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October 29, 2012 |  3 comments |  Print  Your Opinion  

Editorial Team

Exclusive Q&A with Ambassador Grabar-Kitarovic on Women, Peace and Security

Editorial Team: In celebration of the 12th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, invites you to participate in our next Q&A session with NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, Ambassador Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. She will be answering questions on “Women, Peace and Security”.

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, 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 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 You will then have the opportunity to comment and debate on them. For further information on Ambassador Grabar-Kitarović, visit her official Facebook page. 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

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Tags: | gender equality | 1325 | Arab Spring | Afghanistan | NATO | security | Peace | Women |
Unregistered User

October 30, 2012

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My compliments to the Ambassador to her well intended synopsis.
UN resolution 1325 was introduced on October 31, 2000. Certainly necessary.
The question arises , whether NATO should champion a Western stampede on the
subject to countries with different cultures and history.
Afghanistan is exampled to highlight NATO's success on equaity of women with
consequent attribution thereof. The year 2000 was the birth of Resolution 1325 and specifically to Afghanistan, long after Western Powers stifled Women Rights in Afghanistan:
Afghanistan was an area of heterogeneous groups without single political entity until
the reign of Ahmed Shah Durrani, who in 1747 founded the monarchy that ruled until 1973.
In the nineteenth century, Afghanistan lay between the expanding might of the Russian and British empires, both of which experienced humiliating defeat in 1989 and 1919
In 2000 Abdur Rahmann Khan ( the "Iron Amir" ) after twenty years of rule, looked at the events of the past century and wondered how his country was not crushed between Russia and Britain...
The plight of Afghan Women is very indicative for the soul of the country , and a future it deserves:
Malalai from the small village of Khig. who helped to defeat the British.........
Soraya Tarzi, very influential in the Muslim world at the time....
King Amanullah's sister, Kobra, who created the organization for women protection....
Fisrt secondary femal school was established in 1941.....
1959 women were allowed to unveil...
1964 the constitution gave women the right to vote....
1972 Zohra Yusuf Daoud was crowned as the first" Miss Afghanistan"...
1984 Khatol Mohammadzai became Afghansitan's first paratrooper and later General
in the Afghan National Army....and much more.

Should the West, with gun "slinging female John Waynes" and preference for polarization
of sexes really be responsible to advance these societies.....


Tags: | Resolution 1325 |
Gwendolyn N Akoto

November 1, 2012

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This is a great initiative. I appreciate the Overarching policy; it shows that NATO has taken proactive methods in order for women equality to become a practical achievement. Although this posting focuses on the Arab Spring and Afghanistan, it is my hope (if it has not been done already) that Resolution 1325 with the Overarching policy will soon take place in African states. I understand that recently, the involvement of women in government has increased in many African States but my concern is the inequality of women in African or other states that hold strong to sovereignty. As Ambassador Grabar-Kitarovic states “women’s rights are human rights and states cannot reach its full potential, if half of the population is not involved” which seems to be the case in many African states because full potential is not met and governments are unstable. Ambassador Grabar-Kitarovic also states “the global community must get involved in helping women achieve equality”. However, if women rights are human rights and if it is the global community’s role to get involved, would intervening into governments that do not adhere to women rights take place and would it be the appropriate tactic? Also, for most of these states women inequality is often viewed as a culture norm. If any, what educational methods would be used to change a state’s perception on the roles of women?
K.  Billy

November 1, 2012

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Congratulations to the Assistant Secretary General on being the first women to hold this position as well as the celebration of 12 years of the UN Resolution 1325. However, I cannot help but to find it appalling that even such a document has to exist in order for women and children rights to be "respected" in times of conflict. Just as we are told everyone is allowed right to liberty, life, freedom, protection, etc., women should be automatically included yet it seems we are not. Women have continued to be marginalized and used as direct targets in wars (for rape, experiements, purposely impregnated and killed). For the Resolution 1325 to call out injustices against women and have the label of women's rights is also a sad realization. We do not have "mens rights". A man does not have his rights questioned, especially not to the extent that a woman is denied hers. The fact is that as the Assistant General Secertary stated, womens rights are human rights. They should be treated as such, in such a progressive world that we live in its saddening to know that countries such as the US has lagged in supporting Women's Rights by not adopting the treaty to end discrimination against women. Yet it enforces its Western ideas on others on how to treat women equally. The fact remains that though this is celebratory, there is still so much further to go in seeing womens rights be truly employed in the international system and domestically. Small victories do matter but on the grand scheme of things I don't feel significant changes have been made in the deep rooted areas of discrimination. Yes 25% of Afghan national assembly being female is a great thing, Rwandan Parliament has high percentage of women and Liberia has a female President, but what does this truly mean once we get past the numbers. We need to see the action, see the support and interrgration of these women in the political system. The substance and voice of these women need to be accessed to truly know if times are indeed changing.

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