Armed Forces of Montenegro to Enhance Integration of Gender Perspective in Education and Training

At the request of the Ministry of Defence of Montenegro, UNDP SEESAC organised a Seminar for Personnel Making Decisions on the Plans and Programs of Education from 8 to 9 November 2022 in Podgorica. The seminar gathered sixteen participants from the Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces of Montenegro and aimed at further integrating the gender perspective in military education and training programmes.

The gender training must become the core of military education modules and gender issues must be included in military education and exercises from the strategic, through the operational to the tactical level and involve all categories of personnel. This was broght to the attention of the participants by Mr. Asmir Pepić, State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence of Montenegro, who addressed the partincipants with his opening remarks. He also added that it must be taken into account that the key to success is that gender equality is not seen as an isolated issue, but it is necessary to integrate the gender aspects into all dimensions of already existing topics.

On the other hand, the long-term partnership with Ministry of Defence of Montenegro was praised by Ms. Daniela Gasparikova, UNDP Resident Representative in Montenegro, in her opening remarks. She pointed out that in order to achieve a genuinely transformational change, integrating the gender perspective into military education and training is of vital importance. She added that mainstreaming gender in the military training curricula is, no doubt, a complex and far-reaching mission.

During the training, participants learned why gender equality and gender mainstreaming are essential for the defence system. The seminar also covered basic terms and definitions, gender stereotypes and prejudices, and how to advocate for gender equality. The Gender Adviser to the CHOD, Captain Tanja Katnić, presented numerous trainings on the topic that have already been implemented in the MoD and AFs of Montenegro. Throughout the seminar, participants were presented with the importance and ways of integrating gender equality into training programmes.

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 Ministries of Defence and the Armed Forces from the Western Balkans a platform where, over the period of three years, they work together to ensure long-term and sustainable inclusion of the gender perspective in defence policies and practices, contributing to accountable and responsive institutions and inclusive societies (SDG 16) and gender equality (SDG 5).