Enhancing Security: Women’s Participation in the Security Forces in Latin America and the Caribbean: Part II

Dr. Karin L. Johnston, Dr. Diorella Islas, Larissa Abaunza

On October 31, 2000, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325),
the first of ten Security Council resolutions that together comprise the Women, Peace, and Security
(WPS) Agenda to advance gender equality and women’s representation and participation in all decision-making processes in peacebuilding and conflict prevention. Its passage was the culmination of decades
of international efforts to ensure women play an active role in addressing the impacts of war and conflict
on their lives along the spectrum of conflict resolution, peacemaking, peacekeeping, post-conflict
reconstruction, and conflict prevention. Since 2005, creating National Action Plans (NAPs) within
countries worldwide has become a major vehicle for institutionalizing the WPS agenda.
The focus on peacekeeping and the participation of women in security sector forces brought renewed
attention to the process of integrating a gender perspective in military and national police operations.
In 2020, Women In International Security (WIIS) was approached by the U.S. Southern Command
(USSOUTHCOM) to establish a baseline of data and best practices to assist partner nations in Latin
America and the Caribbean in evaluating the implementation of the WPS agenda in their respective
security sector forces.
WIIS reported its first findings on 14 countries (13 countries in the USSOUTHCOM area of responsibility
(AOR) plus Mexico) in the 2020 report “Enhancing Security: Women’s Participation in Latin America
and the Caribbean.” The present report continues the work that began in 2020 to study progress in
implementing the WPS agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean. This second report examines the
remaining 15 countries in the USSOUTHCOM AOR utilizing the research questions and methodology
framing the 2020 report.
Supporting the conclusions from the 2020 report, the 2023 study shows that despite many countries
lacking national militaries or NAPs, all countries in the study have strong normative frameworks in
place to advance gender equality at the national level. There is growing momentum in integrating gender
equality in military and defense forces, police forces, and other forces responsible for public security,
though the pace and scope among the countries vary. Nevertheless, the study also underscores that
the gap between the rhetorical support of gender equality and the implementation of the WPS agenda
persists, challenging governments to apply the necessary political will and resources to advance gender
equality and the WPS agenda in the region.
The findings of our assessment examining the level of integration of gender equality and the WPS agenda
in security forces in Latin America and the Caribbean are outlined below:

  • Countries have developed a range of regional and state agencies, institutions, and agreements that
    reflect a commitment to greater advancement towards gender equality in security forces, even in the
    absence of a NAP and references to the WPS agenda;
  • A broad commitment to gender equality and gender integration both nationally and in security
    institutions has not seen consistent, transformational changes in policies and practices that can
    recruit, promote, and retain women in security forces;
  • Women’s representation in military and national police forces remains low;
  • Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms are poorly resourced, often lacking the data collection and
    civil society interaction that allow decision-makers to identify problem areas in plan implementation
    and make needed course corrections.
    Based on these findings, the report proposes the following recommendations:
    National Level:
  • Adopt a WPS NAP: A WPS NAP can be a valuable tool that supports and complements a nationallevel gender mainstreaming strategy. It induces government actors to work together at the national and
    local levels and more closely with civil society. It also creates avenues for greater gender participation
    throughout the plan’s design and implementation.
  • Ensure Civil Society Participation: Include civil society actors from the earliest stages of plan
    development and throughout the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation phases.
  • Commit Human and Financial Resources: Using a gender-responsive budgeting process, governments
    should ensure gender-equitable allocation and distribution of resources and provide sufficient staff,
    including GENADs and GFPs, to ensure a NAP’s sustainability.
  • Monitor and Evaluate Progress: An effective monitoring and evaluation mechanism should be in
    place and appropriately funded.
  • Ensure Transparency: The defense forces and public security institutions should consider
    communication strategies to publicly share their progress and challenges in advancing their gender
    integration efforts.
    Institutional Level:
  • Expand Women’s Operational or Combat Positions: Efforts should expand beyond creating gendersensitive recruitment policies and material to aim for women’s unrestricted and equal access to all
    military, police, and security forces positions. Often, restricted operational positions are pathways for
    promotion to senior ranks.
  • Evaluate Quality of Life and Force Retention Policies: Policies that provide support and incentive
    for women to remain in the force should be institutionalized, e.g., providing and designing maternity
    and paternity leave policies and available childcare facilities, extending family leave policies, and
    providing equipment and facilities that serve women’s needs.
  • Appoint a Gender Advisory Workforce: To support the effective implementation of gender
    mainstreaming and WPS principles at all levels of decision-making—strategic, tactical, and
    operational—security institutions should appoint GENADs and GFPs who have training in WPS and
    gender studies.
  • Institutionalize WPS Training: Implementing foundational training at all military service branches
    and rank levels to educate and integrate the WPS agenda and gender equality should be a high priority
    in the military and national police forces.
    Regional Level:
  • Create an Annual WPS Summit: Representatives from the defense forces, national police agencies,
    and subject matter experts (SMEs) should meet regularly to share best practices and lessons learned
    to ensure continued advancement in gender integration.
  • Create Regional Training Courses: Create a joint WPS strategy training for countries considering or
    developing a WPS strategy or that have yet to appoint a GENAD.
  • Gender and Regional Climate Cooperation: As regional cooperation increases in response to growing
    alarm about the impact of climate on security, ensure that a gender dimension is an integral part of
    any resulting regional framework for preventing, mitigating, responding, and adapting to climate
    change and environmental disasters.

Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, Ellen Haring, Diorella Islas, Ana Laura Velasco

Executive Summary

The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, launched by UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) adopted in October 2000, brought renewed attention to the importance of the integration of a gender perspective for the effectiveness of military and police operations. It also pointed to the importance of increasing the participation of women in security (military and police) forces.[1] 

This report examines to what extent the WPS agenda, and more generally the principles of gender equality, have been integrated in the security sector (military and national police) in 14 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The research was commissioned by the Women, Peace and Security Program at the US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), with the objective: (a) to establish a baseline of data and best practices with regard to the integration of the WPS agenda in security forces in Latin America and the Caribbean; and (b) to provide a framework for future partnerships between US SOUTHCOM and security forces in the region. While US SOUTHCOM commissioned the research, the authors bear sole responsibility for the content of this report and any errors or omissions.

Our research draws on an assessment tool developed by Women In International Security (WIIS) that examines how countries have integrated the principles of gender equality and the WPS agenda in security institutions and operations. [2]  More specifically, the tool defines indicators that measure: (1) the level of political commitment to gender equality and the WPS agenda; (2) how that commitment is translated into practice; and (3) what accountability measures have been adopted—that is, how well policy and practice are monitored and evaluated.

This report is based on desk and literature research in Washington, DC and field research conducted by 14 volunteer country research teams composed of active and retired members of the police and the military, academics, government officials, policymakers, and members from civil society organizations.

The findings of our assessment examining the level of integration of the principles of gender equality and the WPS agenda in the security forces in Latin America and the Caribbean are outlined below.

Overall Regional Assessment

The overall integration of the principles of gender equality and the WPS agenda in security forces in the region (all countries combined) is robust, with an average score of 64.6 (on a scale of 1-100).

Many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have strong normative frameworks for gender equality in place, are party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and have professed support to the WPS agenda. It provides a strong backdrop for the integration of the gender equality and WPS agenda in the security sector. That said, in most countries political rhetoric is often not matched by consistent implementation. In addition, most countries lack systematic monitoring and evaluation mechanisms (see Figure 1).

Figure 4: Overall

Average Regional

Scores

Of the 14 countries examined for this report, four countries scored above the average regional score.

