The National Security Coordinator (NSCOORD), Retired Brigadier Mustapha M.K. Dumbuya has said that gender equality within the security sector is a high priority for the security sector and therefore called on Women in Security Sector-Sierra Leone (WISS-SL) to capacitate and position themselves, in order to occupy strategic positions in the sector.
He went on to state that women need to build bridges rather than walls among themselves; and expressed hope that WISS-SL will serve as a bridge to unite women and enhance their capacities to take up important positions in the security sector.
The National Security Coordinator was speaking at a two-day workshop organized by the Office of National Security (ONS) yesterday, Tuesday at the ONS Conference Hall in Freetown. The workshop is a capacity-building process to mainstream gender in the country's security sector.
The workshop attracted participants from the Sierra Leone Prisons, the Immigration Department, Sierra Leone Police, National Fire Force and Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF).
Welcoming participants, Francess Nyuma, Assistant Director, Serious Crimes Unit at the Sierra Leone Police, said the workshop is about enhancing the capacities of their members and allies in the area of gender. She urged the participants to take advantage of the training and encouraged them to ask questions in that light.
In his statement at the official opening ceremony, the National Security Coordinator, Retired Brigadier Mustapha Dumbuya described the formation of Women in Security Sector-Sierra Leone (WISS-SL) as “a move in the right direction” noting that it is important that women capacitate and position themselves to occupy strategic positions in the security sector. He went on to state that women need to build bridges rather than walls among themselves; and expressed hope that WISS-SL will serve as a bridge to unite women and enhance their capacities to take up important positions in the security sector.
He went further to state that the issue of gender mainstreaming into national governance structures particularly in the security sector, has attracted immense international attention and support. He disclosed that the Second Security Sector Review (SSR) had identified “weak gender mainstreaming as a threat to national security”, and revealed that the second SSR report had therefore recommended that all government institutions including the security sector, mainstream gender affairs in their operations.
The retired Brigadier informed that the security sector in Sierra Leone is gradually and steadily moving from a male dominated institution to one that accords equal opportunity to both men and women.
“Gender equality within the security sector is a high priority for us and I firmly believe that it is a matter of democracy, human rights and freedom of association,” he stated. He however noted that the issues and threats that exist today are quite different from those of ten years ago, and called for more diverse workshops “to creatively and collaboratively address security challenges.”