On 2-4 May 2012, the Centre for Strategic Studies (CSS) at the University of Botswana and the Geneva-based Centre for Security, Development and the Rule of Law (DCAF) hosted a SADSEM workshop on gender training and education in the defence and security sector. Held in Botswana, it was attended by representatives of seven SADSEM network member institutions as well as local role players in gender training and education.
The workshop formed part of an ongoing Gender Training and Education Capacity Development Project set out in the SADSEM / DCAF Memorandum of Understanding concluded in 2010. The project is aimed at supporting the development of gender-sensitive security sector transformation (SST) and governance-related training in the southern Africa by reviewing and adjusting the gender components of SADSEM’s training and education programmes.
The workshop’s specific objectives were to:
- provide a forum for gaining insight into and sharing knowledge of SST training and education;
- present current SST training and education initiatives by SADSEM member institutions as well as gaps and needs in respect of gender; and
- identify steps to be taken to strengthen the incorporation of gender issues within the SADSEM network.
The workshop sought to achieve these objectives through the participation of three academics from Namibia and Botswana with extensive gender expertise as well as sessions focused on:
- SADSEM member presentations of current gender training and education
- conceptual and practical linkages between gender, security and defence
- Examples of gender and security sector issues in the Southern African Development Community
- Methods for reviewing gender curriculae
- A gender review of SADSEM’s executive course curriculum.
The participating SADSEM member instituions were the Centre for Strategic Studies, University of Botswana; the Centre for Security Studies, Mzuzu University; the Defence and Security Management Project, University of Namibia; the Centre for Defence and Security Management, University of the Witwatersrand; the Defence and Security Management Subcentre, Centre for Foreign Relations, Tanzania; the Defence and Security Project, University of Zambia; and the Zimbabwe Peace and Security Network.
At the end of the workshop the participants initiated a process for reviewing and amending SADSEM’s training curriculum in order to ensure that it incorporates gender issues.