In May 2018, GMAP was in Bogotá to deliver the Workshop “Gender and Mine Action: Designing a National Gender and Diversity Policy for Integrated Mine Action in Colombia”. This workshop is an important step of a project, developed with the support of the governments of Australia and Germany and in cooperation with the Colombian National Mine Action Authority (Dirección Descontamina Colombia), to support the country to develop and implement a Gender and Diversity Policy for Mine Action.
The aim of the meeting, organised in the margins of the Technical Sub-commission of Integrated Vitim Assistance (Subcomisión Técnica de Asistencia Integral a Víctimas de Minas Antipersonal), was to share the work done by GMAP so far with representatives from the government and civil society, and discuss the findings and identify recommendations and actions that should be integrated in the policy. Over the past months, GMAP has conducted three assessments– in October 2017 in Vista Hermosa, Meta; in November 2017 in Algeciras, Huila, and in January 2018 in Miranda, Cauca– in areas contaminated by mines and explosive remnants of war in Colombia in order to understand what gender and diversity aspects need to be incorporated into the Integrated Mine Action programme in Colombia. With the support of a local consultant and local partners (especially NPA, HALO Trust and Campaña Colombiana Contra Minas), and the presence of a representative from Descontamina Colombia, GMAP conducted 16 focus group discussions and 7 interviews with 72 women and 57 men who are survivors, indirect victims, community members, representatives of Afro-Colombian and indigenous groups, local authorities and humanitarian demining NGOs.
During the Workshop, GMAP shared the findings from these assessments and recommendations for the policy. Participants worked in groups to identify gaps and brainstorm on actions to address the issues identified. Twenty-two women and seventeen men attended the event, among representatives of demining and civil society organisations, representatives of different ministries, local and national authorities and representatives from Descontamina Colombia and UNMAS.
Based on these discussions, GMAP will prepare a document with recommendations and implementation goals for the policy, to be adopted by Descontamina Colombia in 2018 in the framework of the current peace process and national normative framework for gender, diversity and victim assistance.