Four countries scored around the regional average, and six countries fell below the regional average. What is common to the countries that scored high is that they have strong scores across all 3 categories of assessment. (See Table 1)

For many police and military organizations in the region, gender equality and the integration of the WPS agenda is focused on the number of women in the forces. That said, gender mainstreaming and the integration of the WPS agenda in military and national police forces requires more than just adding women; it also requires the integration of a gender perspective in operations and addressing gender norms and gender stereotypes in the organizations themselves.  Military and police organizations are highly gendered—masculine—constructs. Introducing gender perspectives and increasing the number of women does not come naturally to these institutions. Change only comes about with strong leadership from the top and continuous and systematic attention at all levels of military and police organizations.

Country Political Will Policy & Practice Monitoring Reporting   & EvaluationTotal Score 
Argentina98906890
Brazil44514849
Chile85756476
Colombia51476850
Costa Rica808810087
Dominican Republic63584858
Ecuador72566060
Guatemala78523655
Mexico60594058
Panama62636066
Paraguay67684466
Peru58576057
Trinidad & Tobago55643660
Uruguay78707672
Region Average686457.7064.60

Table 1: Average

National Scores by

Category

Main Findings by Category

All countries were assessed using simple sets of indicators that measure political will, the institutionalization of WPS principles in policy and practice, and, whether monitoring and evaluation mechanisms have been put in place.

Political Will

The most important measure of political will is whether countries have adopted WPS National Action Plans (NAPs).

  • Of the 14 countries surveyed in our report, five have developed WPS National Action Plans and five are in the process of developing a WPS NAP.
  • In most countries the WPS agenda and WPS NAPs are seen in the context of external engagements, most notably UN peacekeeping operations. While most countries see the WPS agenda as applicable only to armed conflict, some countries in the region have integrated human security challenges, such as human trafficking (Argentina) or rights of refugees (Brazil).

Institutionalization (Policy and Practice)

NAPs are most effective when they are accompanied by detailed implementation plans.

  • Most countries lack specific implementation plans with clearly defined goals and resources for implementation.
  • In all countries in the region, women remain under-represented in the military and the police. Even fewer women reach senior ranks. Many security forces have policies that exclude or limit (through the imposition of caps) women’s participation in the police or military. Few countries have welldefined recruitment strategies or set targets to increase women’s participation in the security forces.
  • The prevention of sexual harassment and abuse is critical to create a women-friendly work place, but few countries have programs to address harassment or abuse in the ranks.
  • Knowledge about the WPS agenda remains limited, and training on gender and the WPS agenda is ad-hoc and unsystematic.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring and reporting are critical for learning and identifying progress. Monitoring and evaluation practices must be an integral part of any NAP and implementation plan and include all stakeholders, including civil society organizations in the planning and implementation stages.

  • Few countries in the region have robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms that involve civil society.
  • Sex-disaggregated data about women in the military and police are not systematically collected or published.

Main Recommendations

The report concludes with two sets of recommendations. One is for governments in the region and their military and police forces. The other is for the region as a whole and identifies specific actions countries in the region and the US government (including US DoD and US SOUTHCOM) can take to advance the WPS agenda and solidify partnerships in the region.

National Actions:

All countries in the region have strong normative gender equality frameworks in place. This should provide a solid basis for governments in the region to apply the political will necessary to develop WPS NAPs. The most effective NAPs are whole-of-government efforts that engage all governmental and nongovernmental stakeholders and cover the entire range of security challenges, including human security and non-military security challenges.

  • All government agencies, including military and police forces, should develop implementation plans with clear goals and benchmarks for measuring progress.
  • Governments must back up their commitment to NAPs and implementation plans by pledging the necessary resources—personnel and financial—to ensure effective implementation.
  • Legislatures must become actively involved in the development of WPS NAPs. They should require the executive to present NAP updates at regular intervals and pass budgets with dedicated funding streams for NAPs and implementation plans.
  • Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms should be transparent and include members of civil society. Civil society actors are critical to ensuring transparency and providing expertise in the effective implementation of WPS NAPs.

The increase of the number of women in police and military organizations and the integration of gender perspectives in operations require actions at different levels.

  • Military and police organizations should develop organization-specific WPS implementation plans. This can be accomplished even in the absence of a nation-wide WPS NAP. Countries, such as Argentina and Colombia, have developed and effectively implemented military implementation plans before NAPs were developed.
  • In terms of gender balance, the military and police should remove all exclusions and caps that limit women’s full participation in the security forces. They should also develop recruitment programs and establish targets to increase the number of women in the ranks. Military and police should regularly collect and publish sex-disaggregated data on women in the ranks.
  • In terms of integrating gender perspectives in operations, and more generally the development of a gender mainstreaming strategy, the military and police should appoint Gender Advisors (GENADs). GENADs help with the development of organizational gender mainstreaming strategies, make sure that police and military exercises and operations have integrated a gender analysis, and advise on the education and training of soldiers and officers with regard to the WPS agenda. To be effective, GENADs should be located at the highest command level. In addition to GENADs, military and police organizations should appoint Gender Focal Points (GFPs) at lower levels of the organization.

GFPs are key to ensuring that implementation takes place at all levels.

International and Regional Actions:

There is a great deal of expertise in Latin America and the Caribbean that should be capitalized on for the good of the entire region. Unfortunately, the exchange and learning among security forces in the region is ad-hoc, uneven, and non-systematic. Countries in the region, including the United States government (US DoD and US SOUTHCOM), should create a WPS Center of Excellence for security forces (military and police) that can support the integration of the WPS agenda throughout the region. The Center—a multilateral governmental venture—should seek to actively engage non-governmental stakeholders. The Center would function as a regional hub to support military and police forces in the region. Areas of responsibilities would include:  

  • Research: encourage national and regional collaborative research efforts and focus on topics supporting the integration of the WPS agenda into security forces, such as measures to eliminate barriers for women’s participation in military and police forces, monitoring and evaluation practices, collecting and publishing sex-disaggregated data on gender balances in the forces;
  • Education and Training: facilitate the development and delivery of WPS and gender curriculum and training for the military and police;
  • Convening of stakeholders: exchange best practices;
  • Technical support: for the development of WPS NAPs and implementation plans, particularly implementation plans for the military and police.

More specifically, the US government (US DoD and US SOUTHCOM) should embed WPS discussions in all engagements, including in all security and military senior leader engagements. They should also incentivize women’s participation in any externally funded training programs they provide to regional partners by requiring that a certain percentage of military and police women participate in the training.

Preface

The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda launched in October 2000 by the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 has been a key instrument in advancing the role of women in the peace and security arena.

The United States, including the US Department of Defense, has been engaged with the WPS agenda since 2011, when President Barack Obama launched the first National Action Plan (NAP) on WPS.[3] The US Congress adopted the WPS Act in 2017, which directed the US government to develop a national WPS Strategy.[4] The US WPS Strategy was released in 2019.[5] Subsequently, in  mid-2020, the US Department of State, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US Department of Homeland Security, and the US Department of Defense published agency-specific implementation plans.

In its 2020 Implementation Plan, the US Department of Defense outlined the following lines of effort: 

  • Seek and support the preparation and meaningful participation of women around the world in decision-making processes related to conflict and crises;
  • Promote the protection of women and girls’ human rights, their access to humanitarian assistance, and their safety from violence, abuse, and exploitation around the world;
  • Adjust US international programs to improve outcomes in equality for, and the empowerment of, women; and
  • Encourage partner governments to adopt policies, plans, and capacity to improve the meaningful participation of women in processes connected to peace and security and decision-making institutions.[6]

The advancement of the WPS agenda is a key objective of US military partnerships, including in the Southern Hemisphere.[7] Yet there is very little data on how military and police forces in Latin America and the Caribbean have integrated women and gender perspectives in their operations and activities. As a result, the exchange and learning among security forces in the Western Hemisphere on how best to integrate gender perspectives in operations and activities is ad-hoc and non-systematic.

