Attention to gender increases security in operations: Examples from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Authored by: Tobie Whitman and Jacqueline O'Neill

Categories: Peace Support Operations, Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: National Security Forces and Armed Groups, Security Sector Reform (SSR)
Year: 2012
Citation: Tobie Whitman and Jacqueline O’Neill, “Attention to Gender Increases Security in Operations: Examples from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)” (Washington, DC: The Institute for Inclusive Security, April 2012).

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Executive Summary

Empirical evidence shows that security actors are more likely to accomplish their mission when they take into account the differing needs and perspectives of men and women. According to NATO’s Civil-Military Cooperation Centre of Excellence (CCOE), greater attention to gender issues results in an enhancement of overall situational awareness and the provision of better advice to the senior decision maker. In a variety of studies of stabilization and peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kosovo, Liberia, and Timor Leste, gender equality is recognized as a force multiplier in operational planning and mission execution. A study of five Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan found that greater outreach resulting from communication with both men and women meant operations benefited from more nuanced intelligence.