The Network of Gender Military Trainers in the Western Balkans as a Vehicle for Change

Twenty-six Gender Military Trainers from the Ministries of Defence (MoDs) and Armed Forces (AFs) of the Western Balkans met online.

On 21 October 2020, members of the Regional Network of Gender Military Trainers met for the fifth time since its establishment. The meeting participants discussed the planned activities and shared their experiences in support of integrating the gender perspective and raising gender awareness through various deployments outside the Western Balkans. The participants also discussed the Gender Military Trainers’ capacity development needs and identified the topics for the training that will be provided to the Network through the regional project.

As a result of the partnership between UNDP SEESAC and the AFs in the Western Balkans, the Regional Network of Gender Military Trainers was established in 2014. The trainers’ role is to train their peers on gender equality and practical measures for creating a work environment in which both men and women can contribute equally and enjoy the same rights and opportunities.

The Network of Gender Military Trainers in the Western Balkans represents a unique vehicle for change and promoter of good practices for integrating gender in the Security Sector Reform beyond the Western Balkans. Gender Military Trainers educated more than 4,700 civilian and military personnel in their MoDs and AFs. Members of the Regional Network delivered gender awareness training to military peers in Moldova, UK and the AFs from Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, and Rwanda.

The Strengthening of Regional Cooperation on Gender Mainstreaming in Security Sector Reform in the Western Balkans project is financed by the Governments of Norway and the Slovak Republic. With the support of UNDP SEESAC, the project provides the Ministries of Defence and the Armed Forces in the Western Balkans with a platform where, over the period of three years, they can exchange ideas and develop policies to ensure long-term and sustainable inclusion of the gender perspective in defence policies and practices.