Project Momentum-MENA

Gender Mainstreaming and Combating Transnational Organized Crime

Timeframe: 2022-2025

Budget: EUR 3 million

Donor: European Union

Countries involved

Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia

The situation

Understanding the threat of transnational organized crime and the evolution of its methods, will enable law enforcement to craft more innovative strategies for preventing and combating it with an effective response.

Research shows that women have been increasing their active roles in criminal organizations for decades, not only participating passively as family members of gang members but also directly in illegal activities, including leading some of the largest drug cartels and mafia organizations.

Overlooking this trend of gender roles in organized crime creates a gap in national and regional security response.

Project aim

MOMENTUM is a three-year capacity-building initiative to develop and reinforce national and regional law enforcement capacities against organized crime while strengthening gender mainstreaming policies in law enforcement agencies.

Project updates

First Advisory Board Meeting

The Advisory Board comprises 15 members from six Arabic-speaking countries. It met for the first time on 26 June 2023, to discuss training and capacity building needs related to this project, and the challenges of integrating gender mainstreaming into these activities.

The board’s recommendations were incorporated into the project’s overall strategy, providing the team with a clear plan of action for the remaining term.

INTERPOL Policing Capabilities Programme

In July 2023, project Momentum held its first training course as part of the INTERPOL Policing Capabilities Programme.

The course brought together 53 law enforcement officials from INTERPOL National Central Bureaus, anti-human trafficking units, cybercrime units, border protection, forensic laboratories, and criminal intelligence analysis from Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia. This included 15 female police officers.

Participants gained an overall understanding of INTERPOL’s mission and legal framework, our role in international policing cooperation, our applications, databases, and the system of notices for combating cross-border crimes. Additionally, they discussed the effective use of the organization’s communication networks and collaboration platforms, challenges, and best practices.

The Chief of Royal Jordanian Female Police, during a live webinar, highlighted the vital role of female police officers in combating transnational organized crime and the Jordanian experience in enhancing gender equality in its police force. Also, the webinar showcased case studies from female officers and their experience joining the force.