Security is not equivalent to equality. Nonetheless, security is required to ensure women's rights. Twelve years ago, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1325. The resolution called upon all member states to allow increased and equal representation of women at the decision-making level in resolving and preventing conflict and participating in peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction.
In support of the resolution’s implementation, NATO and its partners have adopted an Overarching Policy which draws on the internal and external resources of the Alliance and lays down a framework for mainstreaming the resolution in NATO’s operations. In Afghanistan, not only do gender-aware assessments reinforce operational effectiveness, it is vital to win over the hearts and minds of the local populations. Progress has been made but more needs to be done.
Ambassador Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović is the first woman ever to be appointed Assistant Secretary General of NATO. She had previously served as Croatia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration and, more recently, as Ambassador of Croatia to the United States from 2008 to 2011.
In an exclusive video statement for atlantic-community.org, Ambassador Grabar-Kitarović discusses the role of women in the countries of the Arab Spring, Afghanistan and their participation in post-conflict reconstruction and peace building.
The NATO Assistant Secretary General says that “change is already taking place close to home”. Do you agree that NATO has made progress or are there any shortcomings you would like to see addressed? According to her, “the Afghan constitution has enshrined women’s rights and now over 25 percent of seats in the Afghan national assembly are filled by women”. Is the overall security situation in Afghanistan sufficient for there to be effective security and equality for women? What would you like to know about the Alliance’s efforts to shape the future role of NATO?
Ambassador Grabar-Kitarović will be answering your questions on women, peace and security. Questions for the Ambassador on this topic should be submitted to the editorial team by Sunday, November the 4th via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your full name, country of residence and your professional or academic affiliation (optional). When crafting your questions, make sure to keep them short and to the point so that we can get many questions across. The editorial team will select ten questions to present to Ambassador Grabar-Kitarović and will then post her responses on atlantic-community.org. You will then have the opportunity to comment and debate on them. For further information on Ambassador Grabar-Kitarović, visit her official Facebook page.
Atlantic-community.org continues to advocate the further implementation of UNSC Resolution 1325. Just last year, we organized an op-ed competition “Women on Transatlantic Security” which received 100 submissions and generated two Atlantic Memos and one eBook. The policy memos and selected articles are available for reading here, while the eBook can be downloaded on this page.
Photos: Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic (c) NATO