Folke Bernadotte Academy – Swedish agency for peace, security and development

Catalina Perdomo Rodriguez

Gender adviser in the DRC

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of the world’s most conflict-affected states, and the country hosting the world’s largest UN peace operation MONUSCO. Catalina Perdomo Rodriguez is on secondment from FBA to work as gender adviser for the mission.

Catalina is stationed at the MONUSCO headquarters in Kinshasa, the capital of the DRC.

Catalina, how would you describe a regular day at work?

– I read many reports on the security situation and the political situation in DRC, and I analyze what sort of impact the recent developments will have on women and men. I also have meetings with colleagues from the MONUSCO headquarters and the field offices throughout the country, to discuss how they can work in order to take both women's and men's security needs into account. DRC is one of the most unequal countries in the world and sexual violence has been used as a weapon in the conflicts raging the country. It mostly affects women and girls.

Why is a gender adviser needed in a peace operation?

– It is important to make sure that the work of the UN is effective, and that both men and women benefit from UN peace operations. Peace operations have traditionally been staffed by men with a background in the military and the police. They are not necessarily trained in thinking about women's security needs and in tapping on women's capacities, and how these may differ from the needs and capacities of men. That is why a gender adviser is needed within a peace operation. The mission of a peace operation is, after all, to build peace and assure security for all people living in the area where the peace operation is deployed.

What did you do prior to your secondment from FBA to MONUSCO?

– I have been working for the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), among others. I have been an adviser, project manager and researcher, working with issues spanning from human rights and democracy to security and the political participation of women. I have worked in Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America.

What do you want to do in the future?

– You can bring your family with you when you are deployed to Kinshasa, which is a big city. I live with my husband and our two children in Kinshasa. When my children are older, I would like to work more in the field. But while they are young I will probably continue to work at a headquarter level. It is interesting since a lot of decision-making takes place at the headquarter level, while the work is often more practical if you are stationed at a field office. But whether I will be stationed at a field office or at headquarter level in the future, I hope that I will always be working for international peace and democracy.

Learn more about our impact in the field

Johan Chytraeus

Monitoring officer in Ukraine

Read more about Johan

Karolina Riedel

Statistician in election observation missions

Read more about Karolina

Adam Bergman

Adviser to the UN in Nigeria

Read more about Adam

Mimmi Milligan

Reintegration adviser in Geneva

Read more about Mimmi

Björn Tedeman

Election observer

Read more about Björn

Julia Kempny

Political adviser in Somalia

Read more about Julia

MORE FROM HOME

FBA’s programme for young peacebuilders in Iraq inaugurated

After decades of war, Iraq needs to be rebuilt. Violent protests against the inability of the Iraqi state to provide its citizens with security and basic social services have rocked the country recently. FBA is now starting a programme for young peacebuilders in Iraq, in order to strengthen them in their non-violent efforts for a positive development.

2019-10-28 16:55

IN THE FIELD

Read our publications

Image description

Assessing the Rule of Law in Public Administration: the Mining Sector

More than three years after the adoption of the SDGs, the world faces several troubling and mutually reinforcing trends: loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, climate change and rising inequality, conflict and fragility. Underpinning these linked trends are patterns of unsustainable management of natural resources, including the mining sector.

Documents
Attributes
Author:
FBA, UNDP, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
Year:
2019

THE FBA BLOG

  • Posted by Kuisma Kinnunen

    From policy to practice – gender as a perspective

    As a trainer, what could be better than to be part of a multinational group with a variety of backgrounds, eagerly wanting to learn new skills? Especially when you get to be the course participant for a change.

    I had a dual aim when I recently participated in the Gender Perspective in the EU Common Security and Defence Policy Course, organised by FBA under the auspices of the European Security and Defence College. Besides learning new gender ... Read entire post »

    2019-10-23 11:27
  • Posted by Gabriela Elroy

    Bureaucratic gender mainstreaming – what’s not to get excited about?

    The room is full of representatives from the Jordanian security forces. They are in Sweden on a study trip and have come to FBA to learn more about our work on promoting gender equality in the context of international peace and security generally, and our experience from supporting gender mainstreaming more specifically. I have decided to talk about the conceptual thinking behind much of the work that we do, whether it is with the EU’s Common ... Read entire post »

    2019-10-08 15:50
  • Posted by Andreas Berg

    A fresh start for Ukraine?

    When I first arrived in Kyiv six months ago, I looked out over the city from the hilltop near the office of the EU Advisory Mission for Ukraine (EUAM) where I had just started a job as Coordination and Cooperation Officer. It became immediately clear why the city came to be founded here over 1,000 years ago and why it today is the capital of Ukraine. The mighty Dnepr River splits the city in half, flowing ... Read entire post »

    2019-09-13 16:26
Photo

Saba Nowzari

Saba Nowzari is expert on Mali, the Middle East and women, peace and security

More about our experts

Upcoming courses

Photo

Our partner countries

FBA is part of Sweden’s development aid within the area of peace and security

Read more about the countries where we work

Twitter