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UN Women Alarms

-Wants Increase In Female Employment; Presents Gender Audit Report To LNP

By R. Joyclyn Wea

UN Women and the Liberia National Police (LNP) recently held a day workshop to validate findings from a gender audit that also helped the LNP to develop a new draft gender policy aimed at increasing the number of female police officers and mainstream gender into the institution.

It can be recalled in November 2018, UN Women partnered with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations Police Division Standing Police Capacity (SPC) to deploy a police Gender Advisor to support the LNP to review its 2004 Gender Policy.

As a first step toward the revision of the gender policy, the LNP has conducted a participatory gender audit; the goal is to assess their knowledge and attitude toward gender mainstreaming and the organizational culture.

The participatory gender audit team reviewed previous gender policies, internal policies, data, annual report, brochures and conducted interviews and survey with officers at the LNP’s headquarters and four of the 11 zones, concentrated mostly in Montserrado County.

Presenting the findings, Julianna Papne Vegso, SPC-UN Women Gender Advisor, mentioned that one of the goals is to increase the number of applications for the 3,000 additional officers that will be recruited over the next five years.

Women represent 36 percent of the 137 officers surveyed on a range of issues including their personal knowledge of gender and gender mainstreaming and organizational approach aimed at promoting gender equality. Forty-four surveyed participants were selected to be interviewed and 22 men and 22 women, share their experience.

Julianna Vegso said “what we observed is they need to focus on promoting women’s participation in leadership. They need specialized training on gender, sexual and gender-based violence and develop a sexual harassment gender policy.”

Also remarking at the event, UN Women Country Representative, Marie-Goreth Nizigama challenged the LNP to increase women officers in various decision-making positions of the institution.

According to her, women officer of the LNP constitute only 19 percent of the LNP’s 5,500 police officers which is very low noting that this need to be worked on to increase more women into the police.

She further stressed the need for gender balance in the LNP if they should meet the UN goal of 50:50 and the United Nations Security Council resolution 1325.

The development of a revised gender policy is supported by UN Women in the framework of a joint project title: “strengthening the rule of law,” funded by the Peace-Building Fund. UN Women provides technical support to security institutions for the development, review and the endorsement and implementation of gender policies. These actions also facilitate the implementation of international commitment on women, peace and security such as the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325.

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