At Operation 1325’s lecture at the Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations, 23 participants from 20 different countries were present to learn more about methods of integrating a gen
At Operation 1325’s lecture at the Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations, 23 participants from 20 different countries were present to learn more about methods of integrating a gender perspective in military missions. The questions during the lecture were therefore many and on a high level, expressing the problems and challenges that international mission staff are confronted with in the field.
How can the military start a 1325-collaboration?
What should one do when the military wants to start a project focusing on resolution 1325 when local organisations do not want to cooperate, one of the participants asked. Sometimes, there is a fear from local organisations that if the military participates, it takes over the whole process. Show them that you won’t and that you just want to work together, says Emmicki Roos, who was the lecturer from Operation 1325. One of the other participants pinpointed that within this area of work, a lot of difference is made if the military is armed or not. The participant claims that it is easier to establish contacts and receive fruitful relationships if there are no weapons involved in any part of the process. This, according to him, can be a good solution in promoting initiatives from the military.
Are women risked more than men?
One of the participants claimed that when you work as a Gender Field Advisor and propose that women must be included in security processes, you always receive a specific comment from men: You will risk that woman. This preconception about women’s participation can often hinder the inclusion of women due to the military’s fear of making a mistake, says the participant. In this case, Emmicki Roos argued that it is important to point out that it is the women’s country as well, and that this viewpoint is only used as an excuse to not deal with women. She finished by asking what the difference is if men are risked, and why are these two actors looked upon differently?
Why speak with women when we don’t speak with others?
A lot of the resistance when including women in all security processes relates to the fact that the military in many cases only have contact with women’s organisations, and not organisations from other parts of civil society, one participant claims. This is criticised and is often difficult to motivate to the local population, especially in Afghanistan, where the participant has been positioned. Operation 1325 realise that while other actors naturally should be included, it is of dire importance that women’s organisations are contacted to make women’s voices heard, since the security sector often is male dominated. Even though the participant agreed with this point, she still questioned this method: That way is a hard sell. That’s where I’ve met most of the resistance. Solving this issue could therefore be a huge turning point in women’s participation in security matters.