Two High-Ranking Officials of Ministry of Defence of Montenegro Complete Gender Coach Programme

From November 2021 to June 2022, two Gender Coach Programme cycles were delivered to the high-ranked officers from the Ministry of Defence of Montenegro and the Armed Forces of Montenegro - the Deputy Chief of General Staff and acting Director General of Human Resources. By attending the programme, the leaders working in the security sector strengthened their capacities to integrate the gender perspective in their daily work.

The programme encompasses wide range of the topics from basic concepts of gender equality and discrimination, gender and gender roles, stereotypes and prejudice, equality and discrimination, sexism, with the focus on gender perspective in Security Sector Reform. The good practices collected were presented collected in two recently launched regional knowledge tools: 2nd Regional Study on the Position of Women in the Armed Forces in the Western Balkans and the regional Handbook for Combating Gender-Based Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Abuse.

The officers who participated in the programme are expected to implement the gained knowledge and contribute to capacity development, and increased awareness of gender equality.

The Gender Coach Programme is an innovative approach to improving the gender-responsiveness of security institutions by enhancing the skills and fostering commitment of the senior leadership in these institutions. It enables participants to become leaders in integrating gender in their operations and encourage change within their institutions.

The programme is inspired by and builds on the results of a similar programme implemented in the Swedish Armed Forces from 2007 onwards, which enabled capacity development of high-ranking officers for the inclusion of gender equality in the military. The programme is implemented through regular meetings and consultations between a Gender Coach and the high-ranking officer. The informal meetings address specific in-advance-agreed gender topics aimed at raising the gender awareness and providing practical advice on how to mainstream gender into policy development.

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