Minister of Defence for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Marina Pendeš, and Commander EUFOR, Major General Anton Waldner hosted a conference at Army Hall on Friday entitled "Recruiting and Retaining the Best Women (and men) in the Defence and Security Sector" to mark International Women's Day.
Many organisations participated in the conference, and attendees heard of the progress and challenges that they experience in trying to raise the representation of women in their Services. Commander EUFOR, Minister Pendeš, Minister of Security of BiH, Dragan Mektic, the Ambassador of Sweden, H. E. Anders Hagelberg, the Chairperson of the Coordination Board for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 "Women, Peace and Security", Ms. Samra Filipovic-Hadziabdic, Commander NHQ Sa, Brigadier General Robert Huston, and Deputy Head of EU Delegation, Khaldoun Sinno all spoke of the success of their organisations' gender equality policies to date, and expressed their determination to continue to build upon it with the aim of achieving more gender-balanced and representative organisations.
The second part of the conference saw organisations present some of their challenges and measures they have taken in their aim to become more attractive to women. The BiH Ministry of Defence, Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Srpska, the State Investigation and Protection Agency, EUFOR Troop Contributing Nations the United Kingdom and Ireland, and the United States of America on behalf of NATO provided a truly international perspective on the positive role that women play as part of their organisations.
As Commander EUFOR noted in his closing remarks, many of the challenges are similar and recruiting and retaining women is an international issue. He concluded with congratulating the organisations of BiH, stating that they should be proud of their continued and determined efforts to ensure women are fully represented and supported in the Defence and Security Sector of BiH.
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