Launch of the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme Women’s Network

03 September 2015

On 25 August 2015, a one-day meeting of the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme (CCP) was held in Vienna (Austria) to launch the CCP’s new Women’s Network initiative. The meeting brought together CCP staff, including two female officers from the CCP Port Control Unit in Durres (Albania) and female CCP Coordinators for South Eastern Europe, the Middle East & North Africa and the West African region, to discuss how to operationalize the Women’s Network.

The Container Control Programme was launched in 2003 as a joint initiative of UNODC and the WCO, to strengthen the risk management and profiling capacities of Customs administrations and other competent national authorities in seaports. It seeks to curb the flow of illicit goods in containerized trade whilst maintaining an appropriate level of trade facilitation.

Within a culturally sensitive framework, the CCP Women’s Network aims to promote professionalism and core leadership of female national counterparts in order to increase women’s participation in the Programme. At present, women account for approximately 12% of the CCP’s Port Control Unit (PCU) officers. In some countries there are no female PCU officers, while in West Africa 22% of PCU members are women. The Network aims to address gender stereotypes that limit women and deprive programmes such as the CCP of valuable talent.

Among the actions to be undertaken, the CCP Women’s Network will:

• Encourage the Programme’s PCUs to include female law enforcement officers, by introducing a number of measures including gender-sensitized recruitment criteria and flexible working hours;

• Establish a support network to build the capacity of female PCU members, including specific mentoring initiatives and the development of information/resource-sharing initiatives;

• Incorporate a gender sensitization module in the standard CCP training package for male and female PCU members; and

• Define gender indicators to measure the impact of the Women’s Network interventions.

The UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme is currently operational in 28 countries, and has initiated activities in another 25 countries. The CCP has received contributions from “One UN”, Australia, Canada, Denmark, European Commission, European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.