40th anniversary of the NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives
Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow welcomed on Tuesday (31 May) the 2016 annual Conference of the NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives (NCGP). Ambassador Vershbow was joined by the NATO Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security, Ambassador Marriët Schuurman, and by the Deputy Chairman of the Military Committee, Lt. Gen Mark O. Schissler.
“We have placed gender perspective at the heart of NATO’s analysis, planning, execution and evaluation of our planning missions. We place gender perspectives at the centre of our defence planning and reporting by our Allies. We have a wide network of gender advisors. We have learned from our experiences in Afghanistan and in the Balkans”, he said.
Stressing that the conference is a good opportunity to share experiences, ambitions and challenges the Deputy Secretary General said that “integrating gender across all activities contributes to a more modern and more responsive NATO”.
The conference from 31 May to 3 June will bring together experts from NATO and partner countries and national delegates in order to discuss how NATO and partner countries can strengthen military leadership and accountability to implement a gender perspective.
An exhibition with the title ‘Women in NATO: From Pioneers to Champions since 1961’ was also inaugurated at NATO Headquarters on Tuesday, featuring historical pictures of female military personnel, and commemorating the 40th anniversary of the NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives (NCGP).
The NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives (NCGP) is one of the oldest in the NATO structure and was formally recognised by NATO’s Military Committee in July 1976. Senior female officers in NATO began in 1961 to organise conferences on an ad hoc basis to discuss the status, organisation, conditions of employment and career possibilities for women in the armed forces of NATO member nations. The first NATO Conference of Senior Service Women Officers of the Alliance took place in Copenhagen in June 1961. Throughout the years, the NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives (NCGP) has played a vital role in promoting gender mainstreaming as a strategy for making women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies, programmes and military operations.