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|Updated: 25-Nov-2002||Committee on Women in NATO Forces|
Office on Women in the NATO Forces
In December 2000, the Military Committee adopted a resolution that confirmed the permanency of the Office on Women in the NATO Forces as part of the International Military Staff structure. Major Suzie Bouchard, CAAR, and Sergeant 1 Karen van den Brink-Hedlund, NLAR, have staffed the office since August 2000. Currently the office is staffed by Major Panayiota Dimitriou (HEAF) and Staff Sergeant Sabine Kreuz (GEAR).The intention is that national representatives will staff the two office positions on a rotational basis.
The main function of the Office is to co-operate and consult with top military representatives and the Committee on the Women in the NATO Forces on issues relating to women in the armed forces. The specific duties of the Office are wide and varied but include facilitating information-sharing between countries on programmes and techniques of the integration process, as well as creating and maintaining and international repository for the collection of related data. The Office also provides direct support to the Committee by assisting countries (on a consultative basis) to develop policy and programs relating to the recruitment, employment and retention of women in the armed forces. The Office also helps countries to design leadership and mentoring programs and to develop effective policies on maternity/ parental leave and health care. The Office is able to provide new ideas and expert advice to NATO member states, which are at various stages of the integration process.
In addition to supporting the work of the Committee and providing NATO with regular feedback on the process of integration, the Office also assists outside agencies that have a strong interest in the area of women in the military, with their specific research projects.
A further area of focus for the Committee is to engage in the distinct activities required to make it an active participant in the International Military Staff and to promote awareness of the clear benefits of having servicewomen actively engaged in the armed forces of Alliance member and Partner countries. The current strategy was designed to promote the Committee's goals and objectives and to execute an education and awareness program on the topic of servicewomen for military leadership. The Office is the focal point of all the issues facing servicewomen in NATO forces, including those relating to peace support operations and the collective defence of the Alliance. The Office continues to advocate that the topic of women in the Armed Forces is crucial to interoperability, military readiness, and the success of NATO missions. It therefore seeks to cultivate an effective working relationship with ACE, SHAPE, and SACLANT on all of these issues. The Office also strives to ensure the International Military Staff continues to support the Committee on Women in the NATO Forces and its Executive Committee members.
Office Point of Contacts: