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Updated: Oct 11, 2022

Gender equality is when people of all genders have equal rights, responsibilities, and opportunities. Everyone is affected by gender inequality - women, men, trans and gender diverse people, children, and families. It impacts people of all ages and backgrounds.

Gender equality is achieved when women, men, girls, and boys have equal rights, conditions and opportunities, and the power to shape their own lives and contribute to the development of society.

Far too many girls, especially those from the poorest families, still face gender discrimination in education, child marriage and pregnancy, sexual violence and unrecognized domestic work. These are some types of gender inequality.

These differences in some families start from birth, generally known, when a female child arrives in the family. If the disparagement starts from the family, a complex is created, which later deepens to complete discrimination. Discrimination is the unfair or prejudicial treatment of people and groups based on characteristics such as race, gender, age or sexual orientation.

Gender equality in the family, work, relationship, and public life, is not only a fundamental human right but a necessary foundation for a peaceful,prosperous and sustainable world. In the workplace means being paid the same salary for equal work, regardless of gender. It also means that if a woman takes time off from work to take maternity leave, for example, she will not be punished when she returns to work. Unfortunately, there are many cases where womens get fired after maternity leave, and survive violence or humiliations, simply because are womans and according to some people, should be treated on that way.

In wider society, the movement towards gender equality began with the suffrage movement in Western cultures in the late 19th century, which sought to allow women to vote and hold elected office. This period also witnessed significant changes to women's property rights, particularly in relation to their marital status. Although gender equality has gained importance over time, we still struggle as a society with gender inequality.

Gender inequality is a global issue, it is made worse by poverty and is a key factor in the persistence of poverty. When women and men do not have equal access to resources or equal opportunities to take part in decision-making, there are direct economic and social costs.

But let's not forget another important example. The increase in family violence, as well as peer violence, and often murders, is happening precisely for the same reason.

Equality is about ensuring that every individual has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents. It is also the belief that no one should have poorer life chances because of the way they were born, where they come from, what they believe, or whether they have a disability.

How can we as individuals support gender equality? Everything comes from upbringing and growing up. Daughters are not less valuable, nor less able to live or work, people with disabilities should not be exposed to ridicule, but help to be included in society and work that they can do according to their abilities. Do not judge anyone's sexual orientation or nationality.

Gender equality is also a sub-area of ​​security sector reform. Gender is one of the most important factors that define inequality in societies. Gender places people in different positions of power, risk, security and insecurity, with different opportunities to access security and justice services. Over the past decade, there has been a great increase in awareness and attention to women and gender issues in the security and justice sector. At the global level, gender balance has been improved in many institutions of the justice security sector.

Taking gendered security needs into account also serves to improve relationships between actors in the field of justice and security, on the one hand, and the communities they serve others. Working with previously neglected groups or with those with whom there was a previous relationship hostile can improve the legitimacy and wider acceptance of the institution and its work. In addition, work with a number of different civil society organizations, including and women's organizations, as well as LGBT organizations, enables actors in the field of security and justice to holistically look at all situations from a security perspective, and to better understand different security needs and ways to respond to them.

Gender equality in the police is not only a question of the representation of women but is a response to the specific security needs of women and men in our society. Therefore, a gender analysis of the specific security needs of women and men is necessary for better police work. All states are working on achieving full gender equality and equal opportunities for both men and women in the police, as well as strengthening the position of women in society and the joint fight against violence against them.

The police administration is aware that it is necessary to take special measures in order to help and support the full enjoyment of human rights by all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, and therefore the increase of employed women in the police, as well as in all other security sectors, which would also have the same promotion rights without any discrimination.

By Sanela Nikolic, Police Officer, Crime Analyst

General Director of IPO Headquarters &

IPO LED - Law Enforcement Department

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