UNU-GEST and the Icelandic Red Cross sign a Memorandum of Understanding

Last week, the United Nations University Gender Equality Studies and Training (UNU-GEST) Programme and the Icelandic Red Cross signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU expresses an interest in collaborating in developing gender equality projects and sharing of expertise in the field of humanitarian and developing work, in Iceland and internationally. The Icelandic Red Cross has increasingly emphasised the empowerment of women and girls within its international projects.  The UNU-GEST operates a 30 ECTS post-graduate diploma programme in Gender Equality Studies at the University of Iceland providing fellowship opportunities for over 20 international students each year. The programme emphasises the development of projects and research on gender equality in the students‘ home countries and targets specialists from developing, conflict, and post-conflict countries. From its inception in 2009 UNU-GEST has graduated 109 specialists, including a large number of students from the Palestinian Territories and Malawi where the Icelandic Red Cross is involved in several projects. “We at the Icelandic Red Cross are certain that our partnership with UNU-GEST will enhance the quality of our projects even further. It is valuable to have access to the expertise that has been developed and strengthened by the UNU-GEST and we hope that both institutes will benefit“ said Atli Viðar Thorstensen Director of Humanitarian Operations at the Icelandic Red Cross. The Director of UNU-GEST agreed and added: “This partnership is important for UNU-GEST as it provides an opportunity for UNU-GEST fellows to  contribute their expertise to the high quality of the to Icelandic Red Cross projects.“

UNU-GEST and the Icelandic Red Cross look forward to their collaboration and hope that it will lead to enhanced understanding and practices of gender equality in their international and local projects and research.