Women in Military - Serbian Armed Forces
Gender Trainers from the Western Balkans with Nordic Center for Gender in Military Operations
The Regional Network of Gender Military Trainers in the Armed Forces in the Western Balkans
The Closing Conference of the first phase of Gender Equality in the Military Project – June 2016
Regional Meeting of Gender Military Trainers in the Armed Forces in the Western Balkans
Increased regional cooperation
Regional cooperation, knowledge exchange and information-sharing, and enhancing capacities for gender responsive policymaking are the foundations of SEESAC’s approach to gender mainstreaming in Security Sector Reform in the Western Balkans. Unique regional platform of gender equality mechanisms in the Ministries of Defence and Armed Forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia was created that enabled regular exchange of information and knowledge sharing on various topics of relevance for MoDs and AFs.
A network for change
Our gender equality in the military project enabled the creation of a network of gender in the military trainers. 33 trainers delivered gender briefings and seminars for over 4,700 officers, non-commissioned officers, soldiers and civilians in the Ministries of Defence and the Armed Forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia. These learning initiatives advanced gender awareness as well as knowledge on how to integrate the gender perspective in defence policies across the region.
Within the framework of this project, the Gender Coach Programme has been piloted for the first time. The aim of the programme is to boost the gender-responsiveness of institutions by developing competencies and fostering commitment among the senior management through a tailored one on one programme, between gender expert, the Coach and high-level representative of MoD or AF. The programme has been already implemented in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro for presidents of small arms and light weapons (SALW) commissions, by SEESAC gender and SALW expert, with visible results, including the development of gender sensitive policies based on sex and age disaggregated data.
Infrastructure for gender equality
One of the reasons for limited career progression of women in the military, is their poor physical fitness due to women’s lack of access to physical fitness training. With the aim of enabling equal access of women to physical fitness training, for improving conditions of their professional development, the project supported the purchase of sports equipment for women in the Bosnia and Herzegovina armed forces. Between 400 and 500 women are now using this gym.
To enhance the professionalization of Ministries and Defence and the Armed Forces personnel in the Western Balkans, study visits to Sweden, the Netherlands, or Spain were organized. Also, 22 women officers from the Armed Forces in the Western Balkans to participate in a variety of short specialized defence and security courses thus strengthening their knowledge and skills and contributing to their professional development.