Ministries of Defence and Armed Forces in the Western Balkans Initiate the Second Regional Survey to Better Understand the Position of Women in the Armed Forces

Representatives of the Ministries of Defence (MoDs) and Armed Forces (AFs) from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia nominated to develop the 2nd regional study The Position of Women in the Armed Forces in the Western Balkans, met on 11th February 2020 in Belgrade to discuss and finalize the methodology to conduct the regional survey.

The survey will enable the MoDs to better understand the position of women in the AFs and develop evidence-based recommendations for more efficient integration of women into the military. Through this survey, carried out in 2020 with support of UNDP SEESAC, the MoDs will collect data on:

  • current gender equality legislation and policies;
  • representation of uniformed women;
  • level of inclusion of gender-related topics in the military education curricula;
  • recruitment, retention, and career development; and
  • policies related to the combating gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment and abuse.  

Furthermore, through a comparison with the findings of the first regional survey published in 2014, The Position of Women in the AFs in the Western Balkans, the second study will enable mapping of improvements and remaining challenges.  

The 2nd regional study is carried out within the scope of Strengthening Regional Cooperation on Gender Mainstreaming in Security Sector Reform in the Western Balkans, a project financed by the governments of Norway and the Slovak Republic. It provides the Ministries of Defence and Armed Forces with a platform where, over the next three years, they can exchange ideas and develop policies that ensure long-term and sustainable inclusion of the gender perspective in defense policies and practices.