The Gender Equality Studies and Training Program (GEST) promotes gender equality and social justice in low income countries, conflict and post-conflict societies, through research, training, and education at postgraduate level. Its main target group is professionals working for government and civil society organizations in low income countries and post-conflict societies undergoing reconstruction.
The GEST Program is part of GRO - Centre for Capacity Development, Sustainability and Societal Change - which comprises of four thematic capacity and development programs: The Geothermal Training Program (GTP), the Fisheries Training Program (FTP), the Land Restoration Training Program (LRT) and the Gender Equality Studies and Training Program (GEST).
GRO's mission is to strengthen individual, organizational and institutional capacities in developing and conflict/post-conflict countries to deliver development results in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This work is carried out through capacity development training programs with a focus on the four thematic areas described above.
GRO is primarily funded by the Icelandic State, as part of the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs' development assistance plan. It operates under the auspices of UNESCO as a category 2 institute, aligning the fields of specialization in teaching and research and contributing to the implementation of UNESCO's strategic program objectives.
Since it was established in 2009, a total of 132 students have graduated from the UNU-GEST Program.
The UNU-GEST Program has collaborated with several entities for various projects and events. For example, the Program hosted the first ReNEW summer school in May 2019. ReNEW (Reimagining Norden in an Evolving World) is a research hub established in 2018. Its goal is to enhance cooperation to develop new and pathbreaking excellence in research about the Nordic region. The Program also collaborates with RIKK - Institute for Gender, Equality and Difference, a leading institute in the field of women's gender and equality research in Iceland founded in 1991. Together they host a series of lectures at the National Museum of Iceland from January to May on topics such as climate change and gender equality.
The UNU-GEST Program has implemented, in cooperation with the Icelandic Embassy in Malawi, a short training course, Teaching Gender to Youth, in Mangochi. Over 50 participants attended the course, including student teachers, teachers and educational administrators. The Program has also collaborated with the Ugandan Government, specifically the Climate Change Department and Makarere University, with the support of the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs. A short training course was conducted on Gender and Climate Change in the city of Mbale, Uganda. The course was attended by 30 specialists from the Karamoja region, Bududa district and the city of Mbale to represent different sectors within local governments, as well as representatives of CSOs.
In February 2019, UNU-GEST staff attended the "Men, Masculinities and Gender Equality in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean: Interregional dialogues" conference in Mozambique, a collaborative project of UNESCO, MenEngage Alliance, SAfAIDS and HOPEM.
The UNU-GEST program is an operational partner of Nordic Women Mediators (NWM) in Iceland. In May 2019 over 50 members of the NWM network convened in Oslo for a two-day annual meeting. In addition to NWM members, seven specialists from Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen were invited to provide insight into the status of women's engagement and influence in the peace processes in their respective countries. The UNU-GEST program also co-hosted CSW63 side event "Women at the Table! Transformative change - Women shaping the agenda of peace, transitional justice and political agreements" with the Icelandic branch of NWM in collaboration with the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Hofdi Reykjavik Peace Centre.
|Name of partner||Type of entity|
University of Iceland
GRÓ - Centre for Capacity Development, Sustainability and Societal Change