Regional Handbook on Preventing and Responding to Gender-Based Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Abuse
23 December 2021
The Regional Handbook on Preventing and Responding to Gender-Based Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Abuse (Handbook) was written with the aim of increasing the capacities of internal mechanisms for the implementation of gender equality and equal opportunities policy and, above all, to serve as a collection of practical tools for identifying, preventing, and combating all forms of gender-based discrimination. The Handbook is primarily intended for persons in the Ministries of Defence and the Armed Forces directly engaged in and responsible for resolving cases of gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, and abuse. The Handbook is also intended to be useful for everyone involved in the creation and implementation of gender-responsive policies in the defence sector, yet also for those interested in learning more about the manifestations of gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, and abuse, so that they are enabled to identify and adequately respond to them.
The Handbook integrates gender-relevant knowledge and experience from four Western Balkans countries, i.e., four defence systems. It is the result of the collaboration of members of the Working Group consisting of eight appointed representatives of four Ministries of Defence. The Working Group combined and utilized its members’ knowledge and experience in workshops and small group work in the period from September 2019 to September 2020 to devise the concept of, prepare contributions for, and shape the final text of the Handbook. This participatory process provided members of the Working Group with an opportunity to exchange ideas and share experiences and examples of good practice while enhancing the cooperation between, and capacities of, the Ministries of Defence and the Armed Forces of the Western Balkans countries for strengthening the mechanisms for combating and protecting against gender-based discrimination.