Georgia: Supporting Women in Policing

Attendees at the opening of the Supporting Women in Policing Conference in Tbilisi this week

Tbilisi, Georgia - This week, IOM Georgia supported the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) at the U.S. Embassy in organizing the 10th Annual Women in Policing Conference in Tbilisi.  The Women in Policing Conference traditionally takes place at the beginning of March coinciding with the celebration of International Women’s Day.

This year the conference brought together over 330 participants including women police officers from 20 countries in Europe and Asia. The conference includes sessions related to women leadership challenges in law enforcement as well as substantive justice sector workshops and panels on topics such as trafficking in persons, counter-drug investigations, gender-based violence, prosecutorial issues, corrections, and probation programming.  The Conference provides a unique opportunity to discuss the advancement of career opportunities for women in law enforcement at all levels, including leadership.

U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Kelly C. Degnan welcomed the participants and highlighted that the aim of the conference is “to empower, inspire and educate women police officers.”

In his opening remarks, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Ambassador Todd D. Robinson, noted that “Keys to success is the participation of women from all levels… studies show gender equality directly contributes to comprehensive security.”

Minister of Justice of Georgia H.E. Mr. Rati Bregadze noted that “the Ministry has always given special attention to gender equality and invested most of the resources to strengthen the women's role in public sector. Women-participation in decision making processes and law enforcement activities echoes the needs of women and increases operation effectiveness, enhances community trust, and truly emphasizes the role of women in society.”

Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Mr. Aleksandre Darakhvelidze emphasized that one of the top priorities of the Ministry is gender equality and protecting women's rights. Deputy Minister also noted that being a women police officer is a big challenge and the role of women police officers in the police system is progressively increasing.

Chief of Mission of IOM Georgia, Mrs. Sanja Celebic Lukovac emphasized the importance to connect and to create a professional network of women who supports each other and learns from each other – and which by itself contributes to promoting a gender-sensitive approach to security, safety, justice, and public order. She also noted that the “participation of women is essential in all aspects of governance, including migration management and border management too, as enshrined in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) as well as the 2030 Agenda.”

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