Publication Date: September 2009
This is North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s (NATO’s) core document on how to integrate gender perspectives in their operations. Since 2007, the North Atlantic Council (NAC) has been working with Partner nations to ensure UNSCR1325 on Women, Peace and Security is integrated within the NATO Alliance. The NAC tasked the NATO Strategic Commands to provide a set of guidelines on this, including a code of conduct, which resulted in the 2009 publication of ‘Bi-Strategic Command Directive 40-1’. As the UK military further develops its approach to integrating gender in operations, it will be particularly important to recognise the lessons identified from our international partners such as NATO, the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU), amongst other organisations, and to align the approach as much as possible so that we build upon best practice in this area.
This Directive sets out clear parameters for the implementation of UNSCR1325 through training, staffing, standards of behaviour, reporting and a range of operationally-relevant issues relating to the Women, Peace and Security agenda. It is arguably most notable for having paved the way for the deployment of Gender Advisors to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Headquarters. In Afghanistan, Gender Advisors have been installed at ISAF Joint Command and ISAF Headquarters from 2009.
Whilst the NATO Gender Advisors are a welcome step forward in raising gender perspectives in all aspects of the force’s work, they tend to be dual-hatted. There is increasing evidence and lessons to show that the model has worked best where military advisors work closely with their civilian counterparts who also have gender expertise.
The Directive states gender advisors should:
a) Directly support commanders in planning, conduct and evaluation of operations by integrating gender dimensions and UNSCR1325 awareness in to the operational processes and procedures.
b) Report to the commander via the chain of command.
c) Provide advice on information and guidelines related to UNSCR1325 gender perspectives.
d) Support J1 (personnel) in maintaining an up-to-date overview of the number and positions of women deployed on NATO operations and missions.
e) Establish and oversee a system of gender awareness education and training programmes.
f) Proactively establish and maintain contacts with the NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives (NCGP) and other international organisations such as the UN, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), EU, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and NGOs, as well as local and international women's organisation to facilitate sharing of information during peacetime, crisis operations and during exercises.
g) Provide input to force generation and manning conferences, operational updates, staff meetings, and periodic and final mission reviews with regard to issues related to UNSCR 1325 and gender perspectives.
h) Provide commanders and operational planners’ gender and UNSCR1325 assessments in areas of operation, and include this analysis during in-theatre training and education programmes.
i) Support the commander J1 and Legal Advisor (LEGAD) in any inquiry or investigation initiated by the commander concerning a breach of NATO Standards of Behaviour, or an allegation of violence, rape or other forms of sexual abuse.