NATO reaffirms its commitment to women’s security in close partnership with the International Community
“NATO has an opportunity to be a leading protector of women’s rights, drawing on the strengths and capabilities of its nations, and working with its more than forty partner countries,” Ms. Clare Hutchinson, NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security said on Monday (16 April 2018), during her address to the United Nations Security Council at an open session on the topic of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence.
“At NATO we understand that protection is at the core of the Women, Peace and Security mandate. NATO-led forces have a responsibility to protect and defend women against violence; but we also recognize this cannot be separated from the issue of empowerment and participation; there can be no protection without participation,” Ms. Hutchinson pointed out. Following the approval of a NATO Policy and Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, NATO has developed military guidelines to prevent and respond to conflict-related sexual and gender based violence. “This has given us the base from which to work and serve as a practical tool for commanders to address and respond to conflict-related sexual violence; but we also recognize that efforts must be coordinated with other international organizations and civil society,” Ms. Hutchinson added.
Ms. Hutchinson took office as NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security on 8 January 2018, following a long-standing experience, which included more than ten years working as Gender Adviser with the United Nations, including in Kosovo and Lebanon.
NATO has long recognized the importance of women in the armed forces; the Committee on Women in NATO forces was formed in 1976. Today, the Alliance focuses on gender issues in training and operations; works with international organizations like the Red Cross to protect civilians; and aims to promote women at all levels in the organization, starting with Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller.
Click here to read the address by the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security to the United Nations Security Council