The Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces of Montenegro Released a Gender Equality Training Standardization Handbook for Military Personnel

A comprehensive Gender Equality Training Standardization Handbook was officially published by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of Montenegro on 21 July 2023. The Handbook was initiated and developed by the Ministry as a knowledge tool for gender trainers in the MoD and Armed Forces (AF) of Montenegro and all military personnel seeking answers on gender equality within the armed forces.

The Handbook covers a diverse range of topics essential to fostering a gender-sensitive military environment. It includes basic terms and definitions and addresses international and national legal and normative framework, the importance of integrating a gender perspective in Security Sector Reform, the roots of inequality and discrimination, with particular emphasis on gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment, and conflict-related sexual violence. These topics are presented through six thematic chapters, guiding readers consistently and directing them to relevant content, helpful tips, and practical exercises.

The Handbook was developed by ten dedicated military gender instructors from the MoD and AFs of Montenegro, with SEESAC's support through a series of productive meetings. However, the process went beyond mere content development; it also served as a platform for gender instructors to exchange valuable experiences and insights gained from their training and meetings. With the involvement and support of SEESAC, this collaborative learning process further strengthened the significance and applicability of the Handbook.

In the Handbook's Introduction, the General Director of the MoD HR Directorate, Colonel Velibor Bakrac, stated that the Handbook is a unique example of the Ministry of Defence's dedication to promoting gender equality. He underscored the significance of prioritizing gender equality training and integrating it into military education to pave the way for lasting positive changes.

The MoD will distribute and promote the Handbook through the defence sector, ensuring all personnel have access this resource. Additionally, the Handbook will be easily accessible through the MoD official website.

The release of this comprehensive Handbook marks a significant milestone towards creating a gender-equal military environment, reinforcing the Ministry of Defence's dedication to progress and positive change.

This activity is implemented within the second phase of SEESAC's project financed by the Governments of Norway and the Slovak Republic Strengthening of Regional Cooperation on Gender Mainstreaming in Security Sector Reform in the Western Balkans, which provides support for mainstreaming gender in the security sector reform, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security.