PDF Library

NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives (NCGP)

Meeting held May 25-28, 2010

The purpose of this meeting was to develop a generic scheme for pre-deployment training for troops participating in NATO-led operations.

ADM Giampaolo DI PAOLA, Chairman of the Military Committee

  • The gender perspective is an important element in NATO missions because it has effect in the field, and Afghanistan is a benchmark for future concepts
  • The gender perspective is broad, as it encompasses social, economic and political dimensions, and, therefore, helps to understand the local structures where NATO forces operate. Consequently it is important to have a common understanding of the gender perspective with other actors.
  • Gender also has a central role in NATO’s new Strategic Concept.
  • The NCGP must help the Alliance to understand the importance of a gender perspective and to operationalize its theory because gender is an asset!
  • The NCGP needs to produce pragmatic and concrete proposals from this meeting.

MRS Wale Grunditz, Crisis Management and Planning Division in the EU Gender in the EU and the Common Security and Defence Policy of the EU (CSDP)

  • International law ie. Human rights law and humanitarian law are given particular attention in the CSDP when discussing gender.
  • The EU has enhanced consideration and emphasis of gender in planning, conduct and lessons learned (LL). Specifically the Human Rights Unit, Crisis Management Civil-Military dimension in operations and the Civilian Planning Committee all work on gender.
  • CSDP missions include gender and human rights experts and advisors, who enhance strategic and operational value.
  • Continued efforts are being made in respect to the practical implementation of gender policies and their civilian implications; pre-deployment training and information sharing on different national programs and strategies; and indicators on gender integration on the EU.
  • The next ESDP meeting will be held in the summer of 2010 to discuss more thematic issues on gender and human rights.
  • NATO is now moving much more quickly than the EU in terms of gender mainstreaming.

LTC Pierre Duchesne, SHAPE J1
Current Status and Future Update of Bi-SC Directive 40-1

  • Most documents on UNSCR 1325 are broad and require political will to implement.
  • There are four challenges in NATO implementing UNSCR 1325: legal issues, such as the rules of armed conflict and the rules of engagement; national will, policies, laws and caveats; convincing operational commanders and NATO key leaders; and NATO staff scepticism and commitment.
  • NATO UNSCR 1325 recommendations need to consider “gender balancing” (the participation and contribution of women in NATO Command Structure and NATO forces) and the “gender factor” (considering gender from training through to operations).
  • Bi-SC Directive 40-1 needs to be “operationalized” and expanded throughout crisis management, planning and training. Five NATO action areas to “operationalize” Bi-SC 40-1:
    • The manning of operations headquarters: gender advisors at ISAF HQ, ISAF IJC and HQ KFOR CE17.
    • The manning of subordinate HQs and units: gender field advisors as in the SWE PRT and specific gender units, such as the US FETs. However, this would be a national prerogative.
    • The manning of static headquarters: the SHAPE VNC request of April 1, 2010 had no bids by nations.
    • The Development of Operational Procedures: Bi-SC 40-1 WG first meeting will be held in June and will develop, and gain approval for Terms of Reference to coordinate efforts outside the Human Resources community.
    • The next step will be developing an Internal Operational Action Plan.
    • The conduct of operations could also mainstream the gender perspective through force generation, ACO Forces Standards, Rules of Engagement and PMRs.
    • Education, training and exercises: dedicated, specific and functional courses on gender that balance and compliment NATO and national gender efforts; NATO exercises such as the Steadfast Joist 2011 and possibly CMX11.
  • The ISAF GA’s do not have direct contact with COMISAF because ISAF staff remains sceptical on the necessity of such a connection. ISAF staff can be convinced through a gender mainstreaming bottom-up approach and the collection of LL and best practices. (MAJ Nadja MERDACI, ACT) 

NATO Activities on the Implementation of UNSCR 1325: Political Update

  • NATO is looking at widening the implementation of 1325 to MD and ICI nations.
  • NATO activities on 1325 are included a five point action plan:
    • Operations Guidelines on mainstreaming UNSCR 1325 in NATO operations and missions; national initiatives such as a SWE study of PRTs conducted in 2009 that examined operational effectiveness and UNSCR 1325.
    • Mainstreaming 1325 in policies, planning and implementation  Defence institution building and Professional Military Education (PME); the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Work Plan (EAPWP); linking the gender perspective to work on human trafficking; the PARP review survey and the drafting of partnership goals; the Afghan First Policy; the retraining and reintegration projects funded through the PfP Trustfunds; the NATO HQ Gender Balance and Diversity Action Plan; and the possible inclusion into the new NATO Strategic Concept.
    • Education and training Training and courses at the NATO Defense College in Rome and at NATO HQ .
    • Cooperation with the IC through the exchange of LL and best practices, and identifying areas of value added without duplicating efforts. NATO is already cooperating with the UN, EU, OSCE, ICRC and International Organization for Migration (IOM).
    • PDD A webpage has been created on the NATO HQ website that is dedicated to women, peace and security. The website hosts relevant documents, as well as web debates, interviews and press articles on the gender perspective.
  • The main challenge to the action plan is practical implementation.
  • A gender balance is seen achieved at a 40-60% gender divide.
  • Gender balance needs to also take into account the position of women in missions and operations. There are not enough women in key posts in the nation’s armed forces. Therefore, it’s not always a question of political will, but a practical one. (FR)

