The Launch Meeting of the OSCE Gender Equality Platform for Border Security and Management was held in the premises of the Finnish Customs School in Helsinki on 17-18 May 2016 bringing together representatives from across the OSCE region to discuss women’s leadership and empowerment in border security and management.
The event was organized jointly by the Border Security and Management Unit of the OSCE Transnational Threats Department in co-operation with the Unit’s National Focal Points from Finland. It is the first activity of an OSCE extra-budgetary project entitled ‘Women Leadership and Empowerment Initiative for Border Security and Management Agencies’, which is supported by the governments of Finland, Germany and the Netherlands.
“The OSCE’s efforts in promoting concrete ways to gender mainstream at all levels of border security and management services are warmly welcomed,” said Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security of Finland Ann-Sofie Stude.
The officially-appointed representatives of the Platform will analyze the current gender mainstreaming in border security and management, learn about other projects and initiatives designed to contribute to empowering women in the security sector, and brainstorm on the nexus between gender mainstreaming and good governance in border security and management.
Participants will also define the challenges in integrating a gender perspective in this area, share best practices and lessons learnt, and identify how to integrate gender mainstreaming in education and training.
Dennis Cosgrove, Head of the OSCE Border Security and Management Unit acknowledged the challenges that border security and management agencies face in providing for equitable female and male staffing on all the levels but added that “gender equality is essential and vitally important so that these agencies can fulfill their important mission for all the citizens that they are dedicated and sworn to serve.”
A special session will be devoted to exploring the gender factor in response to the current migration flows, while the final session will discuss the project’s follow-up activities and a brainstorming on other potential OSCE contributions in supporting gender mainstreaming in this field.
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