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femme_en_opsAllied Command Transformation (ACT) is NATO's leading agent for change, driving, facilitating, and advocating continuous improvement of Alliance capabilities to maintain and enhance the military relevance and effectiveness of the Alliance. NATO ACT is responsible for the planning and delivery of NATO education and training programmes using NATO and national facilities. These programmes are delivered under the e-NATO approach: efficient, effective, affordable, and open.

One of the capabilities of e-NATO is the ability to deliver quality education and training using the latest in technology and online delivery. The courses below have been produced to support Gender Perspective awareness and training and are available for immediate use on the NATO Learning Management System.

ACT currently offers 3 courses on Gender Perspective:

  • ADL 168: Role of Gender Advisors and Gender Field Advisors in Operations;
  • ADL 169: Improving Operational Effectiveness by Integrating Gender Perspective (100 level);
  • ADL 171: Gender Focal Point (200 level).

For more information on these courses click here.



On 22 February 2013, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Gender Education and Training between the Swedish Armed Forces, Headquarters Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (HQ SACT) and Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) was signed by the Swedish Chief of Defence. The MOU serves as a blueprint for co-operation by formalising the designation of the Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations (NCGM) as Department Head (DH) for the delivery of all Gender Education and Training.

As the NATO DH for gender education and training, the NCGM, under HQ SACT guidance:

  1. Translates operational requirements into education and training objectives within the subject of gender and related programmes, modules and courses that are delivered by NCGM with the objective to support NATO on both the operational and tactical levels;
  2. Establishes training standards to which the NATO gender programme courses adhere;
  3. Collaborates with both HQ SACT and SHAPE to ensure courses and curricula conform to NATO requirements;
  4. Recommends Gender E&T Programme changes to HQ SACT and SHAPE;
  5. Collaborates with HQ SACT to coordinate an annual Gender Discipline/Education and Training Conference to discuss NATO Gender E&T programme changes;
  6. Collaborates with other NATO Education and Training Facilities (NETFs) on a case-by-case as coordinated with HQ SACT.

The NCGM has several more tasks (other than courses and education):

  1. NCGM as the Gender DH and recognized expert for gender in operations supports HQ SACT and SHAPE, upon request, with analysis of gender related Lessons Identified by Gender Advisors (GENADs) and Gender Field Advisors (GFAs) deployed to NATO-led operations;
  2. NCGM, as the Gender DH, supports other NATO-led tasks related to gender in military operations on a case by case basis upon request from HQ SACT or SHAPE;
  3. NCGM, as the Gender DH, supports individual and collective NATO-led training with Subject Matter Experts and/or other gender-specific advice at exercises and pre-deployment training.

Gender Education and Training Package for Nations

HQ SACT has developed, with the full support of the Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations (NCGM) as a Department Head, a package of training tools to support the increased awareness on gender perspective in military operations and to assist NATO Allies and Partners to build their gender capacity and capabilities. The objective is to facilitate an integration of a gender perspective within the three core tasks of the alliance: Crisis Management; Cooperative Security; and Collective Defence. Gender perspective is to be integrated in all three core tasks at the strategic, operational and tactical levels. This education and training solution is offered as guidance to nations and partners. It additionally offers best practice examples and guidance from different nations on the institutionalization of gender perspective.

This Education and Training (E&T) solution has three modules:

  1. Strengthening national gender perspective for NATO Allies and partners national headquarters staff in national military headquarters (strategic-operational levels)
  2. Strengthening national gender perspective for NATO Allies and partners personnel (tactical level)
  3. National armed forces personnel deploying to NATO operations and missions (pre-deployment)

Every module consists of three lessons. At the strategic-operational and tactical levels the lessons have been broadly divided into the categories per individual training audience and are considered to be ‘stand alone’. The strategic-operational level refers to a training audience who might conduct their daily work at a Ministry of Defence or Defence Staff-level. The tactical level refers to a training audience who might conduct their daily work at the regiment/brigade level and below. The pre-deployment module builds upon knowledge from one lesson to the next and is to be treated as a single module with 3 dependent lessons.

learning objectives250The figure on the left outlines the 3 modules with according learning objectives. For Modules 1 and 2, Lesson 1 is intended for those who oversee/contribute to policymaking (either at the strategic-operational or tactical level); Lesson 2 is intended for those who are responsible/implement education and training (either at the strategic-operational or tactical level); Lesson 3 is intended for those who are responsible/implement planning. For the strategic-operational and tactical levels, the training audience will only take one of the six topic streams in accordance with their position/post and daily work.

