Examples of Application Gender Perspective in Military Operations

29/11/2017 @ 19:40
by Sander Agterhuis

Dear All,

I'm looking for examples of an application of a gender perpective in military operations.

Thank you,

Sander Agterhuis

19/12/2017 @ 10:30
by Thammy Evans

Dear Sander,

My apologies that it has taken us so long to reply to your question - an issue with spam notifications which clearly we need to fix.

To answer your question, DCAF's Gender Division has a lot of materials regarding gender and the military, and hopefully somebody from the Gender Division will wade into this conversation.

With regards to specifically applying a gender perspective to operations, I see three basic levels at which as gender perspective has 'operational' effect:

  1. at the tactical level applying a gendered perspective, in part through the employment of female soldiers, enhances military capability to operate with all genders in a target society
  2. at the operational level, the ability to conduct gendered analysis of the operating environment allows military analysis to be considerably more robust and allow military planners to better plan appropriate interventions which better safeguard and encourage positive peace as well as target negative influences
  3. and at the strategic level, a gendered perspective allows for full diversity in decision making to come to more novel solutions

Examples at the tactical and operational level are becoming more abundent, but at the strategic level this is still 'bleeding' edge stuff, due to the lack of gender diversity in the upper echelons of military decision making.

Examples to follow if you need them.

19/12/2017 @ 11:38
by Valentin Wagee

Dear Sander,

I hope you are doing well and that everything is all right in Den Haag. You might want to take a look at a handbook the French ministry of Defence drafted a few years ago. This will also give you the opportunity to practice your (already excellent) French: http://www.defense.gouv.fr/portail/vous-et-la-defense/egalite-femmes-hommes/lutte-contre-le-harcelement-les-discriminations-et-les-violences-sexuels/cellule-themis

Even though not an expert on Gender, I am aware that taking a gender perspective goes way beyond only dealing with issues such as harassment and GBV. I still thought this was worth sharing. Summing up:

-        The ministry established the “cellule Themis” back in 2013. The cellule is a complaint system allowing each ministry staff, civilian or military, woman or man, who has been a witness or a victim of sexual harassment/violence, or discrimination in the ministry to report it through interviews or phone calls.

-        The cellule is composed of four officers from the three armies and plays an advocacy role by informing the victims about their rights.

-        It gathers information and complaints of any kind and produces statistics related to GBV within the ministry and reports to Inspectors General. It then provides advice and guidance to military authorities on how to address such cases.

-        For cases happening during foreign operations, the cellule can apply to the operational high command to testify as part of an independent investigation if requests are issued in exceptional or grave circumstances (EVENGRAVE procedure).

More details are available in the handbook (“Vade-mecum des bonnes pratiques et obligations dans le cadre de la lutte contre le harcèlement sexuel au sein du ministère de la Défense »), which can be downloaded on the right of your screen.

I hope this helps !

Best regards,


19/12/2017 @ 21:15
by Victoria Walker

Dear Sander,

Ireland is always a good example for this (for example, they have a specific section on female peacekeepers in their defence white paper). You can look into details of their policies here

You should also look into the NATO Annual Conference on gender perspectives, or their overview of gender personnel in NATO HQ, which provides insight into the sort of roles to consider. DCAF's gender and security division has been a big supporter to NATO with regard to integrating gender.