Gender in Operations, ARRC hosts NATO ACO Gender Conference

James Collins, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe headquarters' Gender Advisor, speaks with gender advisors from across NATO at Imjin Barracks on 10 May. (ARRC photo by Sgt. Mike O'Neill, GBR / Released)
May 10, 2017

INNSWORTH, UK - NATO's Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) headquarters held their 8th Bi-Annual Gender Advisor Conference at Imjin Barracks, Innsworth, England on 9-10 May, bringing together policy advisors from across the NATO Command and Force Structure to discuss upcoming changes to policy.

The Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) hosted the two-day event where the topics of gender consideration during operational planning, definitions for advisors, and refined roles were discussed prior to the scheduled release of new NATO policies later this year.

The topic of gender is not only about men and women, and it is not defined as biological sex, but about considering how military decisions impact women, children and other vulnerable and often abused populations living within a conflict zone. According to SHAPE advisor James Collins in his open presentation on Wednesday to ARRC staff and British Forces TV, the role of the gender advisor is increasingly important, placing issues forward during operational planning to the commander.

"We cannot afford to, nor should we ignore the challenges associated with gender in modern warfare.  The human dimension is central to our business, especially so in a Contemporary Operating Environment," said Lieutenant General Tim Radford, ARRC commander. "It follows that we need to operate with respect at all times.  This study period has served to focus our minds and to consider the imminent revision of the Gender Perspective in  Military Operations Doctrine being developed by SHAPE.  The Study Period has also allowed us to learn and to share perspectives and experiences.  I am most grateful to Capt Schommers for organising it on behalf of SHAPE," he added.

The next NATO Allied Command Operations Gender Conference is scheduled for autumn 2017 at SHAPE HQ. 

Story by ARRC Public Affairs Office




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