SERBIA: More Women Needed in Police and Military

Sunday, October 3, 2010
Radio Srbjia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Reconstruction and Peacebuilding

Participants in the conference entitled “Gender issue and reform of security sector in the Republic of Serbia” have pledged today for the greater involvement of women in this field – police, military customs and security services. “It is not just the matter of human rights, but also of a new quality that women bring to the police”, said Serbian minister of Interior Ivica Dacic, while presenting this research in the Serbian Assembly. The report from Mirjana Nikolic.

Dacic emphasized that the positive steps have been made already in hiring women for the police by opening all positions available for women, including the possibility of education for the police officer profession. He pointed to a good example of a woman who commands the police department in Uzice, as well as another one who was the commander of a platoon in the peace mission in Haiti. “It is no coincidence that the police have a new image of being less repressive, ever since more female officers joined street patrols”, stated minister Dacic, while adding that the resolving of conflicts by non-violent means and communication skills are also some of the attributes that are ascribed to women.

He also presented statistical data on women's presence in the police, according to which in March 2001, women made up 16.98% of the total number of police employees. In August 2005, that number was 19.68%, while in November 2009, it went to 20.64%. Also, in 2005 among the uniform wearing employees, 6.6% were female, while now there are 7.49%.

Serbian Parliament Speaker Slavica Djukic Dejanovic stated that Serbia has a legal and institutional framework to realize the equality of genders, but the percentage of women engaged in certain areas could be higher. “Out of 26 ministers in the Serbian Government, five are women. We believe this proportion could be different”, explained Djukic Dejanovic, adding that in the Parliament 20% of MPs are women, while four women are in the posts of board presidents. She invited representatives of the security sector to exert effort in improving the position of women in those services, and assessed that they are mostly doing administrative and technical jobs, while only as of recently they have been assigned some operative duties and commanding positions.

The head of the Department of Strategic Planning, major-general Bozidar Forca, stated that this ministry is paying a lot of attention, in the process of reform, to the equality of sexes. Forca said that women were performing many duties in the military, and according to the data from September this year, one out of five employees of the Ministry of Defense is female, while 2.6% of women wear uniforms. The conference was organized by the Belgrade Center for Security Policy, the Fund for Political Excellence and the Geneva Center for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces.