Association "Network of Women in the Ministry of Interior of Republic of Srpska" BiH Holds its First Annual Conference

On 10 December 2012, the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Srpska (RS MoI) and its Association “Network of Women in the Ministry of Interior” (RS WPON) organized the First Annual Conference of the Association, with the support of UNDP/SEESAC. The event was held at the Administration Centre of the RS Government in Banja Luka and it gathered representatives of the Republic of Srpska Ministry of Interior, Executive Board of the RS WPON, Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia, Gender Centre of the RS Government, UNDP/SEESAC, Regional WPON Network, UN Women, ICITAP and several non-government organizations.

RS Minister of Interior, Mr. Stanislav Cadjo, H.E. Ms. Vibeke Lilloe, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Ms. Indira Rogic, the President of the RS WPON Assembly, opened the conference.

The attendees of the conference had an opportunity to learn about the experience of international women police officers association. Ms. Jane Townsley, the President of the International Association of Women Police (IAWP) shared information about history of the association and the importance of networking among women police; representative of the European Network of Policewomen (ENP), Ms. Anita Wieman-Hesterman shared information about the ENP activities and importance of gender equality in policing practice.

Ms. Bojana Balon, Coordinator of the Women Police Officers Network (UNDP/SEESAC) presented some of the key achievements of the Women Police Officers Network in South East Europe and the recently published Guidelines for Gender Sensitive Policing with an Emphasis on Recruitment, Selection and Professional Development of Women in Police Services. Developed by the WPON Working Group, the Guidelines were designed to outline concrete and simple steps that can help better integration of women in the police services.

Ms. Sanja Sumonja, WPON Executive Committee Chairwoman and member of the RS WPON informed the participants about activities implemented by the Association “Network of Women in the Ministry of Interior” in 2012. Members of the Association organized a campaign to attract more to enroll in Police Academy, workshops were organized for members and leaflets and posters printed to promote the Association and attract membership. Members of the Association also held presentations about police work and the role of women in policing in high schools.  Registered on 31 May 2011, RS WPON aims to apply and promote gender equality through strategic approach to education, employment, training, and career development of women in the police, as well as by promoting results achieved by female members of RS MoI.