The gender education and training Package for Nations has been presented for the first time during the gender annual discipline conference the 1st of June and again in front of the Military Committee by Brigadier General ROGA, ACOS, JETE, on the 4th of June and is now available as a pilot course. Being an evolving product, we greatly appreciate your feedback at genderadvisor@act.nato.int.

Instructors' Guide Lectures Lesson Plans
Lectures Lesson Plans
stratop lecture1 word stratop lecture1 word
pdt lecture2 word pdt lecture2 word
pdt lecture3 word pdt lecture3 word
Click here to download a ".ZIP" file containing the three lectures and the three lesson plans (approx. 20 MB). Click here to download a ".ZIP" file containing the three lectures and the three lesson plans (approx. 27 MB).

ACT Office of the Gender Advisor

  • <b>Consider Women and Men When Planning a Meeting</b>. You must consider how to advertise the meeting. Will you place posters in the market or in other places where women will go? Will you hold the meeting at night when most women cannot attend? Meetings should be organised when both men and women are available.
  • <b>Increase Efforts to Expand the Role of Women.</b> The number of women leading UN peacekeeping, political and peace-building missions in 2011 went up from 6 to 33 missions.
  • <b>Consult Women On The Construction of Schools.</b> Women in Afghanistan highlighted the importance of building walls around a school facility explaining that the privacy the walls provided would enable girls to attend the school.
  • <b>Ask Women What They Want And Need.</b> The international community decided to put running water in the houses so that the women did not have to walk to the well. Women in Afghanistan do not want this, as going to the well is sometimes their only opportunity to meet and socialize with other women and find out what is happening in the village and the surrounding area.
  • <b>Supplies Should Not Be One-Size-Fits-All.</b> Guarantee a supply of equipment, such as uniforms, towels and body armour, in sizes and shapes that fit both men and women.
  • <b>Appeal Recruitment Campaigns To Both Men And Women.</b> Many recruitment campaigns do not necessarily appeal to women as they tend to emphasise masculine values. The Ministry of Defence of Norway consulted marketing agencies that led to the Armed Forces changing its public image. A new advertisement reads <i>It is not about how many kilos you can carry: it is about how smart you are</i>.
  • <b>Increase Women's Participation in Decision-Making Processes.</b> The Gender Affairs Unit of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor facilitated an incredible increase of women's participation in decision-making from the local to the national level. The Unit offered training workshops for potential women candidates in elections and provided training for civil police to integrate gender into their work.
  • <b>Use Women In Operations.</b> A Female Engagement Team (FET) member established excellent rapport with a farmer in during repeated visits to his farm. The farmer was thrilled to talk to someone who shared his enthusiasm for his crop. As they continued talking, the man revealed that he had information about the Taliban and security threats in the area.
  • <b>Consider Needs of Both Men And Women In Development Projects.</b> Integrating gender perspective applies also when building something as simple as a bridge. The bridge needs to accommodate cars being driven by men but also women and children who will be walking on the bridge.
  • <b>Take Women Into Account.</b> The Dutch Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Uruzgan made plans to build an orchard in a central location within the community. When Civil Affairs personnel learned from that the women could not leave their children at home unattended to travel to the central location, they changed their approach and instead allocated trees to individual families.
  • <b>Consider The View Of Both Men And Women.</b> When planning demining operations, local women were included in discussions to determine areas for demining. Demining teams also took into account that women's literacy rates were often lower than men's, so the teams added pictures to warning signs for dangerous areas.
  • <b>Accommodate Women.</b> During registration for the armed forces in Liberia, women trying to sign-up were elbowed out of the queue and discouraged from joining. The officer in charge came up with a simple solution: he made two queues (one for women and one for men).
