Addressing women’s under-representation in contemporary security environment in focus at OSCE Border Management Staff College discussion



Masuda Karimi, a representative of the Customs Agency of Afghanistan, Dushanbe, 23 October 2015. (OSCE/Eraj Asadulloev)

DUSHANBE, 23 October 2015 – Ways to increase the recruitment, retention and advancement of female border officers to address women’s under-representation in border security management were highlighted at a roundtable discussion held today in Dushanbe at the OSCE Border Management Staff College (BMSC).

Assessing the role of women in the contemporary security environment, the discussion aimed to create a platform where 65 experts and representatives of government agencies, diplomatic missions, and international organizations exchange ideas and experiences. Among them were attendees of the OSCE Border Management Staff Course, made up of professionals working in the area of border security and management in Afghanistan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Tajikistan and Ukraine, and 24 female border officials from Afghanistan taking part in the UNDP’s EU-BOMNAF Female Afghan Border Police Border Management Awareness Course.

“Our roundtable discussion focused on providing equal training opportunities and maintaining the same standards of competence and performance for female and male border police officers as well as empowering women to counter terrorism,” said Dita Nowicka, the Director of the OSCE Border Management Staff College. “Women’s participation in border security and management ensures a comprehensive approach comprised of the perspectives of all parts of society in safeguarding our borders.”

Six keynote speakers from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tajikistan, the United States and the United Kingdom also shared their perspectives, expertise and personal experiences.

UNDP’s EU-BOMNAF Project Manager William Lawrence added: “We support the rights, roles and responsibilities of women throughout the security sector in Central Asia and Afghanistan. Twenty-four enthusiastic women border police officers from Afghanistan is a significant success for the UNDP’s EU-BOMNAF project and we congratulate each of them on their achievements. We recognize the value of our partnership with the OSCE BMSC and this event indicates what can be achieved when we work together. We aim at further developing the BOMNAF collaboration with the BMSC and look forward to future similar events for women officers from Afghanistan.”

Masuda Karimi, the representative of the Customs Agency of Afghanistan, said: “Both the roundtable discussion organized by the College as well as the ten-day course are useful and relevant. In the course of discussion we shared the challenges of our country with others and learned experiences that can be used in our community. Examples demonstrating that women may equally contribute in all areas of border security and management were also illustrated.”