NATO Secretary General signs up as HeForShe Champion

  • 19 Mar. 2015 -
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  • Last updated: 19 Mar. 2015 12:33

In a global effort to further gender equality and empowerment of women, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has joined other world leaders in signing up to the Impact10x10x10 Initiative, which is part of the wider HeForShe campaign.

Launched by UN Women, HeForShe is a global effort to engage men and boys in removing the social and cultural barriers that prevent women and girls from achieving their potential. The campaign’s ambitious aim is to secure the commitment of one billion men to support the issue of gender equality and women’s empowerment, starting at a high level with a simple positive pledge, and moving to a deeper level of concrete action and social change.

To accelerate progress towards this goal, the ‘IMPACT 10x10x10’ pilot initiative aims to ensure that HeForShe influences lasting change within three key sectors during the campaign’s implementation phase. Concluding in September 2015, the focused engagement convenes a select group of ten heads of state, chief executive officers and university presidents to identify globally approaches for addressing gender inequality, and to test-pilot the effectiveness of these interventions.

By signing up to this Initiative, Jens Stoltenberg reconfirms his longstanding commitment to making gender equality a reality. “For me, it is a matter of principle.  Ensuring gender equality has always been central to who I am.  We simply cannot achieve lasting peace and security without engaging half the world’s population. Too often, we overlook the critical and rightful role women have to play in resolving crises and in rebuilding societies after conflict. Gender equality isn’t optional.  It is fundamental. It allows us to respond better and smarter to the many complex security challenges we face today.”

NATO takes action

Last year, NATO together with 55 Allied and partner countries adopted an action plan to reduce barriers for the active and meaningful participation of women in their institutions and operations, and to integrate a gender perspective in their everyday security business. They committed to improve the gender balance at all levels of their security institutions and national armies, and in the troops deployed in NATO-led operations.

NATO has developed diversity scorecards for all headquarter divisions as a tool to guide recruitment decisions.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day this year, NATO launched its Professional Women Network and Mentoring Programming to increase the pool of women available for senior positions.

“I strongly believe in leading by example,” explains Secretary General Stoltenberg. “A safer world starts at home. And gender equality is a fundamental part of that.”