Members of the Canadian Armed Forces to Take “Gender-Based Analysis+” Course


Members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will take a “gender-based analysis+” course (GBA+) as part of new commitments in Canada’s defence policy to increase “diversity and gender equality”. Gender-based analysis+ is an analytical process used to assess how groups of women, men and non-binary people may experience policies, programs and initiatives:

“The “plus” in GBA+ acknowledges that GBA+ goes beyond biological (sex) and socio-cultural (gender) differences. We all have multiple identity factors that intersect to make us who we are; GBA+ also considers many other identity factors, such as race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.”

The course, taken by all members of the CAF, is designed to enable pupils to “recognize how various identity factors can influence the experience of federal government initiatives”. Students will apply “foundational GBA+ concepts and processes” in order to “build a workforce [within the CAF] that leverages the diversity and multicultural fabric of Canadian society”. 

According to the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND), a key tool of defence is the “implement[ation] of GBA+” where GBA+ is “used to inform [the] decision-making process in support of developing successful programs, policies and operations”. Critically, the CAF will “incorporate GBA+ into [the] planning and execution of operations”. 

The implementation of GBA+ in the CAF will improve “operational effectiveness” and ensure an understanding of the “social and cultural” differences of those who are “disproportionately affected by conflict and crisis”. The Department of National Defence stated that so-called “gender advisors” will inform and advise on gender considerations “both in Canada and on deployed operations”. This will directly affect operational planning and doctrine and all military policies will be examined “through a GBA+ lens.”


Correction and Update:

Yesterday’s dispatch reporting on the “Gender-Based Analysis+” (GBA+) course taken by the Canadian Armed Forces was in reference to a government report from 2017. A government update from 03/03/2021 confirmed that the Department of Defence (DND) is “continuing efforts to institutionalize the use of GBA+ to inform policies, programs and operations”. These efforts will include “continued capacity development through training”, “integrating GBA+ requirements into systems and processes” and finally “developing measurement and accountability frameworks.”

Key initiatives where GBA+ will be implemented include property and site development plans. GBA+ was introduced as a “lens” in property planning last year, but the updated initiatives will require the planning for new DND infrastructure to be “increasingly inclusive, respecting the needs of everyone” to “increase the comfort, safety, and accessibility of those who live and work at Defence Team sites”. 

The Department of Defence was unable to report on the plans of gender and diversity-related plans due to the “unavailability of information and data collection initiatives” for measuring GBA+ results. Initiatives will be taken to “develop data collection and analysis tools that will enable the DND to report on its Program Inventory to improve the capacity to measure and assess the impacts of the programs on gender and diversity in the future”.

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