LCDR Ella VAN DEN HEUVEL, NL Ministry of Defence, Gender Advisor and NCGP EC Member
Experience from the Field: The Gender Advisor in ISAF Mission

  • Pre-deployment training should include gender training, which is not part of cultural awareness training, and must be given by experts. Note that gender awareness among ISAF personnel is at a low level.
  • The GA is better placed in the Stability Operations Section in ISAF and not CJ1, where the position was originally.
  • The internal actions of the GA include manning policies, the work environment and raising gender awareness, while external actions include working with Afghan women and women’s groups, such as the Afghan Women’s Business Federation in AFG.
  • The GA work plan includes advising commanders and key leaders, who’s commitment is a key to mainstreaming the gender perspective.
  • The GA also supports gender field advisors, as there are not yet GAs at the RC level and no formal communication structure, the GA has to work directly with all personnel at the RC level.
  • The GA encourages PRTs to pay more attention to local women’s organizations, is responsible for gender training in-theatre and spreading the ‘gender message’ (how to incorporate the gender perspective in operations).
  • There are national armed forces policies restraining female participation in some fields which need to be taken into account when encouraging increased female participation in NATO.

EU Experiences on Implementing UNSCR 1325/1820 in EULEX Mission in Kosovo

  • There is currently no GA in EULEX, although a GA in the Training Unit is being considered.
  • Article 3 Council JA and Annex L of the OPLAN outline gender mainstreaming in the EULEX mission.
  • Internal action: advice, training (thirty minutes), reporting, research, recruitment (some interview panels are only men) and coordination.
  • External action: human rights and gender issues in local legislation, cooperation and MMA with relevant Kosovo counterparts and HRGO-EULEX coordination of local and international human rights and women’s NGOs.
  • The role of the GA is to coordinate activities that impact gender perspective and their conformity to establish norms and standards; provide interface between EULEX and external partners and provide expertise and advice on gender issues; develop and monitor EULEX gender mainstreaming strategy; ensure policies and practices include gender perspective; collect, disseminate and analyse information on gender and LL; promote gender equality in recruitment; provide training and workshops on gender.
  • External challenges for EULEX are the gender challenges in Kosovo (patriarchal structure, discrimination of women, etc.); human trafficking (mainly women and girls); local police (a lack of female officers and financing for gender mainstreaming); local justice system (difficult for women to access justice, large amounts of domestic violence); and border management (a lack of gender sensitive procedures; equality and non-discrimination; representative border management institutions).
  • Internal challenges to EULEX are that the gender perspective is not taken seriously and there’s a lack of gender awareness, a clear mandate on gender, close cooperation with external actors and training.
  • External activities include roundtable discussions, conferences, providing input for the drafting of law on domestic violence, field trips, information sharing and building networks.
  • Internal activities include active participation in a WG on victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, regular in-service trainings, use of sex disaggregated data, development of a gender strategy and gender sensitivity training plan and inserting gender aspects into the Call for Contributions (CfC).
  • EULEX LL on gender: there’s a gap between policy making and reality; legal delays and questions; there’s a gender imbalance in the mission, there needs to be equal female participation in decision making and at senior levels; important Monitor, Mentor and Advise (MMA) role in implementing local laws, strategies and action plans; role for EULEX integrating gender mainstreaming early on in mission is critical; and good cooperation with local institutions, the IC and civil society is required.

