The Gender Equality Studies and Training Programme (GEST) was established in January 2009 through an agreement between the University of Iceland and the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The goal of the GEST Programme was to become accredited as part of the United Nations University, which was achieved in 2013. During the pilot phase, 29 fellows from Afghanistan, Palestine, Uganda and Mozambique completed the Diploma Programme.

An independent evaluation of GEST was conducted in June 2012 as one of the key prerequisites for GEST joining the UNU network. The results showed that the goals, quality and structure of the Programme correlated with the requirements of the UNU network. Following the successful evaluation, the three parties concluded a trilateral agreement in May 2013 between the University of Iceland, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland and the UN Universities (UNU), formalizing GEST’s membership in the UNU network.

Through the development, expansion and integration of various organisations within the UNU-GEST framework, the programme has seen a number of fellows from many countries graduate with a diploma in international gender studies. Since the pilot phase in 2009, UNU-GEST has been host to a strong network of individuals working as experts within gender related fields.

The UNU-GEST alumni network aims to allow past fellows to access a platform in which they can sustain contact between peers, past fellows and those joining the programme as future cohorts. Beyond this, the network hopes to involve alumni with current UNU-GEST projects, act as a bridge for academic integration with partner organisations, and enforce progression towards working for equality in gender-based fields.

The UNU-GEST alumni network will grow each year. This allows for the constant development of new country networks. Please keep updated by visiting these established alumni pages through our website.