Ministry of Narcotics-Control, U.S. Embassy’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Section, and UNDP launch the Anti-Narcotic Force’s first ever Gender Strategy to increase women’s representation in counter narcotics law enforcement

Posted March 10, 2022

Islamabad, 10 March 2022—A gender strategy for the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) was launched by the Ministry of Narcotics-Control (MNC) in Islamabad today. The strategy aims to foster gender mainstreaming and create opportunities for gender transformation in the ANF. It is also accompanied by a robust action plan and framework for organizational wide activities and practices.

The strategy stresses on creating an enabling environment for gender empowerment and inclusion, identifies barriers to gender and social inclusion and access to justice, and proposes practical recommendations to achieve its set targets. It was developed following a series of consultations with government interlocutors, like-minded national and international partners, and UN agencies, as well as research and analysis on existing legal frameworks, policies, and procedures that facilitate access to justice for women and marginalized groups in Pakistan.

Federal Secretary Ministry of Narcotics-Control, Government of Pakistan Dr. Syed Kaleem Imam thanked INL and UNDP for supporting the MNC and ANF in initiating interventions for gender mainstreaming and women empowerment. “MNC is committed to create a safe and enabling environment for women personnel and this strategy will help us review our existing policies and practices and revise them to increase women’s representation in law enforcement agencies”. He further said that the strategy should be disseminated through Inter Agency Taskforce for a wider outreach.

Speaking at the occasion, UNDP Assistant Resident Representative Mr. Kaiser Ishaque said that the benefits of recruiting, training, and promoting more women officers are now being recognized by law enforcement agencies across the world. “In Pakistan, there are multiple challenges in doing so, but creating an enabling environment for women in the force to thrive and encourage others to join it is crucial. The Gender Strategy will provide a vision and plan to help ANF review department policies on social inclusion and gender mainstreaming, ensure gender responsive budgeting and develop outreach programmes for targeted recruitment of women among other steps.”  He further added that UNDP and INL are also working on infrastructure projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Islamabad Capital Territory that will all contribute towards ensuring women’s inclusion and participation in law enforcement agencies.

The U.S. Embassy’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) section Director Mark Tervakoski noted the strong partnership with the Ministry of Narcotics Control, the Anti-Narcotics Force, and the UNDP.  “I thank the UNDP and ANF for their efforts and partnership with INL, and our common objectives of combatting drugs transiting through Pakistan and promoting the recruitment, retention, advancement, and gender mainstreaming of women police in Pakistan.” Director Tervakoski also highlighted that this year we celebrate the 40-year anniversary of the partnership between INL and Pakistan under the banner of ‘Justice, Security, and Prosperity. “With more than $1 billion invested by INL across four decades to improve citizen security and enhance law enforcement capacity across Pakistan.  The fight against drugs and illicit contraband is a priority for Pakistan, the United States, and the international community.  When we work together, we accomplish great things.”

Gender Expert Ms. Sidra Minhas delivered an overview of the Gender Strategy and said that there are multiple challenges to increasing women’s participation in the law enforcement agencies, but the strategy proposes various activities to mitigate and overcome them. It also includes a key strategic framework that guides through the major tasks and responsibilities”.

This initiative is implemented through the UNDP Rule of Law Programme in partnership with ANF and MNC, with generous funding from the United States Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcements Affairs (INL).

For additional information, please contact Ayesha Babar at ayesha.babar@undp.org  or +92 (51) 835 5650

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