Ministries of Defence in the Western Balkans conducted the second regional comprehensive survey on 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 met online today to discuss the findings of the second regional study The Position of Women in the Armed Forces in the Western Balkans, and formulate regional recommendations for improved position of women in the AFs.

The study, which represents a mutual effort of all MoDs, provides an updated set of data on gender equality in the armed forces of four countries of the Western Balkans, allowing comparison of results with the first regional study issued in 2014 to assess progress in improving the position of women in the AFs.

The second regional study provides deeper insight into :

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

The MODs agreed on the next steps in the finalization of the study and initiated the discussion on the implementation of its recommendations.

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. The project provides the Ministries of Defence and Armed Forces with a platform to exchange ideas and develop policies that ensure long-term and sustainable inclusion of the gender perspective in defense policies and practices.