17 Nationalities participated shared experiences at SWEDINT

“If you can't swim, you cannot save others from drowning”, says Ghulam Rabbani Ansari from Afghanistan on the question why he chosen to participate in the Gender Field Advisor-course at NCGM/SWEDINT.

Lieutenant Colonel Martin Prosper Bayemi have worked 20 years in the Kamerun Army. Photo: Paula Levänen/Försvarsmakten
Ghulam Rabbani Ansari from Afghanistan
Ghulam Rabbani Ansari from Afghanistan Photo: Paula Levänen/Försvarsmakten
Ghulam Rabbani Ansari from Afghanistan Photo: Paula Levänen/Försvarsmakten

Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations (NCGM) that was inaugurated January this year are operational and their courses runs according plan. The latest course for Gender Field Advisors (GFA) gathered 23 participants from 17 different nations. Ghulam rabbani Ansari was the first student ever from Afghanistan to participate in a course at SWEDINT. Presently he works as a gender advisor in Kabul at an American company that works with security to military personnel and state building matters.

- I want to increase my own competence so I can better help my country and people in a more professional way. The knowledge I get from this course I can use either if I work for United Nations, the Government or in a mission outside Afghanistan, says Ghulam Rabbani Ansari.
Most of the participants at the GFA course have own international experience from military or non-governmental organizations NGO:s)
- The fact that the participants had so much own experiences led to very good discussions and knowledge sharing among the group. Some of the participants have several years in uniform and have lived in war and conflict areas themselves. This gives every single lecture and area we teach and talk about a new and deeper dimension to us all, says Linda Johansson, Section Head at NCGM.
Lieutenant Colonel Martin Prosper Bayemi have worked 20 years in the Kamerun Army, but has so far no experience in working with gender perspective connected to military operations.
- I have increased my skills and widened my view on the operational planning process (OPP). I got new valuable knowledge how you can integrate a gender perspective at all levels in the planning process of multinational operations, says Martin Prosper Bayemi.

Latest knowledge and experiences from the field operations
- Our GFA -course concept is constantly analyzed and revised and it changes every year as the world changes. We continually work with improvement of the quality on the educational and  operational concept in order to meet the need to implement a gender perspective in all types of peace support operations (PSO), says Captain Lotta Ekvall, who is the course director for the GFA course at NCGM.
This GFA course had instructors from Denmark, Finland and Norway as well as from Sweden and Austria. The Gender Advisor to the Commander of KFOR (Kosovo Force), Major Elisabeth Schleicher joined the course for a few days to share her experiences and knowledge from working with implementing a gender perspective in KFOR operation.
- We strive to have instructors and lecturers with the latest knowledge and experience from our present on-going peace support operations. That´s why we already looking for the instructors for the next GFA course March next year, says Linda Johansson.
“I am very pleased with the development the GFA course and this course participants are really well prepared to be deployed as Gender Field Advisors. They will also be good ambassadors in their respective home nations in the important work of implementing a gender perspective nationally.
The work with implementing a gender perspective in PSOs starts at home. We have to educate and train our soldiers that implementing a gender perspective should be a natural way of thinking when working with planning, execution and evaluation in all military operational activities.” Says Commander Jan Dunmurray, Head of NCGM.