International Women’s Day at NATO: #BeBoldForChange
Various events took place at NATO Headquarters to celebrate International Women’s Day (8 March) and to raise awareness of gender perspectives and the principles of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
“Promotion of gender equality and inclusive security is our core business as a matter of both institutional excellence and operational effectiveness. Because it is not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do,” said Marriët Schuurman, the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security. She was speaking at an event to launch registrations for the second edition of the solidarity run known as “She runs, He runs, We run” at NATO Headquarters.
Corporal Pellegrina Caputo was a guest speaker at the same event. Telling her inspirational life story as an active duty soldier of the Italian Armed Forces, a veteran, a survivor and also a Paralympic champion with many awards, she had a strong message in line with this year’s theme for International Women’s Day, “Be Bold for Change”.
“Women are part of the community and so the military. I always wanted to serve people and my country. That is why I returned after I recovered from my injuries back to active duty. I am happy I got the chance once again,” she concluded. Corporal Caputo lost her left lower limb in a car accident during her deployment in the NATO-led Kosovo Force but returned to duty just two years later.
In the spirit of the motto of the day, Ambassador Schuurman later moderated an informal discussion on principles and personal stories of boldness and change. Civil society activists, who are also members of the Civil Society Advisory Panel on Women, Peace and Security, participated as did a representative of NATO’s International Military Staff.
NATO ambassadors gathered the day before to discuss progress in implementing the action plan for the implementation of Resolution 1325 developed by NATO together with partner countries.
“Diversity makes us stronger and more effective. We have made considerable progress, but further efforts have to be taken to sustain what has been already achieved but also ensure consistency,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.