In the summer of 2020, WIIS was approached by the Gender Advisor of US SOUTHCOM, Lt. Col. (USAF) Duila M. Turner, to develop a tool that would provide baseline data on where security forces in the region stand with respect to the integration of the WPS agenda. The idea was to develop a tool that could structure and frame discussions on these issues with partner nations.

In consultation with the US SOUTHCOM Gender Advisor, we defined three main objectives for the WPS assessment tool:

Learning: Numerous studies show that there is still little awareness and understanding of the WPS framework. While there is an increasing awareness within security establishments that conflict affects men and women differently, military and police establishments have a hard time determining what this reality means for them in terms of operations and how to convey this to their security forces. By collecting data and examining best practices, the assessment tool should become a powerful analytical and hence educational and learning tool that helps develop a greater understanding of gender mainstreaming within military and police structures.

PartnershipsMany security challenges require regional and international cooperation. The development of military partnerships is a key objective of the US Combatant Commands. For states to work well together they need to share common standards. By exchanging data and best practices on gender mainstreaming, states will be able to work together in a more efficient and effective way across the region.

Monitoring and evaluationThe assessment tool should encompass a simple set of indicators that will allow states to evaluate how well they are implementing the principles of gender equality and the WPS agenda in their security structures and operations.

To develop the assessment tool, WIIS drew on its experience with the 1325 NATO Scorecard project.[8] WIIS adapted the tool from the NATO project to reflect the reality in Latin America and the Caribbean. Given the broad tasks of the military and the police in most countries in the region, and the fact that police in the region are sent to UN peacekeeping operations, we decided to include the police—that is, police that work at the national level and may be called upon to respond to cases of civil unrest, to protect the borders, or deal with in-country humanitarian emergencies.[9]

We organized three workshops between August and November 2020. The objectives of the workshops were threefold:

  • Identify people in the region interested in the integration of the WPS agenda in national security forces;
  • Create volunteer research country teams; and
  • Review progress, identify gaps, and develop national and regional recommendations for how best to advance the WPS agenda in security forces.

Our initial invitation to join this project and our first workshop led to the development of a diverse list of over 100 participants from government (military, police, defense, foreign affairs, women’s and gender equality ministries), academia, and civil society from 16 countries and the creation of 14 country research teams.

In total, over 90 people from 16 countries have participated in this project at various points. Initial findings were presented at the third workshop in November 2020. At this workshop, Ambassador Jean Manes, Foreign Policy Advisor and the Civilian Deputy to the US Southern Command Commander, made remarks. In her remarks, she signaled the strong commitment of US SOUTHCOM to this effort.

Over the course of the project, WIIS created a listserv for people involved and interested in the project. The listserv was formalized into a WIIS WPS Latin America and Caribbean network at the end of the third workshop.[10] For more information or to become a member of the network, visit: https://www. surveymonkey.com/r/GLSS6S8.

As societies and nations across the world face unprecedented challenges to gender equality, human security, and lasting peace, implementation of the WPS agenda is more important than ever. Indeed, research shows that societies are more peaceful and prosperous when women and men enjoy the same rights, liberties, dignities, and access to resources.[11]

Policymakers around the world have made gender equality a top policy priority. This WPS assessment report highlights steps Latin American and Caribbean countries have taken to implement the WPS agenda and ensure gender equality. The need is to expand these efforts in the face of growing evidence of the strategic and operational advantages such an agenda presents to military and police forces in a country. However, the report also shows that while there is much rhetoric, there is little follow-though in implementation. The time to match rhetoric to action is now.

Acknowledgements

This project would not have seen the light of day without the support and help of many people. The project directors would like to thank key people whose support has been critical for the success of this project. First, we would like to thank Lieutenant Colonel (USAF) Duilia M. Turner, the Gender Advisor for US Southern Command, who first came to WIIS with the idea of this project and provided us with support to carry it out.

We would also like to thank all the participants in our three workshops. Over 90 participants from

16 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean brought an array of perspectives from government (military, police, defense, foreign affairs, women’s and gender equality ministries), academia, and civil society. A very special thanks goes out to those who actively participated in the 14 research country teams. They were generous in sharing their expertise, time, and resources. This project would not have been possible without the dedicated support of these volunteers. They used their considerable government and non-government contacts to gather much of the data for this report. (See Annex I)

Special thanks is also due to Dr. Paula Drumond, Assistant Professor at the Pontificia Universidade

Catolica do Rio de Janeiro; Dr. Renata Giannini, Senior Researcher at the Igarapé Institute in Rio de

Janeiro; Dr. Fabiana Sofia Perera, Assistant Professor at the William J Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies at the National Defense University in Washington, DC; Dr. Tamya Rebelo, Professor at the Escola Superior de Popaganda e Marketing and the Centro Universitario Belas Artes de Sao Paulo, and Dr. Cristina Rodriguez-Acosta, Assistant Director of the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy at the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs at Florida International University, for their advice and support. We also thank Patricia Cepero of the Jack D. Gordon Institute for helping to navigate the administrative part of the project.

At WIIS, thanks is due to WIIS Fellows Dr. Diorella Islas and Ana Velasco. Many thanks also to Program Manager Kayla McGill and Program Assistants Allyn Anderson and Madison Beltz for their valuable research support. Lastly, thanks to WIIS member and retired Colonel Cornelia Weiss and Dr. Karin Johnston, Senior Fellow at WIIS, for their invaluable editorial support.

While this report is the product of a collective effort, we, the authors of this report, are responsible for any errors and omissions.

Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, President, WIIS

Dr. Ellen Haring, Senior Fellow and Project Director

Washington, DC, USA

November 2020

Introduction

Gender equality has been recognized as a core principle of human rights in foundational international, regional, and national legal texts. The UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) set human rights standards that explicitly apply to every human being “without distinction of any kind, such as (…) sex.” [12] Latin American diplomats, legal scholars, and activists have been at the forefront of the development of these global human rights frameworks.[13]

These legal instruments, as well as the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of

Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the 1994 Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women (Belem do Para Convention), have been the basis for the economic, social and political empowerment of women, including their entry in national security forces—defined here as constituting the military and the police.[14]

Support for the increased participation of women in the security sector received an important boost in 2000 when the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325). The resolution called on all UN member states to:

  • Increase the representation and participation of women in conflict prevention and conflict resolution processes, including in security institutions (military and police);
  • Integrate gender perspectives in the analysis of peace and security issues; and
  • Adopt special measures to protect women and girls from all forms of sexual and gender-based violence in conflict settings.

Since 2000, the UN Security Council has adopted nine more resolutions that have reinforced and refined what is now known as the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda.[15]

Regional and security organizations as diverse as the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU), and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have developed organizationwide policies and action plans to incorporate guidance from the WPS agenda into their deliberations and actions.[16] The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was an early adopter of the WPS agenda and issued Action Plans and Strategic Directives that committed to the WPS agenda.[17] For the Americas, the Organization of American States (OAS) has not yet formally adopted the WPS framework. However, the Inter-American Commission of Women has worked on all aspects of the WPS agenda, most notably the participation of women in political life, women’s human rights and gender violence, women’s economic empowerment, and a gendered approach to human or citizen security.[18]

At the national level, some 86 countries have developed National Action Plans (NAPs) and legislation to implement and advance the WPS agenda. In Latin America and the Caribbean, six countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Paraguay) have developed NAPs. [19] Chile was an early adopter and global leader when it published one of the world’s first NAPs in 2009 and a second NAP in 2015. Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay are in the process of developing a NAP.

