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.
- Since 1961, 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 1976, the Military Committee officially recognised the Committee on Women in the NATO Forces (CWINF).
- In 1998, a permanent office, the Office on Women in the NATO Forces, was established within the IMS to provide information on gender and diversity issues and support the work of the CWINF. It is now referred to as the Office of the Gender Advisor.
- In May 2009, the CWINF’s mandate was extended to support the integration of a gender perspective into NATO’s military operations, specifically to support the implementation of UNSCRs 1325 and 1820 as well as related Resolutions. It was renamed the NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives.
- 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.