On December 10, 2020, the International and Comparative Law Research Center and the International Institute of Humanitarian Law held the Presentation of the Russian version of the Handbook on “Integrating Gender Perspectives into International Operations”. As part of the event, the discussion between the authors of the Handbook, Russian and foreign experts, and veterans of peacekeeping operations took place.
Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov acted as the moderator of the event.
Victoria Manko in her welcome address stressed the importance of gender perspective both on the national and international level. She noted that in 2020, the theme for Peacekeepers’ Day 2020 was “Women in Peacekeeping – A Key to Peace”. “That is why it is important for us, on our own level, to facilitate the widest possible coverage of the gender perspective among the public”, — Victoria Manko explained.
Fausto Pocar addressed the problem of how gender perspective is considered in international humanitarian law. He pointed out that gender violence “did not appear to be widely addressed in traditional IHL training packages for the armed forces”, which is why “there could be a perception that the issue had not been absorbed as a mainstream IHL subject.” However, as Fausto Pocar noted, the IHL rules could be applied in an “inherently discriminatory way” due to the “structural inequalities and gender stereotypes”. “This is the reason why a project envisaging the preparation of the Training Handbook we are presenting today was adopted and carried to completion”, — he said.
Gabriella Venturini pointed out that the Handbook provided “practical framework for mainstreaming gender in the training of military, police officers, and civilians who are taking part, or will prospectively be involved, in international operations”. The editor of the Handbook outlined the structure of the Handbook and its contents. What is more, Gabriella Venturini explained the terms and concepts which appear in the Handbook. She noted that women’s participation in peace negotiations enhanced “chances for a durable peace in post-conflict societies”.
Giorgio Battisti spoke about his experience in working with female soldiers during the counterterrorism operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and touched on the problems which arose due to gender inequality. He pointed out that not only were women no less effective than men but also allowed the commander “to get in touch with the less visible and accessible part of local population: women”.
Liliya Romadan stressed the importance of women’s participation in preventing and regulating armed conflicts and noted the contribution of the Russian Federation as a partner of the UN to training foreign female peace-keepers at certified training centers. She indicated that the matter of women’s participation in armed conflicts has not been thoroughly studied yet. “That is why interest in this problem is more than justified”, — the diplomat said.
Inna Novichkova spoke about the operations of the Training Center for Staff of Internal Affairs Agencies and Military Units for Participation in Peacekeeping Operations of the All-Russian Institute of Advanced Training of Employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, its structure, and the training process for the colleagues from abroad. She pointed out that “more than 2000 Russian police officers and 600 foreign colleagues have benefited from training for participation in peacekeeping operations at the Training Center.” Inna Novichkova spoke about the future of the Training Center and mentioned new courses in the following areas: “preventive measures of law violation in communities; surveillance, mentorship, and consultation in the sphere of police activity”, which are now being developed at the Training Center.
Edoardo Gimigliano spoke about the “Special Course on the Application of the Handbook on Integrating Gender Perspectives into International Operations” which took place at the International Institute of Humanitarian Law on October 2–30, 2020. He outlined the structure of the course and described the categories of sessions which were held as part of the course.
Evgeniya Neverova shared her experience in translating the Handbook from English into Russian. She pointed out the importance of making the Handbook easy to read in order to make the implementation of its principles more effective and mentioned working with the UN documents while translating the Handbook. Evgeniya Neverova also spoke about the difficulties she faced in translating the Handbook into Russian.
Q&A session, in which the questions from the online audience were discussed, concluded the event.