism, organised crime and irregular migration in an integrated, sustainable and human rights centred manner.

Read more about the activities of EUCAP Niger and the civilian CSDP Missions.