Global gender trainers discuss in Amsterdam the strategies to advance gender equality through training 26 October 2017 26 experienced gender experts from 21 countries have convened in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, between 23-27 October, to complete a Professional Development Programme for Gender Trainers. The initiative that comprises a six-month programme, results from the partnership between the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and the UN Women Training Center. The participants convened in Amsterdam throughout the week represent a diverse background not only in terms of nationality but also with regard to their profiles as they work at both different disciplines (HIV, GBV, SRHR, agriculture, land) and entities (UN agencies, NGOs and BMGF). As highlighted in the opening ceremony of the Course, both organizations, UN Women and the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) share understandings and commitment to the relevance of gender training as a transformative component of gender equality processes. “Joining forces and sharing networks and experiences between us and UN Women help us to amplify our impact and to advance in a more consistent manner to a more equal world,” said Franz Wong, Senior Advisor and Team coordinator at the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT). “Since the 4th World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995, there has been a number of shifts in thinking and approaches to gender mainstreaming. Much of the gender transformative thinking and approaches have given way to other trends in development, influenced to a large part by a neo-liberal agenda,” explains Franz Wong. Besides the capacity building component, the training conducted in Amsterdam constitutes a unique platform to exchange ideas, views and experiences in the field of Gender Training. “For professionals working on different environments and under quite complex contexts to have the possibility to exchange strategies, challenges and concerns constitutes a unique opportunity that does not happen often. Even for us, the organizers of this initiative, the Course is an extraordinary learning privilege to review practices and initiatives implemented in all continents with regard to Gender Equality,” commented Clemencia Muñoz- Tamayo, Chief of the UN Women Training Center. Clemencia Muñoz- Tamayo, Chief of the UN Women Training Center: “The Course is an extraordinary learning privilege to review practices and initiatives implemented in all continents with regard to Gender Equality” The Course includes a first Module next October 23-27, 2017 and a second session in the month of April of 2018 (16-20). The objective of the initiative is to reposition training for Gender Equality to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals. Besides these two professional development workshops facilitated in Amsterdam, the Programme includes a virtual seminar with mentoring and networking during and in-between workshops. The training combines lectures, guest presentations and practical activities and assignments and focuses on three inter-related domains: (i) Gender and development theory and practice in various themes; and global approaches to gender in development; (ii) Feminist Practices: gender knowledge and knowledge making and power and (iii) Training Skills and Methods: training design, delivery and evaluation; communication skills; and learner-centred pedagogy. “Gender continues to become entrenched in development discourse, but we should remain vigilant. Gains have been made in terms of education and women in decision making but some other gains are precarious, particularly in our times of contemporary global politics,” says Franz Wong, Team Coordinator at KIT. Current concerns about the gender equality cause have been shared throughout the first sessions of the Course. “Gender continues to become entrenched in development discourse, but we should remain vigilant. Gains have been made in terms of education and women in decision making but some other gains are precarious, particularly in our times of contemporary global politics. While we do see more actors committing themselves to issues such as women’s empowerment, we should remember the multi-dimensional nature of inequity,” underlines Wong. Participant countries: Afghanistan, Australia, Colombia, France, Haiti, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Netherlands, Pakistan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, U.K., U.S.A., Uganda, Yemen.