The NATO Parliamentary Assembly has been a committed champion of the principle that women are equal partners in the pursuit of peace and security. The issue of gender and security started to receive greater attention particularly after 2007, when the Assembly’s Standing Committee recognised that parliamentarians have an important and specific role to play in promoting the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.
Much progress has been achieved in mainstreaming gender in the Assembly’s activities and policies, such as in Committee reports, Assembly resolutions, through guest speaker presentations in Committee meetings, sessions and seminars. It has become a tradition that the Secretary General’s regular reports to the Standing Committee on future Assembly activities and subjects routinely include a section related to the coverage of gender and security, and the Standing Committee provides ongoing guidance. This procedure has greatly helped the progressive mainstreaming of gender into the work of the Committees and other Assembly bodies.
In addition, the Assembly regularly organises high visibility initiatives on the topic of gender and security. These have included for instance a panel discussion with British female officers during the plenary sitting at the Annual Session in Edinburgh in November 2009; and a panel discussion on women in Afghanistan during the plenary sitting at the Annual Session in Bucharest in October 2011.
In March 2015, the NATO PA Bureau commissioned a comprehensive review of the Assembly’s approach to gender and security. This led to the adoption of further measures to mainstream gender in the Assembly’s work and promote a fairer representation of men and women among Assembly members and elected officers.