The Military Gender Adviser (MGA) training program is a project designed by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in partnership with the UN Department of Peace Operations (DPO) and the support of France and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) to ensure the integration of a gender perspective in the implementation of peace operations mandates in contexts where the protection of women, girls and gender and sexual minorities and their participation in peace processes remains a significant challenge.
This first-ever UN training for Military Gender Advisors (MGAs) and Military Gender Focal Points (MGFPs) in peace operations is part of the advancement of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda and the Uniform Gender Strategy 2018-2028.
This training program comprises two components, an online training that provides the knowledge and skills necessary to become a MGA, and a face-to-face training that allows participants to deepen their understanding and develop the leadership skills required to perform this function.
What is a Military Gender Advisor?
The role of Military Gender Advisor (MGA) refers to those responsible for gender mainstreaming in the military component of UN peace operations. Having a military gender advisor within the military component allows force commanders to have a member of the military operations planning cell responsible for the integration of UN Security Council resolutions on Women, Peace and Security, conflict-related sexual violence, and gender-based violence. Thus, military gender advisors ensure the integration of a gender perspective in the implementation of UN peace operations mandates.
Specifically developed for military personnel, this training will also be of interest to civilians and other professionals working in peace operations. This training provides an understanding of gender issues specific to the context of peace operations and their implications for the planning of military operations. Going beyond theoretical knowledge, it is the learning of the skills and attitudes necessary to accomplish MGA tasks’ that makes this course a unique training tool.
Developed to prepare current and future military gender advisors (MGAs), the face-to-face training complements the online course and builds on the knowledge gained online with hands-on exercises, simulations, and case studies to develop the behavioural and social skills required to perform the role of MGA. The training goes beyond understanding the concepts of gender and the MGA’s tasks. It enables participants to develop the communication, collaboration, leadership and initiative skills that are crucial for MGAs to become agents of change actively working to achieve the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda and protecting minorities.
The first edition of the face-to-face training for military gender advisors took place in June 2022 in the form of a validation workshop.
Testimonies from the validation workshop participants
The validation workshop of the face-to-face training for military gender advisors allowed participants to feel confident in their capacities to act as military gender advisors (MGAs). The participative methodology, favouring both knowledge acquisition and personal skills development, turned participants into agents of change ensuring gender mainstreaming in their environment. A series of testimonials highlighting the impact of this training on participants and the initiatives it has inspired is available here.