Within the OSCE framework, Italy also attaches great importance to the women, peace and security agenda, gender equality and women’s empowerment. Thanks to Italy’s financial support, the OSCE was able to complete a pilot project in 2021 aimed at increasing and strengthening the presence of women within the Montenegrin Police.
The project saw the realization of a research aimed at identifying the obstacles and problems that make the percentage of women in service in the Balkan country’s police force still around 15 per cent only, with the vast majority of female employees assigned to administrative duties. The research showed that within the Montenegrin society the exercise of operational police functions is widely considered, especially among the younger generation, to be an exclusively male prerogative.
On the other hand, an overwhelming majority of the respondents considered it desirable to increase the number of female police officers as well as their greater participation in operational units and presence in top positions. Indeed, it is believed that the police force would greatly benefit from a qualitative and quantitative increase in female personnel at all levels of the police force, which would subsequently increase professionalism, effectiveness of action and social openness.
The research carried out led to the formulation of a series of recommendations, which will form the basis for national policies aimed at promoting gender equality in the Police in Montenegro. These include the development of an action plan aimed at doubling the percentage of women in the police force by 2030. More gender-sensitive public communication is also planned.
The OSCE Mission in Montenegro also launched a media campaign under the name ‘We are the power of the team – For more women in policing’. It included the publication of an information brochure and promotional videos on employment opportunities for women in the Montenegrin police.