"Gender equality? When we are defending Sweden?"


  • Helene Lackenbauer

Publish date: 2019-06-14

Report number: FOI-R--4749--SE

Pages: 35

Written in: Swedish


  • Aurora 17
  • UNSCR 1325
  • gender
  • gender mainstreaming
  • gender in military operations


In autumn 2017, the Swedish Armed Forces (SwAF) held a joint combined exercise called Aurora 17. In conjunction, the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) was commissioned by the SwAF to study how the gender perspective was integrated in the exercise. This study found that the SwAF personnel have a limited understanding of the benefits of gender mainstreaming and the integration of the gender perspective. They also have difficulties understanding gender concepts and the benefits of the gender perspective when carrying out their main task, i.e. defence in the event of an armed attack. In addition, the SwAF leadership has difficulties to communicate a unified message about why and how gender should be integrated into military activities. This study has made three main recommendations with the purpose to promote sustainable gender mainstreaming in the SwAF. 1. The SwAF's main task, i.e. defence in the event of an armed attack, should be the starting point for gender mainstreaming in all SwAF's activities. 2. The SwAF should clarify and communicate two main objectives: a. A gender equal organization, and b. Provide equal security to the entire population, i.e. men, women, girls and boys. 3. Commanders at all levels should continue to show leadership and commitment as well as guide and follow up activities based on decided gender objectives.