NATO marks International Women’s Day
“An organisation, society or country can only succeed if it uses the full potential of all of its members – men and women,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, marking the occasion of International Women’s Day on Wednesday (8 March 2017). He stressed that equal participation of men and women is a core security requirement, essential to the resilience of societies, to the effectiveness of NATO forces and to achieving and preserving peace.
NATO strongly supports the global women, peace and security agenda. The Alliance has integrated gender perspectives in its three core tasks – collective defence, crisis management and cooperative security. NATO works to promote women’s rights in training and operations, and in our assistance for partners, such as Jordan, Georgia and Ukraine. The appointment of NATO’s Special Representative on Women, Peace and Security – Ambassador Marriet Schuurman – demonstrates the importance of these issues.
Today, NATO has more women in leadership positions than ever before – as ministers, senior officials and military commanders. A quarter of NATO Defence Ministers are women, six of 28 NATO Ambassadors are women, and last year, the Alliance welcomed its first female Deputy Secretary General, Rose Gottemoeller. NATO’s Joint Force Command in Naples is also led by US Admiral Michelle Howard, a four-star officer, and US Army Brigadier General Giselle Wilz is the first woman to head NATO HQ Sarajevo. Canada’s most senior female military officer, Lt.-Gen. Christine Whitecross, is currently commandant of the NATO Defense College in Rome.
The Secretary General has highlighted that making the best potential of both men and women makes NATO stronger and better prepared to deal with current security challenges. “I look forward to the day when not just a quarter but half of NATO ministers are women; I am sure that time will come,” said the Secretary General.