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

Catalina Perdomo Rodriguez

Gender Adviser in 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 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

Intensified support to the peace process in Mali

The peace process in Mali is fragile and the security situation remains difficult in large parts of the country, not the least for women. FBA supports Mali’s newly-established regional dialogue and mediation teams, and offers gender mainstreaming training for key state officials involved in the peace process.

2019-04-24 10:41

Read our publications

Image description

Executive Summary: Report on UN-FBA joint Learning Forum on Youth, Peace and Security

On 5-7 December 2018, FBA hosted a joint UN learning forum on youth, peace and security. This is an executive summary of the forum that was held at the island of Sandö, Sweden.

Documents
Attributes
Author:
FBA
Year:
2019

IN THE FIELD

THE FBA BLOG

  • Posted by Juliana Huus

    In Liberia, security is everybody’s business

    According to the FBA’s definition, security sector reform (SSR) is a concept that frames technical reforms within a political process.

    I think back two weeks to when I was in Liberia, reciting the for me now very familiar but abstract above sentence. The participants in the room, 16 program officers from the Liberian National Security Council Secretariat, were repeating this sentence with me in unison.

    For the past four days, we had tried to unpack this sentence in ... Read entire post »

    2019-04-26 16:08
  • Posted by Linda Forsberg

    Achieving gender equality in UN peacekeeping – a lot like building new doors

    When you visualise a door, what do you see?

    To me, the image of a closed door has similarities to gender equality and UN peacekeeping. Let me explain.

    UN Secretary-General António Guterres aims to achieve gender equality throughout the UN system by 2028. He is actively prioritising to change the inverse relationship across the UN system between seniority and women’s representation – the higher the grade, the larger the gap in gender parity. Particular attention is directed towards ... Read entire post »

    2019-04-18 10:54
  • Posted by Julia Kempny

    Peace and life – or nabad iyo nolol in Somali

    Acute vertigo kicked in as I stepped off the helicopter and my feet touched solid ground for the first time after six days at sea, and I realized that my job as Political Adviser to the EU Capacity Building Mission in Somalia (EUCAP Somalia) was beyond that of a normal desk job.

    The helicopter had departed from an Italian warship off the coast of Mogadishu where I had spent the better part of a week sailing up ... Read entire post »

    2019-04-10 11:18
Photo

Taleb Sobeh

Taleb is expert on Iraq and Palestine

More about our experts

Upcoming courses

Twitter