The above quotation captures the essence of the discussion held by Admirals, Generals and other key leaders during the 2015 Key Leader Seminar on Gender perspectives. The participants shared and highlighted experiences of how gender is a crucial part of operations and missions. However, the discussions of the seminar circled around how the military organization can implement the values of UNSCR 1325 and especially what key leaders could do to ensure this development. Challenges of unequal gender balance and sexual misconduct were raised as key questions that must be solved for militaries to live the values of UNSCR 1325.
The Key Leader Seminar on Gender perspectives is arranged by the Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations (NCGM) in their capacity as NATO Department Head and held at the Swedish Defence University (SEDU). NCGM had the privilege of welcoming 21 participants and accompanying participants from 10 nations representing 11 different organizations. Gender Subject Matter Expertise from nations and headquarters such as the UN DPKO Office of Military Affairs, NATO Allied Command Transformation and NATO Allied command Operations as well as 1325 Policy Group and Swedish Defence University were represented at the seminar. The seminar is accredited as a NATO Selected key leader training event.
The seminar was joined by lecturers and speakers that enabled and inspired discussions among the participants. Among the lectures, to name a few, LtGen (R) David Morrison shared his experiences as Chief of the Australian Army when enabling progressive changes within the Australian Defence Force. Dr Louise Olsson (SWE) presented the historical and legal frameworks behind UNSCR 1325 and gender integration into the armed forces. Ambassador Marriët Shuurman stressed the importance of female representation, especially on the highest political and strategic levels. LtGen Whitecross (CA) presented and discussed how the Canadian Armed Forces plan to deal with sexual misbehavior. The Gender Advisor at UN DPKO Office for Military Affairs, Col Harnet Tsegie, informed about the UN progress in efforts to strongly increase the number of military gender advisors. The Seminar Chair MGen Engelbrektson shared his own experiences on working with gender on a strategic level throughout the seminar.
- I believe that this group of key leaders will be able to exercise their leadership to achieve resilience in implementing gender perspectives, notably to enhance skills and capabilities to deliver security, says Ms. Linda Johansson, Seminar Director.