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National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security 2012-2018

Gender Perspective in Military Operations

The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) tasked the United Nations (UN) and its member states with thoroughly integrating a gender perspective into all peacekeeping operations and peace processes, as well as return, resettlement and reintegration programs in post-conflict settings. In 2009 and again in 2012, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) released Bi-Strategic Command Directive 40-1 to the military organisations and forces within the NATO command structure to implement UNSCR 1325 through a framework focussed on gender integration. This mandated framework provided guidance for the integration of gender perspective into the planning and conduct of NATO-led operations in order to improve operational effectiveness.

In 2013 NATO conducted a 'Review into the Practical Implications of UNSCR 1325 in the Conduct of NATO-led Operations and Missions', which identified specific recommendations relating to operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo. On 23 October 2013, the Defence Ministerial Meeting at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, endorsed the review implementation plan which focuses on training, gender advisors, planning and assessment tools, and reporting.

Female Commander says goodbye to police women
Female Engagement Team Commander Captain Julie Williams says goodbye to women from the Afghanistan Uniformed Police, at the conclusion of a shura.

Given Australia's commitment and contribution to NATO operations such as the International Security Assistance Force Afghanistan, it is imperative that the ADF develop the framework to provide greater emphasis and focus on gender mainstreaming activities that align with international, UN and NATO efforts to integrate gender perspective into armed forces, military operations and missions and planning processes and align with the intent of UNSCR 1325 and related resolutions.

Click here to access ADF Journal article 'The Gender Agenda: women, peace and security in the conduct of NATO-led operations and missions' (PDF, p57).