UNDP SEESAC supports the Gender in Security Sector Reform Conference

On 27 March 2012, a conference on “Gender in Security Sector Reform” was organized by the Marshall Centre Alumni Association in cooperation with the George C. Marshall Centre and with the support of Atlantic Initiative, NATO Headquarters in Sarajevo and United Nations Development Programme and was attended by UNDP SEESAC representatives Bojana Balon and Jelena Radakovic in Vitez, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The aim of the conference, chaired by members of the Marshall Centre Alumni Association in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was to further contribute to the understanding of the processes of security sector reform (SSR), with a special emphasis on integrating and strengthening gender equality.

The conference was structured in three panels which addressed institutional approaches to gender in security and defense sector; gender issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina; and the importance of gender sensitive language.


Several issues were highlighted by the participants, namely the importance of the changing character and instruments of warfare and the increased value of women’s involvement in security sector; the significance of understanding the context specific aspects and evaluation of impacts of SSR interventions; and the need for a more gender sensitive language as an essential tool for making further progress in the achievement of both institutional and cultural change. A special emphasis was given to the relevance of the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

During the discussion UNDP SEESAC briefly presented the new project “Support for Gender Mainstreaming in Security Sector Reform in the Western Balkans” which supports ongoing efforts by the Ministries of Defense (MoD) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia to integrate gender equality into their policies, procedures and practices through regional cooperation as well as the project “Support for Gender Mainstreaming in Policing Practice in South East Europe”, which aim is to provide support and expertise to the Women Police Officers Network (WPON) in their efforts to address the recruitment, promotion, retention and career building of women police officers in the region.