Action Plan for the Implementation of the NATO/EAPC Policy on Women, Peace and Security 2021-2025

  • 21 Oct. 2021 -
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  • Last updated 26-Oct-2021 11:51

  1. Recognising the critical importance of women's full, equal and meaningful participation in all aspects of peace and stability, as well as the disproportionate impact that conflict has on women and girls, NATO is committed to fully implementing the Women, Peace and Security agenda set out by the UN Security Council.
  2. The NATO/EAPC Policy on Women, Peace and Security1 (WPS) was agreed in 2018 and endorsed by NATO leaders at the 2018 Brussels Summit. The Policy affirms that NATO and its Partners aim to contribute to the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions on WPS by making the Policy an integral part of their everyday business in both civilian and military structures.
  3. The Policy supports the advancement of gender equality through the guiding principles of integration, inclusiveness and integrity. To support implementation of the Policy, an Action Plan2 was agreed and endorsed in 2018. While initially foreseen to cover a period of two years, the Action Plan timeframe was extended by one year3 to enable staff to further embed the changes that were in process. 
  4. The Policy continues to provide a firm foundation on which to base NATO's work on Women, Peace and Security. The next review of the Policy on WPS should take place following the adoption of NATO's next Strategic Concept and no later than 2025.
  5. This new Action Plan builds on progress made since 2018 and is intended to guide the implementation of NATO's work on WPS for a four-year period. It is expected that this Action Plan would continue to provide appropriate guidance on advancing NATO's WPS agenda even through the next Policy review, though it will be updated, as needed, to reflect any changes introduced in that context.
  6. Working together with Partners, International Organisations, and civil society, NATO will consistently continue to implement the NATO/EAPC Policy on WPS, and, in this context, will advance gender equality, integrate gender perspectives and foster the principles of the WPS agenda in all that the Alliance does.


OUTCOME4 : NATO has a robust institutional framework that supports continued, sustainable progress to advance gender equality through the implementation of the WPS policy.

1.1 NATO's WPS Agenda continues to be supported by the WPS Task Force structure (composed of WPS focal points5 and IMS, ACO and ACT Gender Advisors) as a forum for consultation and exchange of information, and to guide and monitor the implementation of the WPS Action Plan.

1.2 Gender Advisors (GENADs), WPS Advisors, and Gender Focal Points (GFPs), all of whom are key for advancing WPS in the NATO Military Authorities, including missions, are actively supported and equipped with the tools and resources needed to accomplish their aims.

1.3 The NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives serves as an advisory body to the Military Committee to promote gender mainstreaming as an integral part of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies, programmes and military operations in support of Alliance objectives and priorities.

1.4 WPS focal points, who are key to advancing NATO's work on WPS throughout civilian entities, are actively supported and equipped with the tools and resources needed to accomplish their aims.

1.5 Progress on this WPS Action Plan is regularly monitored and evaluations are supported by sex-disaggregated data6.

1.6 NATO has the people and resources needed to support and advise on gender mainstreaming efforts conducted throughout its civilian and military structures.

1.7 The accountability and ownership of the WPS agenda is shared among all personnel across the NATO enterprise.



OUTCOME: In the context of the WPS Policy, gender perspectives are consistently integrated throughout NATO's work, from planning through to execution.
2.1 Gender perspectives are identified as part of all current and ongoing work, as well as work in new and emerging areas, and are appropriately integrated into related policies, programmes and activities.

2.2 Gender perspectives are identified and integrated into NATO's defence policy, planning, capability development, exercises7, resilience and broader deterrence and defence efforts.

2.3 Gender perspectives are identified and integrated into NATO operations, missions, and Council-approved activities and reported through Periodic Mission Reviews.

2.4 Gender perspectives are identified and integrated into NATO discussions and activities on geo-political challenges and opportunities faced by the Alliance.

2.5 Data that is disaggregated by sex8 is regularly gathered, used as the basis for planning and decision-making, and included in relevant reporting.

2.6 Gender perspectives are included in strategic communications.



OUTCOME: Cooperation among NATO and Partners contributes to the implementation of the WPS agenda.

