In the majority of Peacekeeping Operations (PKOs), the appointment responsible for gender-related matters is the Military Gender and Protection Advisor (MGPA). This is a new role in the military component of a peacekeeping operation. Force Commanders see merit in having someone in the planning cell who can integrate UN Security Council Resolutions on women, peace and security, Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, and Protection of Children in the work of operational staff. All United Nations peacekeeping missions with a protection of civilian’s mandate have established MGPA positions Military Gender and Protection Advisers. The United Nations Force Headquarters Handbook states the need for Military Gender and Protection Advisers and Military Gender Focal Points The UN requires each battalion to have at least one Military Gender Focal Point. There are also Gender Focal Points at the headquarters level with either mission without POC mandate.
This course will address the current capability gap of Troop Contributing Countries when personnel deployed in the role of MGPA or Military Gender Focal Point. There are currently no UN DPO Pre-Deployment courses that develop the capacity of military officers to integrate a gender perspective in a military context as required by MGPA and GFP. The UN requires each battalion to have at least one gender focal point (see United Nations Force Headquarters and United Nations Infantry Battalions Manuals). Currently, the UN does not offer specific training to train individuals ready to perform these functions.
The rationale for this course is mentioned in the UN Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace, and Security (UNSCR 1325 and UNSCR 2242), which call on the Member States to better apply gender perspective into military peacekeeping activities. The 2015 High-Level Independent Panel on Peacekeeping Operations recommends that the Secretariat:
· Develop a strategy for the creation of gender-sensitive forces and police, in particular by encouraging troop-contributing countries to develop and/or implement a national action plan on UN Security Council resolution 1325 United,
· Support Member States to establish a strong global training partnership, based on a training certification system to help target limited resources among the Member States.
· Carry out gender-sensitive analysis throughout the process of analysis, planning, implementation, review, appraisal, and withdrawal of missions.
 United Nations Force Headquarters handbook, pages 20 and 37.
 United Nations Infantry Battalions Manuals, page 69
MGPA requires specialized knowledge and skills. MGPA officers must be well trained and know their role in mission areas. MGPAs advise on the protection and prevention of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence; promoting the Inclusion of Women in conflict resolution, Protection of Children and Protection of Civilians, and other cross-cutting issues. MGPAs are responsible for supporting and strengthening women’s participation, representation, and empowerment in the peace process. At the operational level, the Military Gender and Protection Advisor serves as a bridge between the civilian and military components working on gender, Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, children in armed conflict and the protection of civilians. The MGPA is responsible for designing, maintaining, and updating the military gender responsiveness action plan.
Sector-level Gender Focal Points (GFP) serve also as a bridge between civilian sections working in the areas of gender, conflict-related sexual violence, child protection and the protection of civilians at their level. Each infantry unit should have a GFP trained on gender and protection issues in each battalion base of operations, and company. This is to ensure that units include the participation of women and girls in working groups when planning early warning mechanisms and the protection of civilians. GFPs are required to know how to respond to survivors of conflict-related sexual violence and to whom to report incidents. They must know why and how their HQ/Unit should plan and execute patrols that will prevent and protect civilians from conflict-related sexual violence and other human rights violations. Lastly, and provide Monthly Gender Reports to the FHQ MGPA, either directly or through their Sector Level MGPA where appropriate.
 Gender resources package, Page 122
At the end of this course the learner will be able to:
- Put into practice the recommendations of UN Security Council resolutions on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.
- Advice on the design and conduct of protection of civilians plans including the protection and prevention of conflict-related sexual violence.
- Encourage the integration of women in conflict resolution and management, and their involvement in activities related to leadership in society.
- Advise military commanders and HQ staff on integrating a gender perspective into the planning, execution, and evaluation of military operations in support of United Nations peacekeeping activities.
- Advise on how to integrate UN Security Council Resolutions, Department of Peace Operations (DOP), and Department of Operational Support (DOS) guidelines regarding gender into military processes, procedures, and activities.
- Contribute to situational awareness, providing a gender perspective, identifying the different security issues of men and women and children, paying particular attention to protection and security threats including the level of conflicts related to sexual violence committed and other human rights violations.
- Facilitate the training of staff officers and military observers on the integration of gender in the various military functions and understand the limitations and the positive as well as (the avoidance of) negative risks for military operations planned/conducted, that are mandated by the respective mission SCR.
- Establish relationships with all elements of the United Nations organic sections and staff working on gender, human rights, and the protection of women and children.
This online course covers the following content:
- Women, Peace and Security Agenda: UN resolutions
- Protection of Civilians in United Nations peacekeeping missions
- Gender analysis process and military operations planning
- Roles and responsibilities of the Military Gender and Protection Adviser.
The course consists of the following 6 Modules:
1. Definition of Key Terms
2. Role and responsibilities of the MGPA
3. The Legal Framework of the Women, Peace and Security Program
4. Key Stakeholders in the MGPA network
6.Gender Analysis and Gender, Peace and Security Indicators
Online, self-paced course organised into 6 main modules. In each module, the learner is presented with key information and exercises to enable them to integrate theory with practice.
This course targets Military Gender and Protection Advisers (MGPA) and Gender Focal Point (GFP).