  • <b>Ask For the Perspective Of Men And Women When Obtaining information.</b> For a flourishing crime structure, a man might blame a group of young criminals and ask for better trained police officers. A woman might blame a lack of jobs and schools and ask for education courses and community centres.
  • <b>Listen To What Men and Women Have To Say.</b> It was brought to the attention of KFOR that in the multi-ethnic neighbourhood of North Mitrovica, Kosovo, a particular group felt unsafe due to stone throwing. It was principally the women who requested that KFOR show a stronger presence and asked for night time patrols.
  • <b>Support Peace Initiatives.</b> Women were instrumental 'brokers' of peace during the crises on Bougainville Island and in Fiji. They still play a vital role in peace building. International workers support the advocacy of the women's organisations, and these organizations advise and inform security policy makers and the general public on issues related to gender and security.
  • <b>Provide Separate Facilities For Men And Women.</b> In Afghanistan, the lack of female interpreters made it very difficult to communicate effectively with Afghan women, ensuring that their full needs and views were taken into account. One of the demands made by most female Afghan interpreters was separate accommodation and toilets/bathrooms for men and women.
  • <b>Consider Needs of Both Men and Women When Patrolling.</b> It was discovered that along their typical routes, the patrol only came across men. They realised that by changing their routes, including venturing into smaller, less busy streets, the patrols would be exposed to the wider population, including women.
  • <b>Take Special Measures to Protect Women from Gender-Based Violence.</b> UN peacekeepers deployed to the Democratic Republic of Congo organized a series of community dialogues. The peacekeepers learned about the times and places where women were more vulnerable to sexual violence. They then created patrols at specific days/times to ensure safer passage for women.
  • <b>Protect Women and Girls from Gender-Based Violence.</b> In one instance, desks were created in camps and staffed with women trained to take and register incidents of violence. It is a good idea to consult with local women's groups on how to best address gender-based violence.
  • <b>Training Should Be Conducted By Both Men And Women.</b> UNSCR 1325 and gender perspective training should be given by both men and women to both men and women. A balanced diversity in gender-related training supports the overall goals of UNSCR 1325.
  • <b>Ensure Overlap Of Gender Advisors.</b> Strengthen communication between Gender Advisors once in-theatre as well as pre-deployment. For example, the Swedish Armed Forces require a two-week overlap of Gender Advisors to ensure consistency of activities.
  • <b>Collect Sex-disaggregated Data.</b> This includes material that identify men's and women's patterns of mobility, divisions of labour, political standing, access to resources, participation in the conflict and risks of being targeted by violence. This information will allow a gender-aware analysis.

The primary responsibilities of the ACT Gender Advisor are:

  • Provide direct support to the Commander on implementing UNSCR 1325 and integrating gender perspective throughout HQ SACT and ACT;
  • Act as the coordination officer throughout ACT for implementing UNSCR 1325 and integrating gender perspective in the planning, conduct and evaluation of all ACT tasks, including an ACT Action Plan to advance UNSCR 1325 Issues and gender perspective;
  • Implement Bi-SC Directive 40-1 on "Integrating UNSCR 1325 and Gender Perspectives in the NATO Command Structure Including Measures for Protection During Armed Conflict" throughout ACT;
  • Oversee the development and implementation of gender-related training in NATO education and training programs;
  • Coordinate gender training policies, opportunities and requirements with NATO policy;
  • support the development and implementation of gender related events and incidents in NATO exercises conducted at JWC, JFTC and other NATO facilities, including embedding Gender Advisors and UNSCR 1325 and gender perspective issues within scenarios;
  • Proactively establish and maintain contacts with international and nongovernmental organizations working in the fields of gender in order to share and exchange information that advances gender perspective.

