Advancing the Role of Women in Policing in South East Europe
Following the initial steps taken by the Southeast Europe Police Chief Association (SEPCA) to establish a Women Police Officers Network (WPON) in SEE, SEESAC developed the project “Support for Gender Mainstreaming in Policing Practice in South East Europe”, the
implementation of which began in June 2010. The aim of this project is to assist in the setting-up of the network by providing support and expertise to the WPON in the initial phases of the inception as well as support for long-term institutionalization. The project supports the creation of basic statutes governing management and membership structures as well as specific efforts to address the recruitment, promotion, retention and career building of women police officers in the region. It is
envisioned that the WPON will also come to serve as an advisory body to the region’s police services on matters related to gender and policing. The project supports the development of relevant gender policy and guidelines based on best-practices and experiences, including from other existing national and regional networks for women police officers.
In the initial period (2010-2012) the WPON is financially supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
The Women Police Officers Network (WPON) in South East Europe was established on 26th November 2010 under the umbrella of the South East Europe Police Chiefs Association (SEPCA) in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, by representatives of 9 police services in SEE: Albania, BiH-Federation, BiH-Republika Srpska, Bulgaria, Croatia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
National women police personnel associations collaborating through WPON to improve the status of women in police services and ensure security for women in the region.
- To provide a platform for the exchange of experience and knowledge across police services in the region on the status, needs and priorities of police women in South East Europe;
- To facilitate the advancement of the position of women in police services and gender sensitive policing practices in SEPCA police services. The WPON advises SEPCA member services on gender equality in police services and best police practice; including on the implementation of relevant international documents – the United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and the UN Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
- To advocate for the implementation of gender equality and democratic principles in policing within SEPCA police services.