Representatives from 17 nations are taking part in the 2nd Annual Gender Mainstreaming Seminar in Arusha, Tanzania, May 18-22, hosted by U.S. Army Africa and the Tanzanian Peoples Defense Force. The seminar signifies the growing relationships between the U.S. Army and African partner nations.
According to Col. Frances Hardison, U.S. Army Africa director of Human Relations and seminar manager, participants seemed passionate about the proposed discussion topics.
The week-long event brings together U.S. Army leaders with counterparts and decision-makers from militaries throughout Africa to promote and discuss gender-mainstreaming topics.
“They all seemed excited to share their story,” said Hardison. She described an eagerness among the participants to talk about the integration of females and the female perspective within their militaries, which is a main topic of the seminar.
The other two topics included sexual gender-based violence, and integration resources for militaries facing gender-mainstreaming challenges. Each topic is divided into panels where subject matter experts will direct a flow of open dialogue among participants.
The purpose of the multinational seminar is to discuss and exchange best practices, successes, challenges, and lessons learned with partner nations’ decision makers, enhance gender-mainstreaming awareness, and build partner capacity by leveraging perspectives, talents and understanding.
Following the panel discussions, participants are further divided into breakout groups, consisting of 7-8 nations each, to conceptualize possible recommendations and actions to topics discussed during their panel.
The panel discussions will be held for three days and include a visit to a local Maasai village, intended to highlight Tanzanian history and unique aspects of tribal culture, wildlife, and geography.
The seminar culminates with individual country briefs and closing comments intended to share knowledge gained during the week’s discussions.