Police officers, gendarmes and guards from Mali trained in the principles of fight against Gender Based Violence

Eleven members of the 3 Internal Security Forces, both men and women participated in training with EUCAP Sahel Mali this week to strengthen the response to Gender-based Violence (GBV). By organising this course, EUCAP wanted to contribute once again to the capacity building of the Malian FSI in the fight against GBV.

Gender-based violence is multifaceted and has enormous negative consequences for the lives of its victims, whether women, men, children, the elderly or those living with disabilities or in society as a whole. In December 2016, the theme chosen for the celebration of World Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women was “From Peace to Home to Peace in the World”. This theme emphasises the importance of addressing GBV issues to achieve real stability in Mali.

Here in Mali, as elsewhere in the world, despite the existence of a normal framework, there are still important challenges in protecting the rights of women victims of violence and discrimination. In this context, the fight against gender-based violence requires a comprehensive institutional response from the security forces, hence the importance of internships like this one.

This week, the trainees were able to analyse the issues in depth, learn about the legal instruments for the protection of women’s rights, provide them with tools and techniques for welcoming and listening to victims of GBV and provide them with awareness-raising tools for colleagues and the community. According to one trainee: “If there is a lack of interviewers the victims prefer to be silent”.

The trainees also benefited from the presentation of the Focal Point for Gender by Divisional Commissioner, Célestine Dombwa, in relation to her role in the Police and her experiences in peacekeeping missions in accordance with UN Resolution 1325 On Woman, Peace and Security.

Participants also benefited from the presence of Mrs. Mariam Diarisso Traore, representative of the Association for the Development of Women’s Rights (APDF), who shared with them the broad experience of the APDF in welcoming and legal counselling , medical and the psychosocial care of GBV victims. The APDF representative referred to the “ambassadors of good will” and praised the courage of those trained by her association who are now very supportive in the fight against GBV. They were also greeted by Commissioner Drissa Samaké of the Gender Bureau of the National Police to observe the functioning of the Green Emergency Line Command Room for Gender-based Violence cases.

The discussions between the participants were enriching and full of commitment and active participation. The knowledge gained will enable the trainees to better address the various challenges in this field and their colleagues can also benefit from them through discussions and training sessions at the Commissariats and Brigades.

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