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New toolkit to strengthen gender equality in MSB's international operations

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Published: 2019-05-20 kl. 15:30
Today, MSB is launching a new resource aiming to enhance the agency’s commitment to promote gender equality in international operations. In this work, all staff have a key role to play. To support efforts, MSB Gender Equality Toolkit has been developed to serve as an encyclopedia of practical tips, advice and examples of how staff can integrate gender equality considerations into a wide range of working methods and technical areas of expertise in crisis management and peace support operations.

Conflicts and disasters affect women, girls, boys and men differently. Because there are existing inequalities between women and men in society, women are often disproportionately affected and do not have the same ability to prepare for, cope with and recover from crises. Experiences may also differ between for example young and elderly, for people with disabilities and ethnic, religious or sexual minorities. Similarly, female and male staff working in international operations have different needs and are often exposed to different threats and risks during their assignments.

To ensure MSB operations achieve results that strengthen the resilience of whole societies and make a difference for women and men on the ground, gender equality must be at the centre. As an international aid actor and government agency, MSB has a responsibility to act to ensure that women, girls, boys and men’s needs, priorities and participation are taken into account in operations.

- By integrating a gender perspective in all our work, we make sure that we do the right things, in the right way and with the right knowledge about the target groups we are working with, be it crisis-affected populations or staff in a peace support mission. These arguments are easy to understand and agree on, but questions that commonly follow are "but how do we do it?" and "what can I do?", says Jenny Molin, Gender Advisor at the Operations Section and who has been the project manager for the development of the resource.

Consequently, the MSB Gender Equality Toolkit has been developed to inspire to more actions for gender equality. It offers over 30 easy-to-use tools and checklists with practical tips, tricks and examples aimed at enhancing staff capacity to take measures in their daily work. The resource is based on MSB's own tools and experiences, but also builds on globally established and MSB's international partner organisations' guidelines, standards and methods. This to ensure that MSB works in line with the latest standards and contributes to strengthening the implementation of already existing methods and tools for promoting gender equality in crises management and peace support operations.

- It has been a very interesting and worthwhile process for us to develop this resource. A large number of MSB staff have been involved, but also experts from our EU and UN partners and other Swedish and global organisations. We hope this has contributed to making the tools as practical and user-friendly as possible for the experts who will apply them, says Jenny Molin.

The toolkit mainly targets field staff deployed to MSB international operations and who are no experts in gender. However, since many of the tools are rather generic, some can also be useful to internal MSB staff, both within the international and national activities, as well as staff from other government agencies and Swedish and global organisations. In contrast to the predecessor resource MSB Gender Equality Handbook from 2009, the new toolkit should not be read from A to Z but be used more as an encyclopedia in which one can seek inspiration and support when carrying out certain tasks during the course of an operation. Jenny Molin concludes,

- To achieve effective results that promote gender equality in our operations, everyone has an important role to play. We therefore encourage all MSB staff working with international operations, but also other government agencies and organisations, to browse through this bank of tools and learn more about how you can contribute to these goals in your own area of work.

Do you want to know more?

MSB's gender euality work in international operations

MSB Gender Equality Toolkit: practical advice for international operations
Conflicts and disasters affect women, girls, boys and men differently. Because there are existing inequalities between women and men in s...
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MSB1394
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