Empowering, Inspiring and Educating Women Police in Georgia

6 - 9 March 2018

IOM Georgia marked International Women’s Day by hosting the seventh annual regional Women in Policing Conference which closes today (Friday) in the capital Tbilisi.

The event was organized with the support of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi and in close cooperation with the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law (INL).  It brought together more than 250 female police officers from Georgia and nearby countries like Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia, Moldova, Armenia and Ukraine, as well as from further afield: Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, the Philippines, Pakistan, Indonesia and Myanmar.

According to Mike McMahoon, the Director of INL in Georgia “the aim is to empower and inspire women police officers to success through training, discussion and mentoring to give officers training that they don’t traditionally get in their own countries and in their own academies”.

Ilyana Derilova, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Georgia noted “the majority of attendees were border police, coastguards, patrol police, investigators; therefore, their capacity building, especially through such training courses as criminal investigation to identify smuggling of migrants and trafficking cases is crucial for facilitating orderly and humane movement of persons across national and international borders”.

The Government of Georgia is working hard to promote gender equality and protection of women’s rights. Georgia has joined the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, which has resulted in a number of legislative amendments that promote women's involvement in many decision-making processes. According to Giorgi Gakharia, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia “women's role in the police system is increasing significantly: the Ministry is working on reform of the role of district inspector, where we see the principle of women's involvement and we believe that the role of women in this new institution should be even greater”.

Top law enforcement officers from the United States and Canada addressed the conference on professional development, leadership issues and practical law enforcement matters.

Ian Kelly, U.S. Ambassador to Georgia commented “the Women in Policing Conference is a great way for Georgia to showcase its inclusiveness and openness to the participation of women in promoting peace and security”.

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