Military and police security forces are important partners in the implementation of these NAPs. Indeed, the spread of NAPs in Latin America and the Caribbean has been spurred by increasing participation of countries in the region in UN Peace Operations.[20] Many countries and military leaders, particularly those who have been deployed in UN missions, have recognized that a more diverse force in terms of gender and gender perspectives increases operational effectiveness and readiness.[21] For many countries in the region, the adoption of the WPS framework has also meant greater attention to the role of women in their own security forces from both an operational and a rights points of view. In addition, many civil society organizations have advocated for NAPs that reflect a more inward-looking approach. This is particularly important in a region that no longer has traditional armed conflicts, yet faces high rates of violence, particularly against women and girls.[22]

Gender Balance, Gender Perspectives and Gender Mainstreaming

When considering gender equality and the WPS agenda within the security sector, three issues are key:

First, gender balance—that is, the equal representation of women within the force. Research has shown that more diverse organizations are more effective organizations.12 Military organizations are no different.[23] Yet, women remain grossly under-represented in security forces around the globe, including in Latin America and the Caribbean. The United Nations has repeatedly lamented the lack of women soldiers and police in its peacekeeping operations.[24] It is important to recognize the cultural and institutional barriers women may face in military and police forces.

Second, gender perspectives—that is, overlaying a lens that reveals gender differences when planning, executing, or evaluating military and police security force activities. The integration of a gender perspective involves the systematic and continuous process of assessing gender-based differences of men and women as reflected in their social roles and interactions. As explained by a commanding officer in the multi-national force deployed in Afghanistan, “a gender perspective is much more than female members in the team. It is about having and using knowledge about the gender roles and situation of both men and women in all activities of the mission.”[25] A good gender analysis before activities start will greatly enhance situational awareness that, in turn, will enhance operational effectiveness.

Third, gender mainstreaming—that is, an integrated strategy by which organizations implement the concepts of gender balancing and gender perspectives across their organizations and operations. NATO, for example, has defined gender mainstreaming as “a strategy to achieve gender equality by assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies and programs in all areas and at all levels.”[26] In other words, “gender mainstreaming is a set of specific, strategic approaches as well as technical and institutional processes adopted to achieve the goal of gender equality.”[27]

The Latin American and Caribbean WPS assessment tool helps to measure how security forces are doing along those three axes. More specifically, it measures gender balance, gender perspectives, and gender mainstreaming at two different levels: the political level and the institutional and operational level. Lastly, it measures to what extent practices of good governance—that is, monitoring and evaluation—have been integrated.

The Latin American And Caribbean WPS Assessment Tool

The Latin America and Caribbean WPS assessment tool measures progress along three main levels: political will, institutional policy and practice, and monitoring and evaluation. For each we defined a limited set of key indicators. 

The political level is a necessary first step. Is there political will and commitment to integrate the principles of the WPS agenda in the security forces—that is, is there political will to advance gender equality and gender perspectives in military and police forces? Political will can be measured in several ways. A first indicator is whether principles of gender equality have been incorporated in a country’s laws and regulations. In addition, we can measure to what extent political leaders refer to the principles of gender equality and the WPS agenda in their speeches. For the purposes of our project, a critical indicator of political will is whether a country has adopted a WPS NAP and whether implementation plans for the security sector have been drafted.  From our research on the integration of WPS principles in NATO countries, we know that countries that mention the defense department as a principal actor and those who outline clear lines of responsibility through an action or implementation plan generally score higher on implementation than countries whose plans fail to specifically call out the military as an implementing agency. Lastly, we examine whether any resources have been allocated. Indeed, the allocation of resources is often a good measure of political intent.

The operational level is about gender mainstreaming and institutionalization, that is, how gender equality and WPS principles are integrated in institutional and bureaucratic processes. Institutionalization is critical, in that it safeguards gender equality and WPS initiatives from political turn-over and turmoil.[28]  Gender mainstreaming is about gender balance and gender perspectives. To what extent is women’s equal participation and integration in military and police forces a priority, and to what extent are institutional processes in place that are conducive to the integration of women in the military and police? This requires collecting baseline data about gender in the ranks. It also means examining measures taken to address gender imbalances, including the lifting of structural barriers and barriers related to the work environment.  Three types of indicators are particularly important in this respect: first, whether all jobs are open to women; second, the existence of policies that deal with family issues (in particular, pregnancies and child care); and third, the existence of policies that deal with harassment and abuse. To what extent gender perspectives are integrated in operational policies and plans can be measured by examining strategic operational documents, field manuals, and other similar publications. The appointment of Gender Advisors (GENADs), as well as their standing and position in the force, is an important indicator for institutional support for gender mainstreaming. From our research on gender mainstreaming in NATO militaries, we know that a Gender Advisor is a commander’s best resource for ensuring the integration of gender perspectives into the planning, execution, and evaluation of military operations.[29] Lastly, gender mainstreaming requires attention to training and education. Are soldiers and senior leaders being taught how to do a gender analysis, and are they aware of the national and international legal frameworks?

The last step in ensuring institutionalization of gender equality and WPS initiatives is monitoring and evaluating progress over time. The WPS assessment tool measures to what extent policies and operations are subject to monitoring and evaluation processes. Monitoring and evaluation are key to capturing best practices, establishing realistic benchmarks, identifying gaps in resources and structural challenges, framing strategic planning efforts, and supporting accountability measures. Two key indicators include the systematic collection of sex-disaggregated data and to what extent outside actors, including civil society organizations, are involved in assessment efforts.

The WPS assessment tool, by examining military and police forces from the political to the operational and from the strategic to the tactical levels, measures the progress of military and police organizations comprehensively. Assessments like these work best when they become part of iterative processes that allow for dialogue and learning among countries in the region.

Methodology

In early August 2020, WIIS held its first Latin America and Caribbean WPS research workshop to assess interest in applying the assessment tool to countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. The workshop also allowed us to review the draft assessment tool. Over 70 people from the region joined the workshop and eventually formed 14 volunteer research country teams. These research teams were composed of active and retired members of the security forces (military and police), government officials (foreign affairs, defense ministries, women’s agencies), the legislative branch, academics, and civil society. Each team elected a team coordinator who served as the main point of contact with WIIS.

As a result of the discussions at the workshop, the WIIS team further refined and adjusted the indicators of the assessment tool. (See Figure 1 and Annex 1) The revised assessment tool, containing 51 indicators, was subsequently sent to each of the country teams.

WPS Assessment Tool for Security Forces In Latin America and the Caribbean
Category                                                                                                      Indicators I:  National Importance and Political Will  11 II:  Institutional Policies and Practice      A.  Strategy, Plans and Policy  14   B.  Gender in the Ranks  6   C.  Training, Education and Exercises  6   D.  Work Environment  8 III:               Monitoring, Reporting and Evaluation                                             6

Figure 1: WPS Assessment 

Tool for Security Forces in Latin

America and the

Caribbean

By the end of September 2020, we had received data from 14 country teams. With that data, we were able to generate a scorecard for each country. That is, responses to the questions on the assessment tool received a predetermined numerical value following a scoring protocol.[30] These scores were then used to evaluate the relative importance attached to certain issue areas and to establish regional and national averages.

