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Gender Advisor

Widespread sexual and gender-based violence in conflict situations, the lack of effective institutional arrangements to protect women, and the continued under-representation of women in peace processes, remain serious impediments to building sustainable peace. We remain committed to the full implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and related Resolutions which are aimed at protecting and promoting women's rights, role, and participation in preventing and ending conflict. In line with the NATO/Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) Policy, the Alliance, together with its partners, has made significant progress in implementing the goals articulated in these Resolutions. In this regard, we have today endorsed a Strategic Progress Report on mainstreaming UNSCR 1325 and related Resolutions into NATO-led Operations and Missions, and welcomed Norway's generous offer to provide a NATO Special Representative for these important issues. In this context, and to further advance this work, we have tasked the Council to: continue implementing the Policy and the Action Plan; undertake a review of the practical implications of UNSCR 1325 for the conduct of NATO operations and missions; further integrate gender perspectives into Alliance activities; and submit a report for our next Summit.

- Chicago Summit Declaration Issued by the Heads of State and Government
participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Chicago
on 20 May 2012, paragraph 16

  • <b>Consider Women and Men When Plann<b></b> a Meet<b></b>.</b>You must consider how to advertise the meet<b></b>. Will you place posters in the market or in other places where women will go? Will you hold the meet<b></b> at night when most women cannot attend? Meet<b></b> should be organised when both men and women are available.
  • <b>Increase Efforts to Expand the Role of Women.</b>The number of women lead<b></b> UN peacekeep<b></b>, political and peace-build<b></b> 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 build<b></b> walls around a school facility explain<b></b> that the privacy the walls provided would enable girls to attend the school.
  • <b>Ask Women What They Want And Need.</b>During a development project in Afghanistan, the international community decided to place running water inside the houses so that the women did not have to walk to the well to get water everyday, several times a day. Women in Afghanistan do not want this, as going to the well to get water is sometimes their only opportunity to meet other people, other women, to find out what is happening in the village and the surrounding area. By not knowing and respecting the cultural and social norms of the Afghan society and by not asking the women what they wanted, we further limited the women's possibilities to access important information that would only be transmitted to them while visiting the well.
  • <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 and larger networks of actors to build the capacities to integrate gender into their work. At least one third of candidates elected to the national assembly were women, in addition to two female cabinet members, 50 per cent of women chosen for Village Development Councils and 30 per cent of women in the police forces.
  • <b>Use Women In Operations.</b>A U.S. Corporal as part of a Female Engagement Team (FET) visiting a village, established excellent rapport with a male farmer in Afghanistan during repeated visits to his farm.  The farmer was thrilled to talk to someone who shared his enthusiasm for his crop: watermelon.  The farmer gave the Corporal two watermelons as a gift.  She accepted the gift and as they continued talking, the man revealed that he had information about the Taliban and security threats in the area.  The farmer then shared the location of several IED belts in the area, as well as key Taliban conspirators.  The information was verified and proved true.  The safe removal of the IED belts saved the lives of military personnel and created a safer environment for the local population.
  • <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. During one of the pre-operations briefings, the operations officer didn't think that was necessary to consider integrating gender perspective. Our task is to build a bridge, we don't need to worry about gender issues, he claimed. The instructor then started to ask questions: <i>Who is going to use this bridge</i> Well, the locals, the officer answered. You mean men, women and children the instructor asked. Well, yes. OK, how do they travel? By car mostly, the officer answered. <b>The women too?</b> the instructor asked. No, they'll probably walk, the officer answered. Then maybe you want to consider building a pedestrian zone on the bridge? The instructor asked. The operation officer could only agree. Now, gentlemen, we have just used a gender perspective on building a bridge, the instructor added.

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Examples of Integrating Gender Perspective

 NATO in Afghanistan - Two women, two stories

 Nahid Nazary – female journalist, single mother

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