Western Balkans as an Exporter of Good Practices in the Security Sector

SEESAC work on gender and SALW and support to the establishment of Women’s Police Officers Networks featured in new UN Women/UNODC/IAWP Handbook on Gender-Responsive Police Services for Women and Girls Subject to Violence

4 February

UN Women, in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) and the International Association of Women Police (IAWP) launched a global Handbook on Gender-Responsive Police Services for Women and Girls Subject to Violence.

Through the provision of practical guidance, the Handbook aims to enhance gender responsiveness of polices services and their accessibility to women and girls subject to violence. In doing so, the Handbook addresses a wide range of issues:  police investigations; violence prevention; intersectionality; survivor-centred approaches; promoting positive masculinities; coordination; institution-building; and emerging issues such as online and ICT-facilitated violence against women and girls. Furthermore, the handbook provides valuable guidance on responding to violence against women and girls during pandemics.

The Handbook features SEESAC work undertaken to address the use of firearms in domestic violence and in doing so, underlines specific risks that proliferation and misuse of firearms pose on women’s and girls’ safety and wellbeing. By building on this, the highlight necessity for adequate institutional response to prevent the use of firearms in violence against women. 

In addition, the Handbook provides an overview of Guidelines for Gender-Sensitive Policing developed by Women Police Officers Network in South East Europe with support of SEESAC. The Women Police Officers Network (WPON) was established by women representatives in police services in the Western Balkans with SEESAC’s assistance. Its’ success in raising the awareness on the position of women in police services and the development and implementation of sustainable solutions for the improvement of recruitment and retention of women personnel became a uniquely powerful practical example of the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.