MRS Comfort LAMPTEY, UN-DPKO: Division of Policy, Evaluation and Training Best Practice Section
Integrating Gender Perspectives in the Work of Military Components in UN Peacekeeping Operations

  • DPKO/DFS guidelines are targeted to the strategic, operational and tactical levels of the military.
  • DPKO/DFS guidelines underlying principles are that gender enhances mandate implementation, male and female military personnel are both accountable for the implementation of the guidelines and more women in operations enhances its effectiveness.
  • Strategic level guidance on developing military policy and guidance, operations planning, force generation, monitoring and reporting, as well as providing support and advice.
  • Operational level guidance on military protection, security support, monitoring and verification, and military liaison activities.
  • Tactical level guidance on patrol duties, checkpoint and roadblock duties, protection tasks, security support, monitoring and verification, and military liaison activities.
  • The training strategy for the DPKO/DFS guidelines includes a plan to train trainers on gender and train at the mission level, the Troop Contributing Country (TCC) level, and at the Peacekeeping and Training Centre.
  • The DPKO/DFS Training messages are principles (leading by example, i.e. how tasks are assigned, national commitments to gender, an integrated approach); planning (highlight gender relations, avoid gender stereotypes, highlight female potential and consult local population); operational activities and reporting (highlight good practices, use sex disaggregated data, nominate gender focal points in contingents, ensure knowledge of referral chain for victims of sexual violence where the military is the first point of contact, underline the value of mixed military teams and female interpreters).
  • The importance of tailoring training courses to specific audiences was noted. (US)

Pre-Deployment Training Programs

  • The pre-deployment education and training curriculum should include elements on gender perspectives, women’s empowerment and women’s rights and protection.
  • A gender perspective is based on the realization that men and women see the world differently and the insecurities they face will also be different. Therefore, the security approach should be different.
    • Education and training in gender perspectives allows for gender-differentiated analysis and responses, such as threat analysis, culturally appropriate interactions and the targeting of CIMIC projects.
  • Women’s empowerment needs to occur within the military unit and with local women. Forces need to reach out to women, past cultural barriers, hear what they say and address their security needs based on what they say.
    • Training in women’s empowerment identifies women as agents of change, which is demonstrated in UNSCR 1325 and allows for wider intelligence collection and the development of context-appropriate Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
  • Nations need to determine where women’s rights and protection fit within operational mandates.
    • Training in women’s rights and protection allows for protection from sexual abuse, as demonstrated in UNSCR 1820, the NATO Code of Conduct, protection from soldier-on-soldier abuse and the treatment of civilians in theatre.
  • The 3 areas: Education and training; women’s empowerment and women’s right and protection are all seen necessary to be covered in a pre-deployment training scheme.

CPT Krister FAHLSTEDT, SWE Armed Forces
Gender Advisors Training in Sweden

  • Gender is about mindset; to increase operational effectiveness and strengthening women human rights.
  • Most gender work is done by soldiers on the ground. Therefore, it’s important for the GA to facilitate relationships between military forces and local women’s groups. It is furthermore important for GAs to focus on the operational aspects and not of being a “code-of-conduct”-police.
  • Pre-deployment training in SWE includes  a half day gender training in OPS, gender related scenarios integrated in field/staff exercises and code of conduct (which remains separate from the actual gender training as it is a broader concept and the image of a GA as a “police” figure needs to be avoided).
  • In-theatre gender training involves scenario based exercises and an exchange of best practices between sub-units.
  • Gender field advisor training is done through an international course in SWE that is open to all security personnel and is one week long (in June and October of this year).
  • SWE involves the GA in staff exercises, which enhances GA skills, but also embeds them into the staff exercises and teaches others to interact with the GA.
  • In SWE the GA is directly connected to the OPS Commander as an advisor. The GA also works with staff, developing and maintaining networks, and mentors troops on the gender perspective.
  • The Nordic Centre of Gender in Operations has been established by SWE, NO and FIN. The Centre will begin in 2011 and reach Full Operational Capability (FOC) in 2012. The Centre will aim to conduct GA courses, develop policies, gather LL and attempt to “sell” the gender perspective concept to the rest of the world.

Building Gender Perspective in NATO: HQ SACT’s Support

  • SACT initiatives on gender perspectives:
    • The development and implementation of a comprehensive education and training programme on 1325 and gender awareness; and
    • The development and implementation of a Strategic Communication Plan.
  • The development and implementation of a comprehensive education and training programme on 1325 and gender awareness:
    • Internal: tailored training for SACT, DSACT and COS ACT; tailored training for all ACT Flag Officers; training HQ SACT staff (through Group Orientation Course and Strategic Event Training); training for all remaining ACT staff through Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) course.
    • External: NATO Education and Training facilities, Centres of Excellence and Partner Training Centres, when appropriate, develop a gender course structure and integrate into courses already offered; staff training and exercises (coordinated with SHAPE); pre-deployment training (KFOR and ISAF); intend to develop a gender advisor course tailored to NATO GA; a generic ADL course on gender awareness available to all NATO, PfP, MD and ICI nations.
    • These actions are based on MC approval of HQ SACT recommendations.
    • Training will take place in three phases (2010, 2011 and 2012).
  • The development and implementation of a Strategic Communication Plan:
    • Internal: Information display and development of a website addressing ACT’s commitment to gender perspectives.
    • External: Develop a webpage accessible to all; host a workshop on gender training before end of 2010; publish a handbook on UNSCR 1325 and gender perspectives in NATO (education and training perspective); participate in relevant conferences and workshops to address ACT’s commitment in implementing 1325 and related resolutions.
  • NATO may certify the Nordic Centre of Gender in Operations if it meets requirements to fill gender perspective requirements in NATO education and training. (FIN)
  • A database of expert GA trainers is being developed to facilitate the recruitment of GA trainers when necessary. (Ella)
  • Relevant experts, national military representatives, NATO representatives, the UN and members of the gender perspectives community will participate in the workshop being held this year, which will develop a template for nations to use when constructing a GA course.

