Ukrainian NGO ‘Arm Women Now’ exhibit on display at NATO HQ

  • 13 Jun. 2024 -
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  • Last updated: 14 Jun. 2024 18:16

A Ukrainian NGO – “Arm Women Now” – is pioneering the manufacturing of female-specific uniforms, body armour and other non-lethal equipment. An exhibit showcasing its work and the importance of military adaptation to gender specifics is on display at NATO Headquarters. Ensuring that servicewomen can operate in the safest possible conditions includes providing them with equipment and uniforms tailored to their needs. Russia’s war against Ukraine has brought increased attention to the risk posed to combat effectiveness and the lives of women from inadequate military equipment.

WPS event

The “Arm Women Now” initiative has been promoted by the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security Irene Fellin. Ms Fellin opened the exhibition in the margins of the Defence Ministerial meeting on Thursday (13 June), alongside U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO Ambassador Julianne Smith, the Deputy Chair of NATO Military Committee Lieutenant General Andrew Rohling, and Founder of #ArmWomenNow and Member of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Iryna Nykorak.
“After decades of efforts to integrate gender perspectives into the armed forces, the lack of uniforms and military equipment specifically designed to meet women’s needs remains a significant issue in many countries,” Irene Fellin said in her opening address. “This exhibition underscores our dedication to translating the principles of the women, peace, and security agenda into concrete actions, lifting barriers to women's full, equal, safe and meaningful participation in peace and security, as stated in our new WPS policy, to be endorsed at the upcoming NATO Summit in Washington," she added.
This project aims to advance equality, dignity and respect for women in the security and defence sector. #ArmWomenNow is a leader in designing and producing uniforms, body armour and other non-lethal military equipment specifically designed around women anthropometric data and delivered free of charge to thousands of Ukrainian servicewomen. Ensuring that the gender perspective is fully integrated across all strands of NATO’s policies, operations, missions and activities is one of the guiding principles of the Alliance’s work under the framework of the women, peace and security policy and action plan.