Attention to Gender Increases Security in Operations: Examples from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

By Tobie Whitman and Jacqueline O'Neill

April 2012

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. For example, 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. Based on a growing collection of evidence and policy, the NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives sought assistance from The Institute for Inclusive Security to identify how incorporating gender perspectives positively influences operational effectiveness. The report reveals factors that increase security and cites specific examples and case studies (Chad and Afghanistan) of how women’s inclusion can be be critical to decreasing security risks for troops.

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