Plenary Session

  • NL: “Project Future Urban Extreme Littoral-L and Gender”
    • Emerald Move 2010 Exercise in Senegal, November 2010. The exercise involves Senegal and ECOWAS forces, and will include a workshop and field training activities. This exercise would be a good opportunity to insert a gender perspectives dimension.
  • NO: focus on moving female officers into leadership positions; mainstreaming gender into national institutions; overcoming bottlenecks; coordinating institutional and national efforts and best practices.
  • CA: Pearson Peacekeeping Centre has mainstreamed gender into the decision making process, operations and exercises, engagements, the organizational structure and capacity building activities.
    • The PPC also offers an all female course in their UN police training program, which offers instruction on how to deal with women affected by gender and sexual based violence, and how to investigate those crimes.
  • ISR: Developing measurements to determine the outcome of gender mainstreaming and ongoing research on sexual harassment, and hostile atmospheres in its armed forces.
  • AUS: Developing a national action plan on 1325.
  • US: Marine FETs are being adopted forces wide; increasing roles women can fill in the forces; improving community involvement nationally and internationally in gender mainstreaming.
  • UK: A report on women in the Infantry and Armoured divisions will be forthcoming, but doesn’t expect that it will lead to any changes; the first FETs will be deployed in the autumn of 2010, which will be an ad hoc creation, but with the possibility of making it permanent; COIN Centre is looking at the importance of women; and gaps have been identified in training in terms of gender perspectives.
  • BU: A NATO based practices, gender and sensitivity training in armed forces project is aimed to prevent discrimination, harassment and to promote equality; the financial crisis in the country and elsewhere is seen as having a negative impact on gender mainstreaming
  • An online calendar of events and news updates on the gender perspective will be developed for nations to access and share information.

Information about the PCG Report

  • A report on the mainstreaming of UNSCR 1325 into NATO-led operations and missions has been approved by the PCG.
  • The report includes important points on operational execution, such as the role of commanders in identifying GA roles and utilizing GAs for mission success. The intelligence value alone of GA should allow them an important place within operations.
  • The report acknowledges that the experiences of the GA should be shared with the PCG to increase awareness at the policy level. Having this formal command structure for the GA would strengthen its position on the ground.
  • The importance of tracking female casualties was noted. NATO and nations need to pay closer attention to female casualties.
  • With recent encouraging developments, nations should not become complacent, as the mainstreaming on UNSCR 1325 requires further momentum.
  • The report will be presented to Minister’s of Defense at the Ministerial to be held June 10-11, 2010 at NATO HQ.

Information on the 10th Anniversary of UNSCR 1325

  • For the UNSCR 1325 celebration, a photo exhibition on what NATO, nations and PfP nations are doing on UNSCR 1325 will be at NATO HQ in September 2010.
    • There will be a PDD publication in the autumn of 2010 on 1325.
    • A report is being developed on 1325 which will be presented at the Lisbon Summit.
    • Participating in any UN and EU events celebrating 1325 is being considered and developed.
  • To celebrate the anniversary of 1325 BE is planning several events from July to December 2010. These events include: a Defense Action Plan with a focus on pre-deployment education and training; a communication plan offering seminars from the Ministry of Defense or Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • There is a group on LinkedIn called “Gender in Military Operations” that can be used as a forum for UNSCR 1325 discussions.
    • There is also a Facebook group on gender perspectives, called: “Lessons Learned Community on Gender”.

CAPT Stefania Bonaldi, Chair of NCGP
A Presentation on Framework

  • As a result of the work done in different syndicates, a list of topics and learning objectives on gender was developed for pre-deployment training.
  • More examples will be inserted into the current document listing topics and learning objectives. The document will also be divided according to syndicate (troop commanders, NCOs and troops).
  • The current draft will be used to brief the MC, it will then be sent to nations for approval and then published in this year’s NCGP booklet.
    • SWE noted that the role of men in gender perspectives should be emphasized.
  • The next NCGP meeting will take place May 23-27, 2011.