Western Balkan Ministries of Defence and Armed Forces Initiate Development of Online Gender Awareness Raising Course

For the sixth time, twenty 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 Kolasin, Montenegro on 5-6 July 2022. The meeting enabled information exchange on the implemented activities and progress made in gender awareness raising activities in the Armed Forces across the region and discussed the upcoming activities.

Based on the conclusions from the previous network’s meetings, the trainers deliberated and agreed upon the next steps for the establishment of an online course in the military aimed at increasing awareness on gender equality of different MoDs and Afs’ personnel. The online course will provide easier access to training programme and will serve as an additional training tool in MoDs and AFs.

The network represents a unique vehicle for change and as such promotes good practices for integrating gender in the Security Sector Reform beyond the Western Balkans. Established in 2014, it is a result of the partnership between SEESAC and the AFs from the Western Balkans.

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

Since the network’s establishment, the Gender Military Trainers educated more than 5,000 civilian and military personnel in their MoDs and AFs. Members of the Regional Network delivered gender awareness trainings to military peers in MoldovaUK and the AFs from Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, and Rwanda.

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 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.