Gender perspectives in NATO Armed Forces
Military operations in today’s world require a diversity of qualifications and resources to ensure that peace and security are achieved and maintained. The complementary skills of both male and female personnel are essential for the effectiveness of NATO operations. The International Military Staff Office of the Gender Advisor and the NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives work to integrate a gender perspective into all aspects of NATO operations.
More background information
The IMS Office of the Gender Advisor (IMS GENAD) reports directly to the Director General of the International Military Staff (DGIMS) and provides information and advice on gender issues, including the effective implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 and related Resolutions. It also serves as the Secretariat for the NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives (NCGP).
Among its responsibilities, IMS GENAD collects and disseminates information on the national policies relating to gender and the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and related Resolutions in NATO member and partner nations’ armed forces. Additionally, the Office facilitates dialogue with partner countries on relevant gender issues and liaises with international organisations and agencies concerned with the integration of a gender perspective into military operations,
Head: OF-4 Yvonne Marie BRIERLEY (CAN A)
Assistant: OR-9 Antonio FOGLIA (ITA A)
Boulevard Leopold III
B-1110 Brussels, Belgium
Role and responsibilities
The NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives (NCGP) promotes gender mainstreaming as a strategy for making the concerns and experiences of both women and men an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies, programmes and military operations.
By advising NATO’s political and military leadership, as well as member nations, on gender-related issues and the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and related Resolutions, the NCGP contributes to operational effectiveness in line with Alliance objectives and priorities.
Other responsibilities of the NCGP include facilitating the exchange of information among NATO members on gender-related policies and gender mainstreaming, ensuring appropriate coordination on gender issues with the NATO Command Structure and NATO Headquarters, and collaborating with international organisations and agencies concerned with the integration of a gender perspective into military operations.
The NCGP is governed by an Executive Committee and supported by IMS GENAD. The Executive Committee is comprised of the Chair, the Chair-Elect, three Deputy Chairs and the IMS Gender Advisor, and must have at least one member of each gender. Both the Executive Committee and the Military Committee (NATO’s senior military authority) can task the NCGP on specific gender-related issues.
Each NATO member and partner nation is entitled to designate one active duty officer of senior rank (or civilian equivalent) as a delegate to the NCGP. Delegates should be familiar with the latest national developments in gender approaches and tools for gender mainstreaming. They should also have knowledge of NATO and national policies relating to the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and related Resolutions.
Non-NATO nations may be invited to contribute to the activities of the NCGP.
- In 1961, the first NATO Conference of Female Senior Officers of the Alliance took place in Copenhagen with delegates from Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States. The delegates completed the Copenhagen Conference by adopting a resolution agreeing to hold future conferences at regular intervals. Since then, NATO female senior officers have organised conferences on an ad-hoc basis to discuss the status, organisation, conditions of employment and career possibilities of women in the armed forces of the Alliance.
- In 1973, an ad hoc Committee on Women in the NATO Forces was formed during the NATO Conference of Female Senior Officers held in Brussels. The delegates adopted a resolution agreeing that women should have the opportunity to serve in all job specialities with the exception of combat where their employment should be determined by national policy.
- In 1976, the MC endorsed formal recognition of the Committee on Women in the NATO Forces (CWINF).
- In 1985, 57 representatives from 13 NATO countries attended the CWINF Conference. The delegates completed the revision of the TOR and modified a resolution on the employment of women in the NATO Forces.
- In 1998, the Office on Women in the NATO Forces (OWINF) was established within the International Military Staff (IMS).
- In 2000, the MC confirmed the permanent establishment of the OWINF within the IMS structure with two office positions, Chief and Admin Assistant.
- Since 2002 there has been active co-operation between the CWINF and the 27 “Partnership for Peace” (PfP) nations. In 2003, they were invited for the first time to the Annual Conference in Brussels.
- In 2009, the CWINF Executive Committee (EC) decided to revise MC 249/1 including the existing TORs of the Committee and the Office in order to expand the CWINF’s mandate to support the integration of a gender perspective into NATO’s operations, and to support the implementation of UNSCR 1325 - Women, Peace and Security as well as future related UNSCRs. Since then, the Committee and the Office were renamed the “NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives” (NCGP) and “NATO Office on Gender Perspectives” (NOGP).
- In 2014, a new version of the TORs (MC 0249/3) was issued and the NOGP’s title was changed to the International Military Staff Office of the Gender Advisor (IMS GENAD Office).
- 2016 marks the 40th anniversary of the NCGP and 55 years since the first conference of NATO female senior officers was held in Copenhagen, Denmark.
- 2018 marked the 20th Anniversary of the IMS GENAD Office which was highlighted at the 2018 NCGP Annual Conference.