The first activity of the project "Women Leadership and Empowerment Initiative for Border Security and Management Agencies," which aims at enhancing the capacities of the OSCE participating States border security and management agencies by developing sustainable mechanisms to promote gender mainstreaming on all levels in the border security and management services.
The launch of the Gender Equality Platform for Border Security and Management (GEBSM Platform) provides the members of the Platform with the opportunity to:
Border and border related agencies face enormous challenges recruiting qualified candidates, yet traditional strategies for recruitment frequently overlook an entire pool of potential applicants – women. Women are currently highly underrepresented within the border guard/police, customs and immigration services.
Being severely under-represented, female staff may be subject to unfair discrimination practices. The respective services may pay little attention to their family related interests and fail to provide flexible working hours, child care facilities or additional opportunities in terms of education to allow women to catch up with men after maternity leave. Female staff still face many obstacles and problematic situations, and they often lack the necessary role models or mentors to help them move up the ranks. Many never take promotional exams, giving first priority to family or personal relationships. Many decide in favour of not taking challenging promotions due to worse conditions of service and/or living conditions for their families. In families where both spouses are the employees of either the same or adjacent border security and management agencies it is typically the woman who gives up their career development opportunities in favour of the male spouse.
To promote and develop concrete and practical ways to empower the female staff of border security and management services by examining practices and policies already proved successful in the OSCE region and beyond, the OSCE launched the project entitled: “Women Leadership and Empowerment Initiative for Border Security and Management Agencies." The project supports the implementation of the following results: