Ambassador’s Remarks for Association of Women in Kosovo Police, November 8, 2023
Kosovo Police General Director Hoxha, OSCE Deputy Chief of Mission Anderson, Deputy Head of EULEX Luba, AWKP President Nimani, women police officers, distinguished guests.
I’m honored to attend this gathering to mark the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Association of Women in Kosovo Police.
Though the AWKP has been in place for ten years, I understand this is the first annual conference to celebrate the women in Kosovo’s police force.
The United States has supported AWKP from its start, because we believe women are central to the success of the Kosovo police’s mission to protect and serve the citizens of Kosovo and to counter transnational crime, illegal drugs, and instability.
The United States has made it a priority to assist Kosovo’s criminal justice sector, including the police, to ensure authorities can effectively uphold the rule of law and provide justice.
The inclusion of women in this effort, and ensuring their meaningful participation as criminal justice practitioners, is essential.
Research shows that the sustained integration of women in police and other criminal justice professions simply makes the entire system more effective.
Female police officers are less likely to use excessive force than their male counterparts;
When women are included equally in police agencies, both crime reporting and police response improves, helping provide better support for victims of crime and building greater trust and rapport with the community;
A more diverse workforce creates conditions for innovation in policing, especially in crime prevention, victim support, and responding to domestic violence and sexual assault.
Women in the criminal justice field serve as role models and demonstrate that anyone can pursue a successful career in law enforcement, no matter their gender.
This helps agencies overcome gender biases and fosters an inclusive organizational culture.
Now despite these facts, I note that only 15 percent of police around the world are women, and only 27 percent of the world’s judges are women.
The situation in Kosovo reflects these global statistics: women currently comprise just over 14 percent of the police force.
We look to Kosovo to work to increase these numbers to help improve security and justice for all citizens.
And we stand ready to help.
I want to emphasize my government’s commitment to supporting Kosovo in promoting gender diversity in the criminal justice sector.
Over the past 8 years, the U.S. Embassy has supported more than 660 training programs for law enforcement officials in Kosovo.
In these training programs, over one-third of the total participants were women.
Every applicant for a U.S. Embassy grant is required to include a gender, equity, and inclusion analysis as part of the grant proposal package to explain how the proposed program or project will impact women and members of marginalized and underrepresented groups.
We see this as a matter of operational effectiveness.
So, as we celebrate ten years of the Association of Women in Kosovo Police, I want to acknowledge AWKP’s essential role in helping increase the equitable inclusion of women in the Kosovo Police, encouraging more women to join law enforcement, supporting women to achieve higher rank, and helping build capacity for women law enforcement officers in Kosovo.
We are proud to have supported you for these last ten years.
We marvel at what you have achieved,
And we know that this is just the start of a remarkable and successful effort.