In addition to the quantitative assessment, we also prepared a qualitative assessment for each country. The qualitative assessment allowed us to contextualize the collected information. It also offers an overall assessment of where the country stands with regard to implementation of the gender equality and WPS agenda. Lastly, the qualitative reports contain a set of country specific recommendations detailing how the country and its security sector might move forward. The elaboration of quantitative and qualitative reports included many follow-up interviews with the country teams to ensure that we were accurately interpreting the data they provided. All country teams reviewed final country quantitative and qualitative reports. [31]

Figure 2: Sample Quantitative Assessment Tool        

Figure 3: Sample Qualitative Report

    Colombia – Summary Report   WPS National Action Plan (NAP) Status: Colombia has not developed a NAP. That said, the November 24, 2016 peace agreement includes many gender provisions. Additionally, in 2018 the Ministry of Defense (MoD) published its own transversal (intersectional) gender implementation plan for uniformed personnel in Colombia.   Overall Assessment: Colombia has a robust civil society network dedicated to advancing the WPS agenda, and many are lobbying the Colombian government to adopt a WPS NAP.1 Although the national government has made statements in support of gender equality and the MoD recognizes UNSCR 1325 and the WPS agenda, no NAP has been developed.   National Importance/Political Will: Gender equality is enshrined in the Colombian Constitution (See Articles 40 and 43).2 Colombia also has a Presidential Council for Women’s Equity, which collects and analyzes information related to the situation of women in Colombia. Gender equality, women’s rights, and the empowerment of women are also referred to in the 2018-2022 National Development Plan, an allinclusive policy document that addresses foreign and domestic security policies.3   In Colombia, the army, the air force, the navy, and the national police all fall under the authority of the (MoD). The MoD guidelines and policies apply to all four services. Its 2018 report, Public Policy for a Cross-Gender Approach for the Uniformed Personnel of the Public Force, explicitly refers to UNSCR 1325 and its related resolutions.4 The report, developed as a requirement of the 2016 peace agreement, is referred to as the military’s WPS implementation plan, and it includes the police under the umbrella term “public force.” It calls on the military and the police to make sure that women have equal access and opportunities. It also sets up Gender Observatories at the level of the MoD and General Command, as well as inside each military branch and the police.                                                   See Humanas Colombia, 20 Años Exigiendo que el Gobierno Colombiano se conecte con la Paz y la Seguridad de las Mujeres, Pronunciamiento (Bogotá, Colombia: Humanas, July 2020), at https://www.humanas.org.co/alfa/dat_particular/arch_contenidos/i_e_73153_q_PRONUNCIAMIENTO_R1325.pdf; Also from Humanas Colombia, see Observatorio Mujeres, Paz y Seguridad (a group actively lobbying for a WPS NAP), Cumplimiento del Estado Colombiano con la Resolución 1325 de 2000: Informe de monitoreo del año 2017 y primer semestre de 2018, (Bogotá, Colombia: Humanas, December 2018), at https://www.humanas.org.co/alfa/dat_particular/ar/ar_9042_q_R1325informe.pdf.. See Corte Constitucional, Constitución Política de Colombia 1991, Actualizada con los Actos Legislativos a 2016, (Bogota: Corte Constitutional), at https://www.corteconstitucional.gov.co/inicio/Constitucion%20politica%20de%20Colombia.pdf See Departamento Nacional de Planeación (DNP), Colombia en la Escena Global: Política Exterior Responsable, Innovadora y Constructiva, (Bogotá: DNP, May 2019) at https://www.dnp.gov.co/DNPN/Plan-Nacional-deDesarrollo/Paginas/Pilares-del-PND/Legalidad/Colombia-en-la-escena-global.aspx; and also from DNP, Plan Nacional de Desarrollo 2018-2022 at https://www.dnp.gov.co/DNPN/Paginas/Plan-Nacional-de-Desarrollo.aspx Ministerio de Defensa, Política Pública Sectorial de Transversalizacion del Enfoque de Genero para el Personal Uniformado de la Fuerza Pública 2018-2027, (Bogotá: MinDefensa 2018), at https://www.justiciamilitar.gov.co/irj/go/km/docs/Mindefensa/Documentos/descargas/Prensa/Documentos/politica_ genero.pdf   1  

WPS In Latin American And Caribbean Security Forces: 

Main Findings

In terms of the overall implementation of gender equality and WPS principles in the security forces, the region (all countries combined) had an average score of 64.6 (on a scale of 1-100). This robust showing is not surprising given the region’s strong adherence to international and regional legal human right instruments, such as CEDAW and the Belem do Para convention. The region has also been a strong supporter of the Beijing Platform of Action and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Particularly important in this regard is the Montevideo Strategy for Implementation of the Regional Gender Agenda within the Sustainable Development Framework by 2030, adopted in 2016 by countries of the region.[32] In the last five years, countries in the region have also prioritized access to political participation. Most countries in the region have instituted political quotas, which has increased women’s participation in decision-making institutions throughout the government.[33] Lastly, many countries in the region have established women’s or gender equality government agencies; in some cases, these agencies function at the ministerial level.

Despite a relatively strong score overall, many challenges remain. Indeed, this is a region where “patriarchal, discriminatory and violent cultural patterns remain in place, with gender stereotypes persisting in the education system, the media and political and cultural institutions.”[34] The security sector is, of course, not devoid of these stereotypes. As Ellen Haring has noted in a recent publication, “national military organization are quintessentially masculine constructs that rely on notions of men as warrior-protectors and women as the protected. (…) National militaries are set up to optimize men’s participation and rely on patriarchal social structures where women perform traditional family duties centered around caregiving while men go to war.”[35] Nicole Jenne and Fiorella Ulloa Bisshopp, in their study on the effectiveness of Chile’s efforts to promote a gender perspective in the military, emphasize how “resilient” gender stereotypes are in military organizations. For example, Chilean forces deployed in the UN peacekeeping operation in Haiti had a fair number of women. That said, the tasks these women were assigned hewed closely to traditional gender stereotypes: “Instead of performing the full range of peacekeeping tasks, women were often delegated to deal with issues concerning women and children and prevented from joining activities that were deemed to involve security risks.”[36] Gender mainstreaming in security forces requires more than just adding women; it also requires cultural and organizational change.[37]

When we examine the average performance of the region as a whole at the different levels of our assessment tool, the region scores highest at the political commitment level, with a score of 68. The score drops at the implementation level to 64 and at the monitoring and evaluation level to 57.7. 

(See Figure 4)

Figure 4: Overall

Average Regional

Scores

Figure 5: Overall

         
         49  76
         
                              50                            
         
       58      60  5866 66        72 4.4
                        
                        
                      55
                        
                                     
                                      57      60
                        
                        
                                                                    6
                                        

      Average National                             Argentina                                                                                                                         90

      Scores                                       Brazil

                                                        Chile

                                                  Colombia

  Costa Rica                                                                               87  Dominican Republic

  Ecuador             Guatemala

  Mexico  Panama

                                                   Paraguay

                                                         Peru

                                      Trinidad & Tobago

                                                    Uruguay

                                                    Average    

When we examine the overall performance of individual countries in the region, four countries scored above the average regional score. Four countries scored around the regional average, and six countries fell below the regional average. On the high side, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay significantly outperformed other countries. What is common to these countries is that they have strong scores across all levels. (See Table 1)

Country            Political Will      Policy & Practice           Monitoring Reporting     Total Score                            & Evaluation      
 
Argentina                    98                         90                             68                        90 Brazil 44 51 48 49 Chile 85 75 64 76 Colombia 51 47 68 50 Costa Rica 80 88 100 87 Dominican Republic 63 58 48 58 Ecuador 72 56 60 60 Guatemala 78 52 36 55 Mexico 60 59 40 58 Panama 62 63 60 66 Paraguay 67 68 44 66 Peru 58 57 60 57 Trinidad & Tobago 55 64 36 60 Uruguay 78 70 76 72 Region Average           68                         64                           57.70                    64.60

Table 1: Average

National Scores by

Category

Lastly, it may be noted that our results closely align with the scores of these countries in other gender equality indexes, such as the Women, Peace and Security Index published by the Georgetown University Institute on Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) and the Fighting Inequality in the Time of

Covid-19: The Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index 2020, published by Oxfam and Development

Finance International.[38] (See Table 2)

GIWPS Rank             Country                                                             Oxfam Rank
41 Trinidad & Tobago 16 45 Costa Rica 3 48 Argentina 2 49 Ecuador 8 55 Chile 1 58 Uruguay 11 68 Paraguay 15 69 Peru 18 70 Panama 22 74 Dominican Republic 23 98 Brazil 13 103 Mexico 14 104 Colombia 10 106                           Guatemala                                                                  24

Table 2: GIWPS and Oxfam Rankings

In sum, while there is broad regional commitment to the principles and ideas of the WPS agenda, commitment to actual implementation and monitoring and evaluation is considerably less robust. Rhetoric, generally, does not match action.