Contact Information

MAJ Stephanie Nicol, French Army
Tel: +1 (757) 747-3165
email: genderadvisor@act.nato.int

7857 Blandy Rd.
Norfolk, VA 23551



United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) (annotated version can be found here)

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1820 (2008)

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1888 (2009)

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1889 (2010)

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1960 (2010)

*** Should the above links not work, you can access the UN Security Resolutions repository here. ***

NATO References

NATO/EAPC Policy on Integrating UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, 10 Dec 2007 & Comprehensive Report on Implementation of the Policy, 8 Sep 2010

Bi-SC Directive 40-1, Integrating UNSCR 1325 and Gender Perspectives in the NATO Command Structure Including Measures for Protection During Armed Conflict, 2 Sep 2009

NATO Action Plan on Mainstreaming UNSCR 1325 into NATO-Led Operations and Missions, 17 Nov 2010

Lisbon Summit Declaration, paragraph 7, 20 Nov 2010

Chicago Summit Declaration, paragraph 16, 21 May 2012

NATO Education and Training Plan for Gender in Military Operations (MCM-0024-2014)

Discipline Alignment Plan for Gender in Military Operations

Useful Links

DCAF Gender and SSR Toolkit

DCAF Gender and SSR Training Resource Package

Gender Balance and Diversity in NATO

NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives (NCGP)

UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations - Department of Field Support | Guidelines on Integrating Gender Perspective

PeaceWomen - Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

UN Women

Gender Makes Sense

Swedish Armed Forces International Centre - SWEDINT

Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations (Sweden)

IMS Gender Advisor

Examples of Integrating Gender Perspective


Implementing UNSCR 1325 & Integrating Gender Perspective

linda_johansson25 March 11

HQ SACT’s Two-Pronged Approach:

  1. Implementing UNSCR 1325
    • UNSCR 1325 calls attention to the disproportionate impact that armed conflict has on women and children and recommends specific measures to remedy this.
  2. Integrating Gender Perspective
    • Gender refers to the social attributes and opportunities associated with being male and female. It goes beyond the sex of the person to include how relationships are socially constructed. Gender is heavily influenced by one’s culture.
    • Gender Perspective is integrated when issues are examined from the point of view of both men and women to identify differences in needs and priorities, as well as in abilities and potential.

HQ SACT Gender Perspective Recommendations: Our Roadmap

  1. Inclusion in curriculum at NATO Education and Training Facilities, COE’s and NATO and Partner Countries National Military Education and Training Institutions and Partner Training Centre
  2. Gender Awareness ADL module as standard pre-deployment training
  3. ADL course for personnel working in the field of Gender to support operations
  4. Inclusion in curriculum for civilian pre-deployment training in Vyskov, Czech Republic
  5. Completed accreditation process for existing training courses in the field of gender.
  6. A SACT-approved “Roadmap on Implementing UNSCR 1325 and Integrating Gender Perspective”
  7. Gender Advisor post within the revised PE 2012 structure
  8. Integration of gender perspective in HQ SACT work on the Comprehensive Approach.
  9. Electronic repository for gender-related issues , specifically AARs and Best Practices from ops
  10. Evaluation of establishing a Gender Awareness Centre of Excellence (CoE).
  11. Unclassified website on gender-related activities fully accessible to all
  12. Increased awareness of UNSCR 1325 and gender-related issues throughout ACT
  13. Increased gender perspective (specifically women's representation) within NATO and in decision making bodies at all levels of the planning process.

NATO Action Plan

Based on the Six Tracks of the NATO/EAPC Policy:

  1. Mainstreaming in policies, programmes and documentation
  2. Cooperation with International Organizations and civil society
  3. Education and training (ACT)
  4. Operations
  5. Public Diplomacy
  6. National Initiatives

The NATO Action Plan aims to “mainstream gender” into all areas related to current and future planning and conduct of operations. Four focus areas:

  1. Crisis Management, Operational Planning and Execution
  2. Training and Education for Operational Aspects
  3. Operational execution
  4. Reports and Reporting Systems

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