Include more women into security sector reform in Montenegro by developing a National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, says OSCE’s Senior Gender Adviser
PODGORICA, 30 April 2015 - Montenegro has taken important steps in promoting women's rights and gender equality in the country through developing adequate policies and legislative frameworks but more can be done, the OSCE Senior Adviser on Gender Issues Ambassador Miroslava Beham said as she concluded a three-day visit to Montenegro.
"Considerable progress has been made in the defence sector of Montenegro," Beham emphasized. "One of the highlights is the appointment of a woman as Minister of Defence and the recruitment of a growing number of women in the army. Further efforts are needed to include more women in the entire security sector and in decision-making positions. The development of a National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security would enable a more comprehensive approach to this issue and feed effectively into the Security Sector reform process that is ongoing in Montenegro.”
“National Action Plans on Resolution 1325 of other countries in the Western Balkans region have shown to be the most useful tools in this regard. The OSCE stands ready to assist Montenegro in the development of a National Action Plan for the benefit of creating a more inclusive and stable society,” she added.
Ambassador Beham expressed her satisfaction with the efforts of the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights in the area of gender equality, noting that Montenegro is among countries that are strongly committed to achieving sustainable results in this area. She also acknowledged that Montengro was among the first five states to ratify the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence of the Council of Europe (Istanbul Convention).
“Now it is of crucial importance to work on implementing commitments and putting words into deeds,” Beham said. She stressed that the inclusion of civil society, amongst others, in monitoring and assessing progress is key and underlined that more awareness-raising efforts are needed to make society as a whole understand the importance of women’s rights and gender equality.
Deputy Head of OSCE Mission to Montenegro Dan Redford stressed the value of the OSCE keeping gender equality high on the agenda of the security sector reforms. “The Mission is ready to support this process through implementing projects.”
The OSCE’s Senior Gender Adviser had bilateral meetings with the Minister for Human Rights and Minority Issues and high-level representatives of the Ministries of Defence, Justice and Interior as well as with representatives of civil society.
She also took part in the Cetinje Parliamentary Forum, which focused on human rights and gender in security sector reform. The Forum is co-organized by the Parliament of Montenegro and the OSCE Mission to Montenegro.