National Importance/Political Will

National importance and political will measures three main issues: (1) whether gender equality is recognized in a country’s main laws and regulations; (2) whether a country has adopted a WPS NAP; and (3) whether political leaders in their statements provide strong support to the principles of gender equality and the WPS agenda.

All countries in the region have enshrined gender equality in their constitutions, and many have also established gender equality and women’s empowerment agencies. That said, an important indicator of political commitment is whether a country has adopted a WPS NAP. (See Table 3)

 Countries with NAPs     Countries with NAPs      Countries without NAPs                           under development
           Argentina Costa Rica Colombia              Brazil Ecuador Dominican Republic               Chile Mexico Panama           Guatemala Trinidad & Tobago Peru            Paraguay                                 Uruguay

Table 3: National

Action Plans –

Status

Argentina and Chile—both with top scores overall and at this level—have developed and implemented WPS NAPs. However, the presence or absence of a NAP is not necessary or sufficient to score high. For example, Costa Rica, despite not having a NAP, scored high overall due to the government’s strong political commitment to advancing gender equality across the country and within its institutions.[39]On the other hand, Brazil fell below the regional average. Indeed, in the case of Brazil, a change in national level political leadership in 2019 resulted in diminished political will and commitment to gender equality and the WPS agenda.

The NAPs of the countries in the region have many similarities, but also significant differences. For most countries in the region, the WPS agenda is an external, rather than an internal, agenda. In most cases, the ministries of foreign affairs have lead responsibilities for the implementation of a NAP.[40] The extensive gender equality machinery established under CEDAW, the SDGs, or regional gender equality commitments is often seen as distinct from the WPS agenda. Guatemala is the exception and has adopted a whole-of-government approach. In Guatemala, the Women’s Ministry plays an important role in the development of a new NAP. In Costa Rica, the development of a NAP involves many government agencies, not just in the security sector, but also in the legislature. In addition, its National Institute for Women works at a ministerial level and has taken innovative steps to tackle structural gender inequalities at home, including machismo culture.

Most civil society organizations in the region advocate for whole-of-government efforts as well as a broadening of the agenda beyond traditional armed conflict.[41] They argue that the region grapples with many “gendered consequences of non-conventional armed violence,” and they point to high rates of femicide in the region.32 While several Latin American NAPs have integrated demands for a broader agenda, most remain very externally focused. Paula Drumond and Tamya Rebelo note that the Paraguayan NAP stands out with ambitious and long-term goals. The Paraguayan NAP defines one of its goals as “the elimination of cultural barriers that hinder the full participation of women in all areas of human society.”[42] The Argentinian NAP includes issues related to human trafficking. The Brazilian NAP includes gender-sensitive initiatives focused on the rights of refugees and refugee seekers in the country. The Chilean NAP expanded the principle of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) to include the protection of women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence.[43] The Argentinian, Brazilian, and Chilean NAPs all define protection as meaning not just physical security but also access to sexual and reproductive health.

                                        UN Ranking                  Total                    Male                  Female
  Uruguay 17 1,138 1,055 83 Argentina 42 304 276 28 El Salvador 45 292 263 29 Brazil 47 282 270 12 Peru 52 233 198 35 Guatemala 57 176 155 21 Paraguay 80 31 28 3 Chile 82 30 27 3 Bolivia 83 27 20 7 Mexico 94 13 6 7 Honduras 97 11 7 4 Ecuador 98 10 4 6 Dominican Republic 107 5 3 2 Colombia 108 4 3 1           Totals Region   2,556 2,315 241 Global Totals   81,820 76,596 5,328 Source: United Nations

Another positive driver for gender equality and the WPS agenda, including the development of a WPS NAP, is the extent of global—UN—engagements a country has. The participation in peacekeeping operations is particularly important in this regard. (See Table 4) For example, the Brazilian NAP expired at the end of 2018. Gender equality and the WPS agenda were not a priority for the new Brazilian administration that came to power in January 2019. Yet the administration decided to extend the NAP (developed under the previous administration) in March of 2019 for four years. Indeed, Brazil’s participation in UN peacekeeping operations was considered important and, in that context, the continuation of a NAP became significant.[44]Table 4: Participation in UN Peacekeeping Operations by Countries from Latin America and the Caribbean-Military and Police Combined – August 2020

However, while UN peacekeeping involvement is positively impacting the military, it does not appear to have a similar impact on the national police. Indeed, the police generally scored lower in most countries than did the military regarding implementation of the WPS agenda.

The engagement of international actors in the Colombia peace agreements has also been an important factor in pushing forward a gender equality and WPS agenda. For example, the 2018 Colombian Ministry of Defense’s report Public Policy for a Cross-Gender Approach for the Uniformed Personnel of the Public Force was developed as a requirement of the 2016 peace agreement. It is considered the military’s WPS implementation plan. It calls on the military and the police to make sure that women have equal access and opportunities. It also sets up Gender Observatories at the level of the Ministry of Defense and General Command, as well as inside each military branch and the police.

Other examples of international engagements and commitments that advance a gender equality and WPS agenda at home include: Uruguay, which co-chairs, with Canada, the United Nations GFP Network and is currently working on a WPS NAP; the Dominican Republic, which during 2020, together with Germany, co-chaired the UN Security Council Informal Expert Group (IEG) on WPS; or Mexico, which, since 2019, co-chairs with France the Generation Equality Forum—a global civil society-centered gathering for gender equality. Its work on the Generation Equality Forum, and the fact that Mexico launched a Feminist Foreign Policy in January 2020 and is currently developing a WPS NAP, are certainly not unrelated. High-level international engagements also help civil society organizations at home to press their governments to progress on the gender equality and WPS agendas.

Policy and Practice

Policy and practice examines how political commitment to gender equality and WPS principles is translated into practical action in the security sector. We distinguish four main areas: (1) policy, planning, and staffing, in particular the appointment of GENADs and GFPs; (2) women’s participation in the security forces (gender in the ranks); (3) policies and programs that support women’s participation in the security forces; and (4) training and education on WPS principles.

Policy, Planning and Staffing

Although national level commitment is critical in advancing the WPS agenda, it is not sufficient to realizing better outcomes in terms of gender mainstreaming. Even in countries that have published NAPs, these NAPs do not always require the participating ministries and departments to develop detailed implementation plans. Without such plans, including bureaucratic procedures and processes that mainstream gender in security institutions, change will be fleeting and easily reversible with changing political leadership.

Our analysis found that countries that developed military implementation plans even before or in the absence of a NAP have generally made significant progress in terms of gender mainstreaming. For example, in 2008 the Argentine Ministry of Defense adopted a WPS Action Plan (long before their 2015 NAP was published). It was developed in response to Argentina’s participation in UN peacekeeping operations and led to many “policy reforms in the field of defense and the armed forces.”[45] Participation in UN peacekeeping operations helped to strengthen pre-deployment training on gender issues. It also required the military to establish GENADs and GFPs.37

Indeed, a major indicator of progress with regard to the integration of gender equality and WPS principles is the appointment of GENADs and GFPs. They are critical in helping to mainstream the principles of the WPS agenda in all aspects of the operations of security forces. The role of a GENAD is to provide guidance and advice to senior level commanders on how to integrate gender perspectives into operations and missions, crisis and conflict analysis, concepts, doctrine, procedures, and education and training. GFPs are similarly trained but work at lower levels in the organization to mainstream the WPS agenda across occupational positions.[46]

Only a few countries in the region are systematically appointing, training and employing GENADs and GFPs. (See Table 5) Argentina has a robust GENAD and GFP program. It also provides gender training through its regional peacekeeping center—trainings that are open to other countries in the region as well. Uruguay, a top regional UN troop contributor, co-hosts, with Canada, the UN GFP network. It has appointed GFPs in both the military and the police, but these GENADs are all double-hatted—that is, they have other responsibilities as well. Neither the military nor the police have appointed full-time GENADS. In some countries, for example in Mexico and Peru, the security institutions have established gender equality institutions that have certain GENAD functions. However, most often these institutions work more in the human resources sphere, rather than the policy and planning spheres. Most often, they do not report directly to the highest command levels.

Gender in the Ranks: Women’s Participation in the Security Forces

All countries in our survey have low women’s participation rates in their military and police forces. (See Table 6) The promotion rates for women are even lower. In general, women have made greater inroads in the police than in the military. In the national police forces, all positions are officially open to women. That said, some of our investigators also reported that the practice does not always align with the formal rules. In some countries, women are not assigned to work “on the streets.” In addition, as women have made inroads within the police, some countries have begun to impose caps, thereby limiting women’s access. Such is the case in Trinidad and Tobago, where no more than 30% of the force is allowed to be women. There is also a waiting list for women who want to join the police.

In four out of 14 countries, women continue to be officially barred from some military occupations. (See Table 7) In addition, even if in theory all positions are open, women often face restrictions in practice, particularly in terms of where they are utilized. Many teams reported that data on military deployments reveal that women are far less likely to be deployed on operational missions.

Country            The country       The country       GENADs are     The country       has  appointed          has appointed    assigned for       has gender                             Gender Advisors         gender focal              pecific                 equality                                 (GENAD).            points (GFP).            missions.             offices/units.
Argentina                        Yes                        Yes                                                  Yes Brazil                                     Yes   Chile                                    Yes Yes Yes Colombia                                  Yes Costa Rica                                Yes Dominican Republic                 Yes Yes Ecuador                                    Yes Guatemala                                Yes Mexico                                     Yes Panama                                    Yes Paraguay                                  Yes Peru                                         Yes Trinidad and Tobago                   Yes Uruguay                                                       Yes                       Yes                       Yes

Table 5: Gender Advisors and

Gender Equity

Offices

Country                  Military        Percent of          Senior            Police             Senior                                                     Women          Military                                Police                                                   Deployed         Women                               Women
Argentina 17.3% 8% nd nd nd Brazil 7.6% 8% nd 9% nd Chile 10% 10% nd 34% 15% Colombia 6% 1.5% 1% 9% 2% Costa Rica na na na 18.7% di Dominican Republic 20.8% 5.1%-8% 4% 15% 4.7% Ecuador 2.7% di nd 15% di Guatemala nd 8% nd 16% nd Panama na na na 16.2% 14.9% Peru 10% di .5% 18% .4% Paraguay nd 10% nd Nd nd Mexico 12.4% 1-3% 2.5% 10% 19% Trinidad & Tobago 14.3% na nd 29% nd Uruguay                     11%                7%                1.7%             25.6%               3% nd=no data (data not provided or data not available) na=not applicable (these countries have no military forces or they do not deploy) di=data incomplete (not enough data to calculate percentage)

Table 6: Women’s

Participation as a Percentage of the

Total Force

Working on “the streets” and military deployments are generally career enhancing assignments;  the restrictions women face in this regard likely contributes to them being less competitive for promotions. These restrictions may explain why few women are represented at the highest levels in  the military or police.

Lastly, in terms of long-term policy and planning, we found that only four countries have active recruitment programs or set targets to raise the number of women in the force.

Table 7: Policy and Practice

Country Are all  Are there  Do they How much Is WPS Is  positions  recruitment  provide paid gender Monitoring  open to targets? uniforms &   maternity/ training & Evaluation  women (military/ equipment paternity provided ? conducted?  in the  police) adapted to leave  military?  women? is provided?   
Argentina Yes Yes/UNK Yes 90 days/10 days Yes Yes Brazil       No       No. There are  some caps/No.  There are local  caps No 180 days/5 days Yes No Chile No No/No Yes 126 days/UNK Yes Yes Colombia No No/No Yes 126 days/8 days Yes Yes Costa Rica Yes NA/No Yes 120 days/2 days Yes Yes Dominican Republic   Yes   Yes/Yes, but there are local caps No 98 days/7 days Yes Yes  Ecuador Yes No/No No 80 days/15 days Yes Yes Guatemala Yes No/No No 84 days/UNK Yes No Mexico Yes Yes/No No 90 days/10 days No No Panama Yes NA/ No Yes 98 days/3 days Yes Yes Paraguay No No/No Yes 126 days/UNK Yes Yes Peru Yes No/No No 98 days/UNK No Yes Trinidad and Tobago   Yes   No, there is a  30% cap Yes 90 days/3 days Yes No Uruguay                      Yes                 Yes/Yes                No             91 days/10 days            Yes                Yes NA=not applicable because they have no military forces UNK=unknown-data was not provided during data collection

More generally, it must be noted that data on women’s participation and promotion rates were elusive in many countries. Either the data are not being collected and tracked over time, or the country refuses to publish the data. One country indicated that data on women in the military were considered confidential and not publicly releasable.

Many organizations that track numbers and the composition of armed forces around the world, such as the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, generally do not collect sexdisaggregated data. The only known detailed survey of women in the armed forces and the police dates from 2010 and was carried out by the Argentine think tank RESDAL.[47]

Women-Friendly Policies and Programs

To increase women’s participation in the security forces, it is also important to have policies and programs that make military and police service possible on a personal level. Women tend to leave the military and police at higher rates than men when they have children or encounter a hostile work environment. Therefore, it is imperative that the military and police implement policies that make it possible for women to have a fulfilling career by ensuring that their organizations are inclusive, free of harassment, and accommodate family needs for women who often remain primary caregivers.

In all countries reviewed, both the military and police provide paid maternity leave for women, although the length of time varies greatly—from 80 days to 18 weeks. Many countries also provide a few days of paid paternity leave. Some countries offer varying levels of childcare and family leave, while others offer none.

A healthy and productive work environment also requires that sexual harassment and abuse is not tolerated, that it is strictly monitored, and that offenders are prosecuted. Most countries, particularly those involved in peacekeeping, provide basic human rights training, with a portion of the training directed specifically toward preventing sexual and gender-based violence in the areas of operations. However, the same level of training and attention is not being given to eradicating sexual harassment and abuse within a country’s own ranks. Data from countries that track and address harassment, including the US, Canada and Australia, show that sexual harassment and abuse of women in the ranks is pervasive in military organizations around the world.[48] Therefore, it is critical that military and police organizations address this behavior if they want to keep women in their organizations.

