Supporting Greater Awareness of Gender Mainstreaming Principles and Practices
As a minimum standard for the application of gender mainstreaming principles across our programming, we set a requirement for women to be included in each type of activity, and for our Monitoring and Evaluation indicators to be disaggregated by gender.
Beyond this, we undertook several awareness raising measures that must be further built upon in order to help bring about more systemic change in the organisational culture of the Gendarmerie and PSD in terms of women’s participation.
We held eight gender awareness workshops for the Gendarmerie. In each workshop we introduced a range of gender and diversity concepts, gave participants an opportunity to discuss the challenges and benefits of integrating gender into the Gendarmerie’s policies and practices, and examined the implications of UNSCR 1325 for Jordan’s security agencies.
A total of 335 Gendarmes participated in the workshops, and the rate of women’s participation was high (11 percent), relative to the overall rate of women’s participation in the Gendarmerie (1.5 percent). Whist Jordanian society is characterised by a high degree of social/religious conservatism, and gender as a theme will always stimulate discussion and debate among the participants of any workshop, a number of entry points for further work emerged.
Participants recommended the engagement of a gender focal point from the Gendarmerie in order to ensure organisational ownership and demonstrate the commitment of the senior leadership to gender mainstreaming. In response, the Gendarmerie’s Assistant to the General Director for Operations appointed Captain Ghada Khreisat as the Gendarmerie’s focal point for gender. Captain Ghada will be responsible for participating in all internal and external discussions relating to women’s inclusion, especially around the implementation of UNSCR 1325. The Gender Focal Point role is still in its early stages of development and so there is an opportunity to support its growth.
The participants also recommended providing similar workshops to different target groups, both within the Gendarmerie and within local communities. Within the Gendarmerie, the workshops should target mid- to senior-ranked officers who are responsible for setting the Gendarmerie’s processes and procedures. They should also target members of the Media and Public Relations departments so that Gendarmerie publications promote and normalise gender mainstreaming and the inclusion of women in operational roles. Within local communities, workshops should target school and university students so that gender mainstreaming concepts are well understood from a young age and to encourage community members to support their female friends and relatives who may wish to join the security sector and/or take on operational roles.
In relation to our work with Gendarmerie Unit 21 around the use of intelligence in the protection of key sites and sensitive premises, we held an intelligence orientation seminar for eight women Gendarmes (six of the women were from the Information and Security Affairs Department and the remaining two were from the Communications Department). The seminar included a session on the benefits of integrating women in intelligence and investigations work. The participants, particularly those from the Information and Security Affairs Department, expressed a desire to play an active role in the intelligence functions of the Gendarmerie, and requested holistic and thorough training in this area. This is an idea that could be raised with the Gendarmerie’s Gender Focal Point for further development.
Within the Community Policing component of our work, we included a one-day training session on gender and diversity within the training programme that we passed on to the ten new Community Police trainers. They will henceforth deliver this session to their colleagues in the PSD as an essential and component part of their broader Community Policing training package.