Gender Support Function Workshop, Embassy of Sweden, Bangkok

January 20, 2017

The Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok organized a workshop to launch the Gender Support Function on 19 Jan. WOCAN will be managing the Gender Support Function . Gender equality is a prioritized area for the strategy of Sweden’s regional development cooperation in Asia and the Pacific 2016-2021. The objective of the support function, which will be managed by WOCAN, is to improve the integration of gender equality in the development cooperation programs.

The main objective of the workshop was to introduce WOCAN and conduct a capacity assessment of the partners for the implementation of gender strategy in their respective programs and organizations. The event brought together 40 participants (34 women and 6 men) including the development partners of Sweden and staff from the Embassy. 

Anne-Charlotte Malm, Head of Development Cooperation, Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok, opened the workshop by welcoming all participants and presenting the rationale behind the setting up of the Gender Support Function. Jeannette Gurung, Executive Director of WOCAN, facilitated the next session and asked participants to introduce themselves by answering two questions: what frustration drives you and what inspires you? 

All participants shared various barriers such as institutional structure, social norms and competing priorities to push the gender agenda in their programs and organizations. At the same time They also shared their inspirations that drive them, such as the impact they see in the lives of women in the fields and programs.

Jeannette concluded the session by introducing WOCAN and Barun Gurung, WOCAN Lead Trainer, who moderated the next session on capacity assessment. Participants were divided into groups and discussed the following questions:
•    What financial resources does your organization have to implement gender equality plans?
•    What are the key challenges to implement your gender action plans/strategies?
•    What are your organizations capacity needs in order to do a rigorous analysis?

After the group discussions and presentations, Jeannette presented the list of WOCAN support services and Orawan Raweekoon, Program Officer of the Embassy of Sweden, shared the various categories of support that can be requested and the process for the request.