EULEX, in partnership with the Women Association in the Kosovo Correctional Service (KCS), conducted a three-day workshop in Lipjan/Lipljan on empowering female officers towards a professional career.
The workshop gave the fifty participants – most of them with 15-20 years of professional work – the chance to foster their skills, share their experience and increase their confidence in applying for management and leadership positions in a male-dominated environment like the KCS.
The training was held by experts from the Swedish Prison and Probation Service. “We encouraged the participants to share their interests and talk about what they are good at and what they want to do more in the correctional service. They should not be afraid to express themselves”, said Liselotte Norgren, Prison Assistant Governor.
“I welcomed the training, as it was a useful opportunity to exchange experiences between the Correctional Service of Sweden with that of Kosovo. By exchanging experiences during this training we realized that we often face similar challenges and issues: for instance, the rules which we apply in relation to security within prisons and detention centres and tolerance between inmates are the same across correctional services”, said Bedrije Syla, Supervisor at the Correctional Centre in Lipjan/Lipljan. She also expressed her hope that technological improvements of their security equipment would take place in the near future.
Alina Laura Matache, EULEX Transition Coordinator and Project Manager for this EULEX-funded training highlighted the importance of changing the institutional culture in the KCS through coaching and training. Experience in a number of countries points out that women can carry out the normal duties of a prison officer just as well as men.
Following the establishment of the Association, the Mission, through its Correctional Unit, continues to actively support the implementation of a gender mainstreaming strategy within the Correctional Service.