Gender, Military Effectiveness, and Organizational Change: The Swedish Model

Authored by: Robert Egnell, Petter Hojem, and Hannes Berts

Categories: The Field of Women, Peace and Security
Sub-Categories: International Agreements, National Security Forces and Armed Groups, Peace and Security, Security Sector Reform (SSR), The Field of Women
Country: Sweden
Region: Europe and Eurasia
Year: 2014
Citation: Egnell, Robert, Petter Hojem, and Hannes Berts. Gender, Military Effectiveness, and Organizational Change: The Swedish Model. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

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Executive Summary

In October 2000, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1325 which reaffirmed the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts as well as in post-conflict reconstruction. Since the resolution was passed, the Swedish Armed Forces have gone through an impressive process of change that has set the agenda for instituting Resolution 1325 in militaries throughout the world. What began as a project of limited scope within the Swedish armed forces has steadily evolved to mainstream a gender perspective, conduct training, and to establish specific gender-related functions and institutions such as Gender Field Advisors, Gender Focal Points and the Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations.

Through extensive interviews and analyses of internal documents, this study provides a unique understanding of these organizational processes, the driving factors and the roadblocks within the armed forces, as well as the impact of a gender perspective in the field of operations. This insight, and the resulting lessons learned, is not only essential for the continued process of implementation in the Swedish case, but also for similar processes in the armed forces and other security related organizations around the world.