Commander Jan Dunmurray
Photographer: Thorsten Hagelberg/SWEDINT
Peace support operations (PSO) have always been, and will always be, challenging. The complexity in today’s mission areas has increased and the need for a comprehensive approach is considered paramount for any PSO to be successful. This approach needs to cover all areas and spectra in order to establish a lasting peace and nation-building in troublesome mission areas. More often than not, these conflicts are internal difficulties and not conflicts between states. An area which traditionally has been neglected is the area of Gender Perspectives. The consequence of that is a high risk of missing information from more than 50 % of the local population in the mission area, which means that the mission will most likely not be successful.
Integrating Gender Perspectives into Peace Support Operations will support and strengthen the Human Rights and overall security situation for the whole population; men, women, girls and boys. As a force multiplier, Gender Perspectives will support the outcome of a mission. Operations will benefit from the integration of Gender Perspectives (including UNSCR 1325 and related resolutions) Gender is one important piece of the puzzle on how to best set favourable conditions in nation building and creating a lasting peace. In complex PSO environments we will not achieve neither the political nor the military operational goals and end-states of our missions if we do not succeed in handling the gender factor among the civilian societies where we conduct our military operations. One of the methods used is the Comprehensive Approach.
During the last years, the Nordic countries have increased efforts in the implementation of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security as well as related resolutions also when it comes to military PSO’s. For ensuring the implementation
and capacity building, training and education is crucial. This training and education, as well as support and SME’s to staff exercises and JA, are what the Centre for Gender in Military Operations will deliver to various Defence Organisations. The content will mainly be derived from lessons identified and Lessons Learned in the missions in Afghanistan, Kosovo, DRC, Chad, Somalia, and Uganda.
Through the establishment of a Centre for Gender in Military Operations we take one important step towards further develop this piece of the puzzle, making sure that we integrate Gender Perspectives into the planning, execution and evaluation of any military operation.
As the first appointed Commander of the Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operation I can assure you that I will do my utmost in order to make this centre a reliable partner when it comes to Gender Perspectives related to military operations. I have no doubt that in a few years’ time all soldiers, officers and civilian personnel working side by side in mission areas will look upon the Gender Perspective as being just as important a factor as every other factor that has to be considered in planning, conducting and evaluating our military operations.
It is in the mission area we will see the result of our joint efforts in this implementation!