Western Balkan Gender Military Trainers Develop New Online Gender Awareness Tool

Twenty-two members of the Regional Network of Gender Military Trainers from the Ministries of Defence (MoDs) and Armed Forces (AFs) from the Western Balkans met in Vršac, Serbia, on 18 May 2023 at their seventh regional meeting where they finalized an online gender-awareness course and exchanged information, shared knowledge and planned further activities.

Based on the conclusions from the previous meetings used for developing the online course, this meeting served to deliberate and agree upon the final version of the course. The course will provide easier access to the training thus contributing to the increased gender awareness of MoDs and AFs’ personnel.

The online basic gender awareness course will represent an ornament of a decade-long regional cooperation on gender mainstreaming in the Security Sector Reform (SSR) in the Western Balkans.

The regional network is a unique vehicle for change and promotes good practices for integrating gender in the SSR beyond the Western Balkans. Established in 2014, it is a result of the partnership between SEESAC and the AFs from the region.

Aimed at creating a work environment where both women and men can contribute equally to human security and enjoy the same rights and opportunities, the trainers’ role is to train their peers on gender equality and implement practical measures for achieving such an environment.

This activity was implemented within the Strengthening of Regional Cooperation on Gender Mainstreaming in Security Sector Reform in the Western Balkans project and is financed by the Governments of Norway and the Slovak Republic. With the support of SEESAC, the project provides the MoDs and AFs from the Western Balkans a platform where, over 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.