Seminar “Women in Armed Forces”

{gallery}newsletters/11/2/1{/gallery}In post-conflict societies, such as BiH is, women are excluded from all peace processes and negotiations, while the society puts them on economic and social margins. UN Resolution 1325, as well as Resolutions 1888 and 1889, recognize the important role, contribution and significance of women in creating stabile peace and security, trough their more active involvement in prevention of conflicts and peace negotiations.

Seminar “NATO and UN Resolution 1325/Women in Armed Forces“ was held in Sarajevo on October 21. It was organized by NATO Headquarters in Sarajevo. „This seminar is one in the series of seminars organized on the 10th anniversary of the UN Resolution 1325, a core document advocating a more active involvement of women in public life“, said Vanja Matić, manager of the project „Gender Equality“ at NATO Headquarters in Sarajevo.

Help of Women is Necessary

Introductory speech was held by the Sarajevo Faculty of Political Sciences Dean, PhD. Mirko Pejanović, who used this opportunity to emphasize the importance of BiH joining NATO, which is a common and general guarantee of security and peace for every BiH citizen.

Seminar moderator, Colonel Dr. John Olsen, Deputy Commander at NATO Headquarters in Sarajevo, pointed to the need that women at all levels get more actively involved in decision making, corroborating it with a number of practical examples, when certain problems required female input.

BiH Minister of Defense, Dr. Selmo Cikotić, presented the actual position of women in the Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces of BiH, where there is a continuous trend of growth in number of women. „The BiH Ministry of Defense implements and respects the principles of gender equality. According to data from 2010, 40% of the Ministry of Defense employees are women, while in the Armed Forces of BiH they constitute 5% of the total workforce“, Minister Cikotić said.

Dr. Anita Schjolset, advisor for the gender equality program at the Defense College in Norway, talked about efforts put into implementation of Resolution 1325 in Norway. In 2006, Norway produced a National Action Plan for its implementation, which will become effective in November 2010.

Sustainable Peace

{gallery}newsletters/11/2/2{/gallery}„Important mechanisms used by Norwegian government are creation of funds for promotion of rights of women and gender equality“, Dr. Schjolset says, concluding that „it is very hard to reach sustainable peace without women“. 9% of members of Norwegian Army are women, and the aim is to increase this percentage by 4% in the following four years.

Along with a lot of students, a great number of university professors, representatives of both non-government and government sectors, Sarajevo University rector, PhD. Faruk Čaklovica, as well as Parliamentary Military Commissioner in BiH, Boško Šiljegović, participated in this event.

Text and photo: Aner ZUKOVIĆ