The army and the defence are better when both women and men are equally welcome – Shekerinska at the promotion of the National Plan for “Women, Peace and Security”

“We have shown that we give opportunities to many women in the defence as well, and I believe that this has also given results in sectors that are not perceived as an environment with equal rights for men and women. We have shown that in the three years where NATO membership and better conditions for the Army was achieved, we have not forgotten the topic that we believe is important – and that is that the Army and the defence will be better and stronger if men and women are equally welcome in them”.

This was stressed by the Minister of Defence, Radmila Shekerinska, who spoke today at the Pilot Training Centre in Petrovec at the promotion of the second National Action Plan for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on “Women, Peace and Security” and the marking of 20 years since the publication of the Resolution.

The Minister pointed out that this is a topic that is also being talked a lot about in the NATO – Alliance this period, where there is much that we can present, but that the whole work is far from done.

“I want to congratulate the many men and women in the Ministry and the Army who have made serious efforts in the past two years and as a result of their efforts today we have an environment that is much more open to women, we have women in high positions who are much more in number and we, as a NATO member, have a lot to show with our own example and our own result”, the Minister said.

The promotion was also addressed by the British Defence Attaché, Andy Leighton, as a representative of the United Kingdom who supported this process, and through a video – conference link, the promotion was also addressed by Katerina Stavreska, coordinator of the Working Group for Implementation of Gender Perspectives in the Ministry, Gabrijela Gjorgjevikj, civilian representative of the Ministry at NATO HQs, Lieutenant Colonel Irena Blazhevska, who is part of the International Staff of the Balkan Medical Task Force, and Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeta Naumovska, Commander of the Military Medical Centre.

The Ministry of Defence has made significant changes in the last three years – an application has been set-up for reporting harassment in the workplace, gender advisors have been appointed who are now present in virtually all structures of the Army, and anti-gender harassment trainings are being held.