Gender Field Advisor Course at Swedint

The third of October 2009 Course Director Linda Johansson said welcome to the international participants at SWEDINT in Kungsängen to the first international Gender Field Advisor Course. The 25 participants come from countries like Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, The Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

Kvinna till Kvinna lecture on the rationale and background on UNSCR 1325 and 1820. Photo: Frida Jansson

The course participants has already in an early stage proved to have a wide and mixed experience regarding civil and military background, working in the field and with gender questions at a strategic level.

In the schedule you will among others find lectures about UNSCR 1325 “Women, Peace and Security”, Structures and Methods, International Law, Trafficking, experiences from deployed Gender Field Advisors and discussions about practical cases as a preparation for coming situations in the field.

An important aim for the course is to give this future Gender Advisor a tool to build networks among each others. Linda Johansson believes that “the gathered experience from the participants gives good hope for this week to be successful when it comes to exchanging knowledge and network building between the participants. Another positive sign is the fact that as far as a third of the participants is men”.

- We are extremely pleased to be able to arrange this training course for Gender Advisors, not the least because the new directive on how to integrate gender and 1325 into the NATO structure and the directive states that the Gender Advisor function should be established in peace headquarters as well as in operations. It is obvious that this training course fills a gap and answer to a request for a new capacity, says Charlotte Isaksson, Gender Advisor to the Director of Operations.

The course is a growing concept with two upcoming courses in 2010.
- I feel privileged to have the opportunity to go through this course since I will soon enter my position as a Gender Advisor at ISAF’s HQ in Kabul. It is very valuable for me to listen to the experiences and learn about the structure created at the Swedish PRT in Afghanistan. It is fortunate for the rest of us how the Swedish Armed Forces has taken the front in these questions as we too are to start using Gender Advisors, says Lieutenant Commander Ella Van den Heuvel from the Netherlands. Another Gender Advisor position at the same HQ will be appointed by Norway. Norway has four participants at the course and has like Sweden already Gender Field Advisors in operational area.

The course is arranged in cooperation between The Swedish Armed Forces, The Swedish Police, The Folke Bernadotte Academy and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), the non governmental organisation Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation.