On 9 September, the Chairman of NATO's Military Committee, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, stressed the need to involve more women in peace-building and decision-making at an EU event marking the 10th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.
The resolution is crucial for NATO, said Admiral Di Paola, representing NATO's Secretary General. “There is a much greater recognition in our organization of the importance of this issue to NATO operations and activities.”
The day-to-day activities of women engaged in NATO operations “are crucial because they have a unique capacity to interact and to bond with the local women,” Admiral Di Paola said. By reaching out to local women, their influence on the men around them can help NATO's efforts and enable a better understanding of how stabilization and progress can be achieved.
Admiral Di Paola said another key area NATO is keen to pursue is training on gender perspectives. Gender advisors in NATO's two strategic commands are currently working to boost training capacity in this area for NATO's institutions.
He pointed to NATO's Policy on Gender Perspectives, which – in line with UNSCR 1325 – calls on the Alliance to prevent the disproportionate impact of conflicts on women and children, protect them during conflict, and encourage women's participation in all aspects of NATO activities.
Other key speakers included Rachel Mayanja, the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, and Margot Wallström, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict.