On 10th December 2018, the Wilson Center’s Women in Public Service Project (WPSP), German Marshall Fund (GMF) and Women in International Security (WIIS) jointly organized a discussion of the GMF paper,Raising EU and NATO Effectiveness: The Impact of Diverse Boots on the Groundby Corinna Hoerst, Laura Groenendaal and Gale A. Mattox.
Following opening remarks by Gwen K. Young, Director, Global Women’s Leadership Initiative and WPSP, Laura Groenendaal and Gale A. Mattox presented their findings. Ellen Haring, Senior Fellow, Women in International Security, Director Combat Integration Initiative Project joined the presenters for a panel conversation, moderated by Ms. Young. The panelists also answered audience questions.
Security challenges have changed due to the rise of non-state actors and emerging security threats, EU and NATO military operations must adapt in order to remain effective. One way to increase effectiveness and credibility is to improve the role of women in EU and NATO operations both on the ground and in terms of leadership. Having a more balanced representation of gender will make missions more reflective of the countries carrying them out as well as the countries in which they take place, thereby enhancing the overall success of missions.
In order to bring about more diversity in their military missions, the policy brief provides recommendations for the EU, NATO, their member states, and the partner countries to improve implementation:
• Gender training at leadership levels
• Political pressure and accountability are stated to be key in ensuring effectiveness
• A stronger follow-through mechanism is needed. Best practices need to be evenly implemented across military missions
• A cultural shift leading to diversity and inclusion across all levels of EU and NATO militaries can ensure that the issue of gender rises on the political agenda
If the EU and NATO leadership are held accountable for non-fulfilment of gender targets, it can lead to better implementation of UNSCR 1325 and other existing policy documents. A cultural shift leading to diversity and inclusion across all levels of EU and NATO militaries can ensure that the issue of gender rises on the political agenda.