This course provided military, police and civilian groups with foundational knowledge and skills to more effectively support the mandate of United Nations (UN) and African Union (AU) peace support operations on gender equality and sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) prevention and response.
The ISS’ Peace Operations and Peacebuilding division together with its African Centre for Peace and Security Training (ACPST) provided the training at the request of the Ethiopian government’s Peace Support Training Centre (PSTC). The training was provided under the umbrella of the memorandum of understanding signed between the ISS and the PSTC in April 2016.
The 26 trainees who attended the course comprised military, police and civilian participants from Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Malawi. The group was made of 14 women and 12 men, some of whom had experience in an AU/UN peacekeeping mission, while others had been cleared for deployment.
The interactive 10-day training course consisted of role-plays, case scenarios, brainstorming, group and individual presentations, and regular discussion sessions that built the confidence of participants. The curriculum covered the following key learning points:
The course was delivered by a diverse team of experienced facilitators, namely: Riana Paneras (ISS), Meressa Kashu (ISS), Liezelle Kumalo (ISS), Tsion Abebe (ISS Consultant), Irene Limo (ACCORD), Hans-Petter Keilland (Norwegian Police), Tilahun Gebremedhin (PSTC) and Dr Elias Abirha (PSTC).
Overall, 73% of participants said their ability to analyse SGBV in violent conflict environments was ‘excellent’ as a result of the training. 58% said the same with regard to their ability to apply gender mainstreaming principles during peace operations, and 65% indicated that their capability to implement gender mainstreaming within their current work environment would be ‘excellent’.
‘This training is related with the reality of gender, especially in my country. We have poor investigation, poor women empowerment and lack of security, and all of this increases the gender violence,’ said one participant.
The course made a significant contribution to promoting gender sensitive policy and practice in peacekeeping and peace operations, as recommended by UN Resolution 1325 in 2000 and reflected in the AU’s Constitutive Act.
Picture: ©Jacqueline Cochrane/ISS