Women in International Security (WIIS) offers a team of highly educated professionals, many of whom have extensive military backgrounds who assist countries’ in developing and implementing their Women, Peace and Security National Action Plans.  WIIS evaluates and assesses existing plans and programs and provides training for government agencies, including security institutions, on how to successfully execute their plans.

In 2000, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325).  UNSCR 1325 is a landmark international framework that addresses not only the inordinate impact of war on women, but also the pivotal role women should and do play in conflict management, conflict resolution and sustainable peace. The UN Security Council has called on nations to develop and implement National Action Plans.  Currently, 63 out of 193 UN nations have National Action Plans.  However, many nations have had difficulty in meeting the goals and objectives of their own plans.

A lack of understanding on how to operationalize a gender perspective in policies and missions, coupled with a shortage of training, are the primary reasons for failure to execute well-intentioned plans.

1325 Scorecard 2689WIIS professionals are trained and experienced in providing gender education and training. They also conduct evaluations and assessments.  The WIIS team combined has over 75 years of military experience.  WIIS team members are trained evaluators, gender advisers and are certified by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to teach gender courses to national militaries.  At the request of NATO Headquarters WIIS conducted an independent evaluation of NATO’s implementation of its own Women, Peace and Security implementation plan.  Additionally, WIIS team members developed an evaluation tool to evaluate the progress of NATO member and partner nations and have conducted 10 country evaluations.

For additional information about the Women, Peace, and Security Leadership Program, please email Col. Ellen Haring (ret.), WIIS Senior Fellow, at [email protected]

WPS Programs for Defense

WPS Curriculum Development

On-site training

  1. Senior Leader Seminar
  2. Women in the Armed Forces
  3. National Action Plan Development

Gender Focal Point Training

WPS Research

  1. Regional WPS Assessments

Gender Audits

Exercise Support
WPS Regional Conferences

Course Offerings 

National Action Plan Development Workshop (3 days)

The objective of this workshop is to assist nation states in the development of a National Action Plan (NAP) for the implementation of the goals and objectives of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.  Design and implementation of a good plan are critical to meeting desired outcomes. The design of the NAP requires the identification of appropriate stakeholders; emphasis on strong national will and political support at the highest levels; training programs that support the integration of a gender perspective throughout institutions; and monitoring, reporting and evaluation techniques. Moreover, an important aspect of the NAP process is the allocation of resources, both financial and personnel.  In addition to advising on NAP design WIIS offers particular expertise in Ministries of Defense who are tasked with executing many aspects of a National Action Plan.

Gender Key Leader Seminar (1.5 days)

This seminar focuses on how to implement a gender perspective in military operations in order to more comprehensively achieve political, military strategic and operational objectives.  The seminar aims to increase key leader’s knowledge on how to integrate gender perspectives into operations planning, execution and evaluation at the strategic and operational level and how to argue in favor of integrating gender perspectives into military operations.  Participants will gain background knowledge of frameworks and guidelines regulating a gender perspective in military operations.  The seminar will also provide practical examples of how Gender Advisors (GENAD) and Gender Focal Points (GFP) can assist key leaders during planning and military operations and how leaders, especially how commanding officers can support subordinate staff and units to successfully integrate gender into daily work.

Gender Advisor Course (7 days)

This 1 week course prepares staff officers to serve as a Commander’s Gender Adviser (GENAD).  It equips individuals with the tools to perform successfully as the key staff officer who has the primary responsibility for the commander’s efforts to implement a gender perspective at the operational and tactical levels. The course provides students with a background of frameworks and guidelines concerning gender in the military so that they may advise commanders and staff on regulatory requirements for planning, execution and evaluation.  The course teaches students how to practically imbed a gender perspective by conducting a gender analysis, utilizing tailored gender checklists and training other staff officers on how to imbed a gender perspective in military core tasks.   The course teaches students to establish relationships and liaise with all elements of the staff as well as with relevant external actors.

Gender in Military Operations: Humanitarian Assistance and Stability Operations Planning Course (2 days)

This course is designed for leaders and planners who are tasked with preventing, mitigating and stopping violence as well as responding to natural and manmade disasters.  To date, the multiple roles of women and men in the continuum of conflict and disaster and the critically important concept of gender are generally not understood by military and civilian leaders. As a consequence, opportunities to effectively address violence and respond to disasters by understanding and engaging the entire population have been overlooked, making response strategies and plans less than optimal. By examining the concept of gender, reviewing the legal and policy frameworks concerning women, peace and security, examining the roles that men and women play in conflict and operationalizing these topics, this course will heighten leaders’ situational awareness and improve their ability to develop holistic strategies and plans to improve mission outcomes.

Leading Change: Integrating Women into Combat Units (1-2 days)

Women’s integration in the US military has been occurring for decades. Each move to allow women access to ever expanding opportunities has met varying levels of resistance and challenges to organizational change. Some integration efforts have gone better than others, but all efforts have produced lessons that inform best practices. This course provides a brief historical overview, followed by an examination of legal frameworks and policies. It introduces the student to the vast number of research studies that have already been conducted on this topic and it ends with practical methods for leading organizational change including assessing and monitoring integration in military units.

Unbiased Performance Evaluations (2 days)

Professionals responsible for evaluating individuals in their jobs and in a training/educational environment are required to exercise their authority in a manner that maintains established standards of performance. To successfully do this, an evaluator must be objective, focusing solely on performance without bias. While the requirement of objectivity is a core component of military values, in reality all people, consciously or subconsciously, are biased.

Research in neuroscience has shown the powerful impact unconscious thinking processes make on decisions. Unintended, unconscious biases can create situations where an individual’s experiences and values are projected onto others. For evaluators, this can result in uneven assessments. Uneven assessments mean that performance standards are not consistently applied. This, in turn, indicates that evaluation requirements are not achieved, and the end state of creating the best-trained military force is not accomplished.

This training session is designed to: 1) Increase evaluators’ awareness concerning bias, specifically regarding gender and 2) Provide tools to prevent it. Evaluators completing this session will contribute to more objective assessments thereby maintaining performance standards fairly and consistently.

Session overview

  1. Brief lectures and discussion concerning how:
  • Gender roles are learned and transmitted
  • Gender affects operations
  • Gender impacts interactions at work
  1. Self-assessments and practical exercises to help participants recognize gender-based bias.
  2. Tools for overcoming gender bias to include:
  • Exercises to test and challenge notions concerning the roles of men and women
  • Methods for applying a gender neutral lens to the workplace