Celebrating Women in the Security Sector: Commissioner Codou Camara from Senegal

  September 15, 2020

We are proud to present to some and introduce to others Exceptional Class Commissioner of Police A/R Codou Camara of Senegal, recipient of the 2013 International Police Peacekeeper Award, and President of the Association of Female Pioneers of the National Police. Serving in the Senegalese national police force for 32 years from 1982-2014, CP Camara’s initial attraction to civil service was because of her call to protect and serve on both a national and international level. In 1982, she entered the national police academy where she completed her two-year training.

As a woman police officer, CP Camara recognized the importance of using her position, platform, and influence as an accomplished woman in the national police’s security sector to elevate and promote women’s and children’s security and other needs in post-conflict settings. With that, is was not long before the beckoning call of international career development opportunities attracted CP Camara to share her skill sets with fellow women police units in other African countries in the United Nations (UN) missions. In the UN, CP Camara served in three separate peacekeeping missions, including: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, and Haiti. As the Gender Advisor to the Commissioner of the United Nations Mission of the Central African Republic and Chad MINURCAT/Police, CP Camara spearheaded the selection, recruitment, and preparation of 250 women at the National Police School of Ndjamena as part of quick impact projects (QIPs) in collaboration with the head of the Gender section (MINUCRAT) and the gender unit of the integrated security detachment (DIS).

Yearning to refine her technical knowledge, this pioneering woman participated in several UN trainer of trainer (ToT) professional convenings in Spain, Canada, and the Ivory Coast that engendered the reinforcement of 35 female police officers’ technical skillsets for UNPOL. Following an impressive service in Chad, CP Camara journeyed outside of the contiguous African countries to Haiti. There she was elected president of a network of United Nations Police (UNPOL) women within the Development of Women’s Networks Gender Advisor to the Commissioner of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). During her two-year mission service in this role, she doubled the female representation rate in leadership roles in the MINUSTAH police from 6 to 12 percent. In 2013 at a conference in Durban, South Africa, CP Camara was awarded the International Police Peacekeeper Award for her outstanding service with MINUSTAH.

Currently, as a retiree, CP Camara continues to contribute to her fellow women police officers’ professional development. She currently serves as the President of the Association of Female Pioneers of the National Police. Most notably, as a peace security consultant with Partners West Africa-Senegal (PWA-S). Within that role, she has trained several police and gendarmes in the security defense force (FDS). Her consultation work is also edifying international systems of police security as a Gender, Peace, and Security consultant with the Civil Police Division of New York.

Despite her decades of professional accomplishments and tireless work to elevate women in the security sector domain, CP Camara believes that “there is still a lot to do to increase female participation in the security sector field, particularly in Senegal.”