“Be aware, know laws and procedures, be sensitive”. EUAM Gender Adviser Natalia Shuster conducts a seminar for Kyiv Patrol Police.

October 16, 2015
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They are tightening the order on the streets of Kyiv for a few months already. Young women and men cruise the capital of Ukraine in combined patrol police crews chasing criminals and stretching out their hands to citizens. They surely know by now, learning matters when it comes to real life challenges.

The Gender Adviser of European Union Advisory Mission, Natalia Shuster, worked for the Canadian Police in Montreal ( Le Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal) over the past 25 years advancing in her career from a patrol officer to a commissioned officer. Being a Ukrainian descent Canadian, Natalia Shuster didn’t need any translation addressing her Ukrainian colleagues at the seminar.

The language of Taras Shevchenko, one of the most acknowledged Ukrainian authors, is her native, the one she was brought up with by her parents, the one she learned attending Ukrainian school in Canada. 

30 female and 30 male police officers attended the seminar just an hour before they had to go on a duty. Gender differences, international standards, different perception of danger were among the main topics of the event. “Police need to understand and address all security threats facing the community they serve, recognizing that men and women, boys and girls are affected by crime and violence in very different ways,” highlighted Natalia Shuster to participants of the seminar opening for many of them a new page. The police officers didn’t hide the fact that gender issues were not a topic of attention in the Ukrainian system of Law enforcement for decades.

“Be aware, know laws and procedures, be sensitive,” concluded the seminar Natalia Shuster when rapidly was interrupted by a challenging question : “What is the most precious medal you’ve earned working for the quarter of century as a police officer?”, asked one of the seminar’s attendees. “The best award was to come to Ukraine and be able to talk to you today”, replied Natalia receiving loud applause from the Kyiv patrol police officers.