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    • Gender and police: seminar on gender mainstreaming in policing

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    • Date: 19 June 2013
      The seminar Gender mainstreaming in policing was realized as a part of cooperation between Swedish National Police Board (SNPB), Belgrade Center for Security Policy (BCSP) and Ministry of Interior with support of Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) within the program of Development of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia 2012-2014 Phase II: Supporting the implementation of the Development Strategy.

      What is gender equality and how it can be achieved in the police, these are some of the questions that have been answered at the introductory seminar on gender mainstreaming in policing.

      The seminar was organized by the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) on 12th to 14th of June in Kovačica. It gathered participants fromdifferent organizational units within Ministry of Interior of Republic of Serbia (MoI): Criminal Police Directorate, National Forensic Centre, Service for Criminal Intelligence, Bureau for Strategic Planning, Bureau for International Cooperation, IPA Unit and local police offices.

      The seminar was organized in an interactive manner through different kinds of workshops and panels. The participants openly discussed concepts of gender and sex, basic tools for gender analysis and gender sensitive approach in policing as well as different security threats for women and men.

      ’’Gender equality in policing is not only a matter of representation of women in the police, but it is about different security needs of women and men, too’’ emphasized the director of Belgrade Centre for Security Policy, Sonja Stojanović Gajić who was also facilitating the whole activity. ’’Thus, gender analysis of specific security needs of women and men is necessary for improving the police work.’’

      The participants agreed that women and men of different ages are affected by different threats. For example, women and girls are more at risk of domestic violence, sexual violence, trafficking for sexual exploitation whereas male adults are more likely to face threats such as robbery, extortion, homicide. By analyzing different security needs for women and men, the operational efficiency of the police can be improved.

      The participants had an opportunity to analyze the concepts of gender and sex and understand how gender roles influence the status of women and men in the society and consequently the police organization. They had also discussed the recruitment of women in the police organization, retention, discrimination at the workplace and obstacles for women in order to climb the career ladder in the police.

      The key ongoing gender mainstreaming activities in the security sector

      Gender equality advisor and the chair of Multi-sectoral coordinating body in MoI for the implementation of the National Action Plan on UNSC 1325, Vesna Nikolić stressed the importance of ensuring greater representation of women at all decision-making levels at the national, regional and international level. She presented the process of implementation of the NAP1325 in Serbia,mechanisms for gender equality and the main institutional bodies responsible for this process.

      “It is necessary to have better flow of information both in bottom up and top down direction of the mechanisms for the gender equality within MoI,“ asserted one of the participants at the seminar.

      Snezana Novović, one of the founders of Women Police Officers Network of South East Europe (WPON), explained the importance of women's employment in the police and their advancement in the region. In addition, she explained some of the additional mechanisms for gender equality, such as persons of trust who have a mandate to deal with the specific problems of discrimination in the police.

      Good practices and challenges in combating violence against women and human trafficking

      Head of the Public Order Sector of the Belgrade Police Department, Milan Stanić presented concrete examples of best practices that are used by police officers in cases of domestic violence. For example, if the security assessment indicates a high risk of repeated violence, a victim can be assigned a personal officer who will be available 24 hours a day, every day of the week.

      Vladimir Abazović from the Office for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings,  Criminal Police Directorate,pointed out thatthe proactive research techniques has helped them in discovering three cases of human trafficking, while six victims were rescued before they slipped into the trafficking chain.

      At the end one of the participants added: Only by making senior managers capable of incorporating gender perspective into their work, can gender equality be achieved, and at many levels’’

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