Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

Manual on Gender Equality promoted

Training Manual on Gender Equality in the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces was presented today at the Central Military Club. The Manual was written by male and female gender trainers in the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces, and developed and produced with the support of the United Nations Development Programme/SEESAC Office (UNDP SEESAC), in the framework of "Support for Gender Mainstreaming in the Security Sector Reform in the Western Balkans".

The guests were welcomed by Prof. Jovanka Saranovic, Gender Advisor to the Minister of Defence, who spoke about the purpose of the project – the integration of gender issues in the security sector – and its results – regional meetings, regional studies, and education on gender equality.

Speakers at the meeting were Prof. Nevena Petrusic, professor of the Nis Faculty of Law, former Commissioner for Gender Equality, Tatjana Visacki, a psychologist at the Strategic Research Institute and one of editors of the manual Danijela Djurovic, editor of the manual and adviser in the SEESAC.

Danijela Djurovic explained how they came to the idea of making the manual and Tatjana Visacki presented its ten thematic sections. Professor Nevena Petrusic, as a consultant on the project, who cooperated with the Ministry of Defence in her capacity as Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, pointed out that the Armed Forces was the only system in Serbia, where the recommendations made were not perceived as a recommendations against someone, but they were all realised, unlike in some other systems where there were delays and disagreements.

Then Lieutenant Commander Jovan Krivokapic, a spokesperson of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces and Lieutenant Colonel Damir Jeina from the SAF Training and Doctrine Department spoke about their experiences in drafting the manual.

At the promotion it was heard that a gender perspective is not an element to be added – it must permeate all the questions and concepts relating to security. Achieving this goal requires necessary education and training to raise awareness of the importance of gender mainstreaming in the defence system. The manual is written to support the delivery of training in the field of gender equality aimed at different target groups in the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces.

Equal participation of women and men in the security institutions in creating and implementing policies is a democratic value. Taking into account the different experiences, skills, interests and perspectives of men and women, contributes to the development of the armed forces, which thus become more efficient in responding to different security needs.

The drafting and publication of the Manual was praised also by Commissioner for the Protection of Equality Brankica Jankovic, who attended the ceremony.

The manual was created on the initiative of MoD and SAF Gender Trainers, who recognized the need for its development, as it will help to developing and implementing training programmes for different target groups and improving the knowledge of all members of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces on gender equality in the security sector.