First Guidelines for Gender Sensitive Policing in South East Europe

by Bojana Balon, WPON Project Officer; Danijela Djurovic, Project Officer/Advisor; and Iva Savic, Communications Officer

The Women Police Officers Network in South East Europe with the support of UNDP/SEESAC launched Guidelines for Gender Sensitive Policing with Particular Focus on Recruitment, Selection and Professional Development of Women in Police Services.

The Guidelines propose a set of simple and low cost measures to help police services in South East Europe attract and retain more qualified women and advance gender equality.

The Guidelines provide recommendations that will help police services to:

  1.  Recruit a larger number of qualified and motivated women candidates, and ensure their admission in the police education system and police service
  2.  Make the selection process more gender sensitive
  3.  Strengthen the professional development of women in the police
  4.  Make sure that career advancement for women is not limited by formal and informal obstacles.

The Guidelines were launched by the Women Police Officers Network and UNDP/SEESAC at the Belgrade Security Forum in September 2012 and endorsed by the South East Europe Police Chiefs Association at its Coordination Meeting.

How to go about applying the guidelines was the topic of discussions throughout the fall and winter of 2012 – at events organized by police services with the support of UNDP in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

One of the events was hosted by the only woman Minister of the Interior in South East Europe, Ms. Gordana Jankuloska from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia who said that implementing the guidelines would help ensure the recruitment of qualified and motivated women in the police and support their professional development.

The Guidelines were developed by the Women Police Officers Network Working Group and based on data provided by Ministries of Interior and police services of eight countries in South East Europe – ensuring national ownership of the process.

The main goals of the guidelines are to:

  • Identify the challenges in the process of recruitment, selection and professional development of women in the police services of Southeast Europe;
  • Develop a greater understanding of the problems that women face within the police services;
  • Foster the exchange of information and good practice in this area; and
  • Define low cost and implementable measures that can improve the existing practice.

The Guidelines are available in Albanian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian, Moldovan, Serbian and English.

The Guidelines were also presented in 2012 at the International Association of Women Police Annual Conference in St.John’s in Canada, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference in San Diego, USA.

We’ll keep you posted on how the guidelines look in practice. Stay tuned.