The first international annual conference of the Republic of Srpska Ministry of the Interior Women Network – RS WPON was held on December 10, 2012 in the RS Government Administrative Centre. The main purpose of the conference was to promote he RS MoI Women Network – RS WPON and the guidelines for gender sensitive policing. The guidelines were developed within the Southeast Europe Women Police Officer Network (WPON) with a special emphasis on recruitment, selection and professional development of women in police. The guidelines should be used as a manual for managers at all levels in a police force and they include a number of specific measures and improved ways of dealing with the recruitment, selection and professional development of women in police, primarily using existing resources and without major organizational changes.
The conference was opened by Indira Rogic, President of the RS MoI Women Network-RS WPON Assembly, Stanislav Cadjo, Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Srpska, and Vibeke Lilloe, ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to BiH.
Presenters at the Conference were Jane Townsley, president of the International Association of Women in Police (IAWP), Anita Wieman, senior advisor (coordinator) in European Network of Policewomen (ENP), Bojana Balon, a project coordinator in Southeast Europe Women Police Officer Network (WPON) and Sanja Sumonja a chairperson of the RS MoI Women Network Management Board. The speakers at the conference are also persons who are recognized in and outside the borders of their countries in their commitment to promoting women human rights, gender equality and, above all, to strengthening the role of women in the security system and peacebuilding. They are also professionally involved in this field and are recognized for their involvement both at European and international level.
Besides international representatives fromm IAWP, ENP, WPON, and Embassy of Kingdom of Norway to BiH, the conference was also attended by the representatives of MoI of Serbia, the Republic of Srpska Government, RS Government Gender Center, Ministry of Security, the City of Banja Luka, NGO “Women to Women” from Sarajevo and NGO “Future” from Modrica, UNDP/SEESAC, ICITAP, OSCE, UN WOMEN, representatives of equal opportunities committees and RS MoI.
The conference was an excellent opportunity to listen to the experiences of similar recognized associations from abroad, and therefore to adopt examples of good practice.
The conference, above all, helped domestic and international affirmation of the RS MoI Women Network as a recently established Association. It was a great opportunity to meet representatives of various institutions, associations, international and non-governmental organizations from BiH, the region and abroad dealing with gender issues, to exchange experiences in this field, to consider opportunities and to establish contacts for future cooperation.
Promotional materials (bags, flyers, pens, notepads, T-shirts and USB sticks) were provided for all conference participants. All conference costs (organization, translation services, lunch and refreshments for participants, promotional materials) were provided by UN WOMEN and UNDP / SEESAC.