NATO promotes the role of women in peace and security

  • Last updated: 08 Mar. 2010 10:27

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen recently said that greater empowerment and more effective protection of women against the dangers of armed conflicts benefits everyone, not only women. This 8 March, NATO is marking International Women’s Day by bringing prominent NATO women ‘back to school’ to encourage more future female leaders to take part in building peace and security.

The programme ‘NATO Women Back to School!’ is sending female NATO staff members back to the schools and universities where they earned their degrees to present themselves, their work, the role of NATO and how they are taking part in international security. The aim is to show students in all 28 NATO member countries how women contribute to security and defence.  

At the same time, the relationship between these NATO speakers and their home schools should also help students to understand how security concerns everyone, and how NATO contributes to their own personal security every day.

The Alliance would like to encourage a wider discussion on women in conflict prevention, crisis management and conflict resolution, particularly by highlighting the UN security council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in October this year.

Video debate

On 8 March, NATO is also kicking off a series of video debates on empowering women in conflict zones, with the first session airing at 16:00 on NATO’s website.

Three experts will share their views and respond to your queries: Terje Hagen, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Human Resources, who is responsible for NATO’s gender and diversity policy; Laurie Muir, Staff Officer in the Political Affairs and Security Policy Division, who chairs the NATO Task Force on UNSCR 1325; and Brigadier General Jan Peter Spijk, who has been actively involved in this issue at Allied Command Operations.

The session will be moderated by Dr. Stefanie Babst, NATO’s Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy.

The video series is held in co-operation with other international partners – such as the European Union, the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe – and civil society.

Send in your questions before the debate to womenpeaceandsecurity@hq.nato.int and stay tuned for future discussions.