- Thursday, March 08, 2018 1:38 PM
Skopje, 8 March 2018 (MIA) - The state of play involving the number of women serving in the Macedonian Army (ARM) is not good enough, but the situation is almost the same in all armies, including the European armies, which are a few steps ahead of Macedonia, Deputy PM and Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska said addressing a debate 'Gender Perspective in Military', organized on International Women's Day.
The number of female officers in the army is on the rise, she said, but the pace is slow and I'm confident that things will improve soon.
More than a half of the candidates enrolled this year at the Military Academy in Skopje were young women, Sekerinska noted.
"If you give up on 50 per cent of the population, you have given up on potentially good officers, good non-commissioned officers, good soldiers. NATO analyses of missions have shown that women own certain advantages when being deployed in a mission, for instance they can establish contact with local women more easily," said DM Sekerinska.
Minister of Labor and Social Policy Mila Carovska underlined the significance of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 of 2000, on women, peace and security, and women's participation in military and security forces. I still don't feel, she said, that this document in practice is producing intensity.
"It is impossible to have women participating in settling conflicts without having women enjoying economic and social well-being," Carovska noted.
As regards Resolution 1325, she said the defense system couldn't be effective without half of the population being left out of that system. According to her, women are being abused as part of a war tactic, and sexual violence can be tackled if more than 50% of women are engaged in missions.
UN Resident Coordinator Louisa Vinton said Macedonia was undergoing changes, namely women's rights are advanced, gender equality is advanced and the Istanbul Convention was ratified in late 2017. She also said that the number of women in armed forces was increasing, i.e. it doubled since 2012.
Today's debate aimed at raising awareness about the state of play of the role of women in the military with an accent on concrete steps and policies that need to be taken to address the challenges facing women in the defense. ba/13:36
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