3.1 Enhance Partner capacity in relation to WPS through activities including education, training, and capacity-building.9

3.2 Continued cooperation with Partners, as appropriate, in order to strengthen our shared understanding and implementation of the WPS agenda.

3.3 Include WPS priorities into the work of NATO Liaison Offices (i.e. Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) to support those Partners in their work to implement the WPS agenda.

3.4 Promotion of the WPS agenda through NATO's network of Contact Point Embassies.

3.5 Continue to integrate WPS into partnership frameworks.



OUTCOME: NATO's work on WPS contributes to and is informed by the efforts of external actors to advance the aims of the WPS agenda.

4.1 Enhanced collaboration and coordination on WPS with relevant International Organisations including the UN, EU, OSCE, and AU, among others.10

4.2 Strengthened Engagement with relevant civil society organisations, including women's rights organisations, to enhance NATO's understanding of how women perceive and are affected by various security challenges and how NATO's work can contribute to greater gender equality.



OUTCOME: People serving across the NATO enterprise understand and are capable of integrating gender perspectives across all that NATO does.

5.1 Strengthened tools and mechanisms for NATO staff, including senior leadership, to enhance knowledge and understanding of the importance of WPS for NATO's work (i.e. foundational training on WPS, including key concepts and practices).

5.2 Gender perspectives are integrated, as appropriate, into exercises, education and training, beyond WPS/gender-specific courses and awareness-raising activities.11



OUTCOME: People serving across the NATO enterprise understand and are capable of integrating gender perspectives across all that NATO does.

6.1 The principles of NATO's WPS agenda are consistently and appropriately reflected in its communications products and activities.

6.2 NATO's work on WPS is actively promoted.



OUTCOME: Women are visibly playing active and meaningful roles across the civilian and military structures of the Alliance and there is a more balanced representation of women and men in all levels and functions across NATO.

7.1 Human Resource-related policies and guidelines contributing to gender equality and women's inclusion and integration within NATO are developed, implemented and monitored.

7.2 Continue to work towards increased representation and inclusion of women at NATO, particularly at senior levels.

7.3 Active promotion of gender balance and the meaningful participation and contributions of women in various NATO work areas, including for internal and public events.



OUTCOME: NATO has policies and response measures in place to ensure that the Alliance upholds the highest standards of behaviour.

8.1 Fully implement NATO policies aimed at protection, including NATO's Human Security agenda.

8.2 Promote/raise awareness of NATO policies that contribute to the protection of all women, men, girls, and boys.


  1. EAPC(C)D(2018)0008
  2. EAPC(C)D(2018)0018
  3. AC/340(EAPC)N(2020)0006
  4. Outcomes highlight what NATO aims to achieve. Outputs are specific elements that will contribute to the outcome and can be achieved in the timeframe of the Action Plan. Actions enable or contribute to the achievement of the output.
  5. GENADs report to the Commander of the entity to which they are deployed and provide advice on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and related Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security, and the integration of gender perspectives including, but not limited to, operations/missions, crisis/conflict analysis, concepts, doctrine, procedures and education and training. Gender Focal Points facilitate gender mainstreaming into the daily work by supporting and enabling a professional and functional network throughout the HQ or, when duly authorised, the command, to maintain dialogue, liaison and coordination on the integration of gender perspectives. WPS advisors support NATO in training and advising government structures in missions, including NATO Mission Iraq.
  6. Note that further disaggregation by age or other factors will be pursued, as appropriate and where possible.
  7. In line with relevant NATO policies, rules and procedures, including the Education, Training, Exercises, and Evaluation (ETEE) Policy
  8. ibid
  9. ibid
  10. PO(2020)0374 “All in accordance with the 2010 Strategic Concept, the Comprehensive Approach Action Plan (C-M(2008)0029-COR1, PO(2010)0143-Final and PO(2011)0045) – Updated List of Tasks for the Implementation of the Comprehensive Approach Action Plan and relevant decisions, including those taken at the Lisbon, Wales, Warsaw and Brussels Summits.”
  11. In line with relevant NATO policies, rules and procedures, including the Education, Training, Exercises, and Evaluation (ETEE) Policy.