The NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) has been a committed champion of the principle that women and men are equal partners in the pursuit of peace and security. The intrinsic link between gender and security has been receiving greater attention at the Assembly particularly since 2007 when the Standing Committee recognised that parliamentarians have an important and specific role to play in promoting and advancing 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. The Secretary General’s regular reports to the Standing Committee on future Assembly activities and subjects routinely includes 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, at the request of the Bureau, between 2015 and 2017, the NATO PA conducted a comprehensive review of the Assembly’s consideration of gender in its policies and activities and the gender balance within the Assembly. As a result of this effort led by then Vice-President Angelien Eijsink (Netherlands), the Assembly adopted a set of measures to mainstream gender in the Assembly’s work and promote a fairer representation of men and women among Assembly members and elected officers. In addition, since 2017, the NATO PA has been publishing on its website a yearly review of the Assembly’s consideration of gender, which the Secretary General presents to the Standing Committee.
Furthermore, the Assembly regularly organises high-visibility initiatives on the topic of gender and security. For instance, in 2019, then-President Madeleine Moon arranged for events at the 2019 Spring and Annual Sessions under the banner “Women in Defence”. These events enabled members to share their perspectives on how to make the most of the opportunities offered by the Assembly. Most recently, in October 2020, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325), the Assembly hosted a webinar on Women, Peace and Security with high-level speakers.