The regional conference on Promoting Women’s Participation in Law Enforcement in Central Asia, held on 14 and 15 September 2023 in Astana, Kazakhstan, marked a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to empower women in the region’s law enforcement agencies. It brought together representatives of national authorities, including the Ministry of Interior, Police Academies, Prosecutor Offices, Policewomen Associations, and other relevant law enforcement agencies, alongside OSCE structures and field operations, civil society organizations, academic institutions, and international organizations.
Deputy Chair of the National Commission on Women, Family and Demographic Policy under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Lyazzat Ramazanova, delivered the opening remarks and emphasized the importance of knowledge exchange across the region. During her address, she provided comprehensive statistics on the presence of women in the security sector in Kazakhstan.
The conference facilitated robust discussions and group work, providing valuable insights into effective strategies for promoting gender balance within law enforcement agencies. Participants actively engaged in networking and knowledge-sharing, building connections between each other and the agencies they represented. Furthermore, participants discussed the potential of women police associations as a valuable mechanism for fostering gender equality within the police service, thereby enriching the participation and the role of women in law enforcement.
“If formal institutions may not yet be in place, networking can prove to be an invaluable tool,” said Ambassador Volker Frobarth, Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Astana. “There is a positive impact of women associations and similar networks on empowering female police officers to voice their concerns, propose solutions, and address the unique challenges they face,” he added.
The conference, which concluded with a set of recommendations on breaking down gender barriers and promoting women’s meaningful involvement in the security sector, was organized by the OSCE Secretariat’s Gender Issues Programme/WIN Project, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), OSCE Programme Office in Astana, OSCE Secretariat’s Transnational Threats Department/Strategic Police Matters Unit, and OSCE Secretariat’s Conflict Prevention Centre/Operations Service.
Source : OSCE