NATO and Women, Peace and Security: Strength is in gender diversity and equality
Speaking at an online dialogue on the future of Women, Peace and Security at NATO on Thursday (15 October 2020), NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stressed that further advancing gender equality was a priority for NATO in the 2030 horizon: “You have my personal commitment to provide the leadership and support needed”, he said. “It is about making our strong Alliance even stronger”.
The event is part of NATO’s activities to mark the 20th anniversary of the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, which included a meeting of the North Atlantic Council on 14 October during which Ambassadors discussed how NATO has adapted in light of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. Resolution 1325 “changed the conversation about security”, the Secretary General said. “And it changed NATO.”
Today, gender perspectives have been fully integrated in all that NATO does, from policy and planning, training and education, to missions and operations. NATO is also creating a more inclusive environment through increased women’s participation at all levels and less gendered ways of working, and has adopted a zero-tolerance approach to sexual exploitation and abuse.
Looking ahead, the Secretary General insisted on the importance of understanding “that the challenges we face – and our responses to them – can affect women and men differently”. Considering all perspectives made better decisions, he said, and rendered the Alliance more effective. He also urged “all Allies to recruit more women in their military”. ‘Diverse armed forces are strong armed forces’, he noted.
The digital dialogue on the future of Women, Peace and Security brought together more than 450 participants. Clare Hutchinson, the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security, Radmila Šekerinska, Minister of Defence of the Republic of North Macedonia, Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, Dr. Robert C. Egnell, Swedish Defence University, Kristina Lunz, Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy, also participated in the event.