UNMIL Deputy Chief calls for more attention to women in security sector

29 Mar 2017

UNMIL Deputy Chief calls for more attention to women in security sector

Monrovia - On 27 March, UNMIL Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Political and Rule of Law, Waldemar Vrey urged Liberian gender coordinators and focal points to pay special attention to women’s rights and participation in the security sector. 

“We want to encourage you to look at male and female participation", said DSRSG Vrey at the launch of the Gender and Security Sector Taskforce in Monrovia.  “However, since women are behind, I urge you to pay more attention to them.”

The DSRSG commended the senior managers from the Liberia security sector institutions, government ministries, public agencies and non-state security institutions at the event for their commitment on attention to women in security sector. He said their presence demonstrated the seriousness that the issue of gender is receiving among security institutions.

The Inspector General of the Liberia National Police, Gregory Coleman while giving emphasis to this issue said that they [LNP] should push women to be where they ought to be because it has been years of holding them back and it is the right time to galvanize all support for participation of women.  “And there has to be commitment on the part of the leadership to advance gender issues.”, said Coleman.  According to Deputy Minister for Justice, Wheatonia Yatta Dixon Barnes, “There is no better way to implement gender issues than building the capacity of gender actors. The just-concluded training was a clear manifestation of the government’s commitment to mainstream gender.”, she said.

Last week, with support from UNMIL and UN Women, coordinators and focal points completed a five-day training course on Gender and Security Sector Reform with the aim of building the capacity of Liberia Security Sector Institutions to mainstream gender.

The Gender and Security Sector Taskforce comprises representatives from key ministries and security sector actors and institutions.  The Taskforce will ensure that the Liberia Security Sector complies accordingly with standards set forth in various international human rights instruments.  Moreover, the Taskforce will enhance coordination and information sharing on the gender-based violence response among state and non-state security actors.  Primarily, its key activities encompass implementing a joint outreach programme to encourage women to join security institutions, supporting the establishment and operation of gender offices, and aligning and developing gender policies and work plans.