Moldova makes progress in ensuring equal opportunities for women and men in law enforcement sector

Ensuring gender equality and increasing the role of women in the structures of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) are discussed during a workshop based on Western Balkans experience. The event takes place in Chisinau during 19-20 November and is organised at the initiative of the National Association of Women in the Internal Affairs System (NAWIAS), with the support of UNDP,  gathering women employed in the General Police Inspectorate, Border Police, and other MIA structures.

The participants at the workshop discuss about the National Plan on Gender Mainstreaming in the activity of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for 2018-2020 from the perspective of applying the experience of Western Balkan countries that made a progress in ensuring gender equality in law enforcement bodies. The Action Plan provides for effective measures to be taken in the next two years in Moldova, so that the employment rate of women in police forces will have reached 25% by 2020, while women are promoted to decision-making positions based on merit and experience.

Dorin Purice, State Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, mentioned at the opening of the event: “Gender equality and women empowerment are one of the most important aspects of the police reform. The Association is an example of solidarity of women from the internal affairs system.”

“In the coming two days you will have the opportunity to learn, discuss, and strategize around the work of the Association with the overall goal of contributing to achieving a better gender balance in the law enforcement structures in Moldova. Numerical balance cannot ensure, however, that on-going reforms are gender-sensitive and that women are part of decision-making. For that there is also a need to rely on specific internal policies prescribing gender-sensitive leadership, management of human resources, internal and external communication, work-life balance, and strengthened gender capacities at all levels,” noted Stefan Liller, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative.

Olesea Vladica, President of the National Association of Women in the Internal Affairs System, said: “We’ll be able to achieve equal opportunities, gender-sensitive policies, higher representation of women in the security and defence sectors, and sustainable development only through joint efforts and solidarity. Thus, women’s associations involvement in and contribution to the reforms taking place in the internal affairs system are necessary.”

The National Association of Women in the Internal Affairs System was founded in 2015 and aims to promote a positive image of women in the internal affairs system and raise awareness on gender equality principles. Currently, it has 150 women from different structures subordinated to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Women account for 16% of the total number of police employees, 2% more than two years ago. At the same time, 77 women hold senior police positions. Currently, the Border Police has the highest women employment rate (26%).

The current Police Development Strategy 2016-2020 puts an emphasis on increasing the number of women in police up to 25%, including an increase of 50% for women in leadership positions. UNDP supports the police in rethinking and redesigning its recruitment system in a more gender-sensitive and inclusive way so that women and men enjoy equal opportunities when being employed.