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United Nations University Gender Equality Studies and Training Programme (GRÓ-GEST)

Research Institute/University


Gender Equality

Sub Topics

Gender Budgeting
Gender Mainstreaming
Gender Education
Men for Gender Equality


United Nations University Gender Equality Studies and Training Programme (GRÓ-GEST) 

[email protected]



United Nations University Gender Equality Studies and Training Programme (UNU-GEST) is a post graduate teaching programme based at the University of Iceland. The GEST programme‘s mission is to use a multi-disciplinary approach to promote gender equality and social justice in developing, conflict and post-conflict countries through: Strengthening skills of professionals, scholars and organizations; high-quality, collaborative, and policy-relevant research; and creating a platform for transnational dialogue and knowledge exchange. The GEST programme offers short courses as a part of its academic programme which are specialized trainings catered to the needs of professionals in different fields and can be offered on site, and tailored to the need of the organization/institution. The GEST short courses are intensive trainings of the duration of 3-5 days, designed to contribute to capacity-building, expansion of knowledge base and development of institutional competences. The GEST programme seeks to incrementally expand its delivery of short courses in partner countries to EEA countries of Eastern Europe/ Balkans over the course of next years, see above.


1) Men as Allies

The course Men as Allies has the objective of providing practical tools and critical insights on how to engage men and boys in promotion of gender justice and prevention of violence. The course is tailored to the needs of practitioners and advocates who work in development, education or youth sector.

Objectives of the course:

 Increase understanding of how practices of patriarchal masculinities (of various kinds) sustain gender inequalities.

 Identify the conditions of male socialization that are fueling patriarchal masculinities and specify strategies for challenging and influencing patriarchal socialization of boys.

 Explore the wider societal processes through which we can shift patriarchal masculinities and work to promote more transformative/healthy masculinities.

 Investigate what activities and types of involvement can be done on various levels to address men as allies: grassroots mobilizing, government initiatives at all levels, strategies and policies etc.

 Offer strategies for building community support and advocacy with institutions, governments (local, regional, national) and development partners to adopt policies and scale up programmes that reinforce personal and social change.


2) Teaching Gender to Youth

Teaching Gender to Youth programme tackles several key aspects of the introduction of gender studies at elementary and high school levels, from generating political and institutional will to inaugurate the programmes, to curriculum development, teaching and student organizing. In Iceland, gender studies have been taught as either an elective, or mandatory subject at high school level since 2010 and, as of recently, pilot programs at elementary school level have been introduced as well.

The GEST programme has since mid-year 2017 worked on formulating the course Teaching Gender to Youth with the objective to provide practical tools and critical understanding on how to advocate and develop curricula for teaching gender equality at schools. The course is tailored to the needs of teachers, curriculum developers, educational administrators and policy makers. A pilot version of the course was taught in the GEST postgraduate diploma programme in Spring semester 2018 for an audience of 24 fellows from 14 developing countries.

The main objectives of the course are:

a) Provide knowledge and skills on how to teach gender studies at primary and secondary school level using interactive methods of teaching and resources available to teachers (especially in rural areas).

b) Offer tools on how to develop curricula for gender studies at elementary and high school level that will include discussions about socialization of girls and boys, gender roles, gender stereotypes, understanding of gender equality, health and safety, division of labor etc.

c) Examine strategies for advocating and generating support for gender reform at elementary and high school level, both on the macro level (policy makers and curriculum developers), and on the micro level (in schools – teachers and key mediators).

d) Identify strategies to ensure pupil participation, and support pupils to organize and create their own gender equality projects in schools.


3) Gender Responsive Budgeting

The GEST programme has developed a short course on gender responsive budgeting addressing government planning, programming and budgeting that contributes to the advancement of gender equality and the fulfilment of women's rights. It entails identifying and reflecting needed interventions to address gender gaps in sector and local government policies, plans and budgets. Budgets are important policy instruments for transformation to move society towards gender equality, to promote development and women‘s rights. The Gender Responsive Budgeting short courses are tailored to the needs of recipients, but following is a sample of different types of gender budgeting (GB) training offered:

1) Introduction of Gender Responsive Budgeting where the courses introduce core concepts and underpinning principles for Gender Budgeting work, practices, policy processes, instruments, tools and strategies.

2) Gender-Based Public Finance Reform Review where the course provides a platform for staff working on public finance reforms to implement GB in organizational processes to support different types of public finance reforms and performance assessments. 

3) Process Assessments and Mid-term Reviews for Gender Responsive Budgeting Projects where the focus of the training is geared towards ongoing gender responsive budgeting efforts, and mid-term adaptation to programme implementation processes.

4) Increasing the Efficiency of Gender Responsive Budgeting bringing different stakeholders together for strategy building; civil society, academics, public institutions etc. to identify procedures for joint efforts to increase the effectiveness of GB work.

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