8 November 2019 - United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) participated in the "International Congress on Gender Equality in the field of Security", held in Toledo, Spain on 6-8November 2019. The event focused on Spain's 40-year experience of incorporating women into the police force as well as discussing how police services and law enforcement agencies can increase the number of women working in these sectors.
Across the globe opportunities for women in policing have expanded over time, however overall numbers remain relatively low. Barriers remain to achieving gender equality, and women are still underrepresented in senior ranks. How international organizations counteract this through strategies to promote gender equality was discussed in a panel composed of representatives from UNODC, UN Women, EUROPOL, European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and European External Action Service (EEAS).
Marian Salema (Programme Officer) of the Gender Team in the Office of the Director-General/Executive Director of UNOV/UNODC presented the UNODC Strategy for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women for UNODC (2018-2021), including institutional frameworks, processes and polices to promote gender equality and women's empowerment. She also outlined how the Office supports Member States to achieve the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 5 on achieving gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls. She stressed that "in order to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, gender must be systematically mainstreamed throughout all the Sustainable Development Goals, in addition to being included in targeted measures through Goal 5 ( achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls)."
The International Congress was opened by King Felipe VI of Spain, with keynote presentations by the General Director of the National Crime Agency in the United Nations, Lynne Owens and the Executive Director of EUROPOL, Catherine de Bolle. Around 500 participants shared best practices and lessons learnt at the Congress, including police officers from around 42 countries as well as representatives of law enforcement bodies and organizations.
In May 2017, the Office established the Global Programme on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The Global Programme aims to support the mainstreaming of gender equality across all normative, operational and research work of UNODC. One of the key outputs of the programme was development of the UNOV/UNODC Strategy for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.
Launched in December 2017, the Strategy aims to ensure that gender equality and the empowerment of women are integral parts of all aspects of the work of UNOV/UNODC. It will also guide our efforts to improve the representation of women at all levels to reach gender parity. In line with UN standards and recommendations, it provides a systematic framework that sets institutional standards and defines commitments on gender equality and the empowerment of women for the period 2018 to 2021.
United Nations System-wide Strategy on Gender Parity
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