Finally, uniforms, equipment, and facilities must be adapted to accommodate women to optimize women’s performance and retention. Only half of the countries in our survey provide women-specific equipment. (Table 7 above). Requiring women to perform in uniforms and equipment designed by and for men degrades women’s performance, causes injuries, and can result in safety hazards. Furthermore, failing to provide bathrooms and safe billets also drives women out of military and police organizations.

In sum, security forces seeking to increase women’s participation must ensure that there are familyfriendly programs available to support women’s long-term participation, address sexual harassment and abuse within the ranks, and provide uniforms, equipment, and billets for women. While countries in the region score well in terms of maternity and paternity leave policies, much work remains to be accomplished in the other areas.

WPS Training and Education

Applying a gender lens to military and police organizations and operations requires training and education. It is not an intuitive process. The countries that participate in UN peacekeeping operations receive human rights and WPS training during pre-deployment training. Indeed, when countries engage with the UN, particularly in the context of contributing troops to UN peacekeeping operations, they are expected to meet certain UN WPS training requirements. However, for many countries, gender and WPS training ends with UN missions.

Some countries have more systematically integrated gender training into their entry, mid- and senior-level training and education programs. That said, this training is more likely to be found in the military than the police. Police training generally focuses on responding to and preventing domestic, sexual, and genderbased violence.

GENADs and GFPs require specialized training. Such training remains limited. A few countries like Argentina provide WPS training for the military. Costa Rica has mainstreamed gender throughout police training programs. Costa Rica is unique in the region for creating a gender training program that addresses masculinity and machismo culture.

Figure 6:

Masculinity Flyer

Eleven countries in the region host peacekeeping training centers. Many of these centers have not integrated gender and the WPS agenda in their curriculum in a systematic manner.[49] Helping these centers build up their WPS and gender equality curriculum and provide specialized courses for GENADs would be an obvious first step towards more robust training on WPS and gender equality  in the region.

Monitoring, Reporting, and Evaluation

Monitoring and evaluation are critical for learning and understanding whether progress is being made in implementing the WPS agenda. Monitoring and evaluation also had the lowest average scores. There are three main reasons for the low scores. First, even when countries have developed NAPs, strategies or implementation plans, they are often written without clearly defined and measurable goals and benchmarks. Second, countries generally do not appoint or support independent oversight bodies. Most governments are wary of such bodies and/or the involvement of civil society in the oversight of policies. Third, there is a dearth of sex-disaggregated data being collected or made available for evaluation.

The best monitoring and evaluation programs are independent, transparent, and involve civil society. Some country teams reported that monitoring and evaluation does occur, but the reports and data produced by entities in these countries can only be accessed by requesting them through government transparency programs, or they may not be available at all.

Costa Rica has the most robust monitoring and evaluating systems in the region. They are provided by Costa Rica’s National Institute for Women, which functions as a ministry. This ministry-level Institute has a national council responsible for decision-making at the national level. Furthermore, the Institute provides advice and has oversight over gender mainstreaming in all of the government ministries, including the Ministry of Public Security.

Some countries have robust independent civil society networks that provide some external monitoring and evaluation functions and keep pressure on governments to advance gender equality and the WPS agenda. For example, Colombia has a robust civil society network with 57 distinct organizations that promote the principles of UNSCR 1325 and the WPS agenda. It also has a Women Peace and Security Observatory, a coalition of civil society organizations that is actively lobbying the government to adopt a WPS NAP.[50] In some countries, the think tank and academic community are important players. For example, in Brazil, the Igarapé Institute has a considerable amount of expertise with regard to the WPS agenda and women in the military. Similarly, in Argentina, RESDAL has undertaken important work in this regard. The analysis by these institutions are important in collecting best practices and advancing the WPS agenda in the region. More generally, the Gender Division of the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC or CEPAL in Spanish) plays an important role in gender mainstreaming in the region and collecting data.

Recommendations and Concluding Remarks

To advance the gender equality and WPS agenda in the security forces in the region, the following actions should be taken at the national and regional levels.

National Actions

All countries in the region have strong normative gender equality frameworks in place. This should provide a solid basis for governments in the region to apply the political will necessary to develop WPS NAPs. The most effective NAPs are whole-of-government efforts that engage all governmental and  non-governmental stakeholders and cover the entire range of security challenges, including human security and non-military security challenges. More specifically:

  • All government agencies, including military and police forces, should develop implementation plans with clear goals and benchmarks for measuring progress;
  • Governments must back up their commitment to NAPs and implementation plans by pledging the necessary resources—personnel and financial—to ensure effective implementation;
  • Legislatures must become actively involved in the development of WPS NAPs. They should require the executive to present NAP updates at regular intervals and pass budgets with dedicated funding streams for NAPs and implementation plans;
  • Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms should be transparent and include members of civil society. Civil society actors are critical to ensuring transparency and providing expertise in the effective implementation of WPS NAPs.

The increase of the number of women in police and military organizations and the integration of gender perspectives in operations require actions at different levels.

  • Military and police organizations should develop organization-specific WPS implementation plans. This can be accomplished even in the absence of a nation-wide WPS NAP. Countries, such as Argentina and Colombia, have developed and effectively implemented military implementation plans before NAPs were developed.
  • In terms of gender balance, the military and police should remove all exclusions and caps that limit women’s full participation in the security forces. They should also develop recruitment programs and establish targets to increase the number of women in the ranks. Military and police should regularly collect and publish sex-disaggregated data on women in the ranks.
  • In terms of integrating gender perspectives in operations and more generally the development of a gender mainstreaming strategy, the military and police should appoint Gender Advisors (GENADs). GENADs help with the development of organizational gender mainstreaming strategies, make sure that police and military exercises and operations have integrated a gender analysis, and advise on the education and training of soldiers and officers with regard to the WPS agenda. To be effective GENADs should be located at the highest command level. In addition to GENADs, military and police organizations should appoint Gender Focal Points (GFPs) at lower levels of the organization.

GFPs are key to ensuring that implementation takes place at all levels.

International and Regional Actions

There is a great deal of expertise in Latin America and the Caribbean that should be capitalized on for the good of the entire region. Unfortunately, the exchange and learning among security forces in the region is ad-hoc, uneven, and non-systematic. Countries in the region, including the United States government (US DoD and US SOUTHCOM), should create a WPS Center of Excellence for military and police security forces that can support the integration of the WPS agenda throughout the region. The Center—a multilateral governmental venture—should seek to actively engage non-governmental stakeholders. The Center would function as a regional hub to support military and police forces in the region. Areas of responsibilities would include:  

  • Research: encourage national and regional collaborative research efforts and focus on topics supporting the integration of the WPS agenda into security forces, such as measures to eliminate barriers for women’s participation in military and police forces, monitoring and evaluation practices, collecting and publishing sex-disaggregated data on gender balances in the forces.
  • Education and Training: facilitate the development and delivery of WPS and gender curriculum and training for the military and police.
  • Convening of stakeholders:exchange best practices.
  • Technical support: for the development of WPS NAPs and implementation plans, particularly implementation plans for the military and police.

More specifically, the US Government (US DoD and US SOUTHCOM) should embed WPS discussions in all engagements, including in all security and military senior leader engagements. They should also incentivize women’s participation in any externally funded training programs they provide to regional partners by requiring that a certain percentage of military and police women participate in the training.

Concluding Remarks

It has been twenty years since UNSCR 1325 was unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council.

In the subsequent years, there has been slow but steady progress in realizing the purpose and intent of 1325. Many nations around the world, and six in Latin America and the Caribbean, have adopted WPS National Action Plans.

The concepts and terms gender balance, gender perspective and gender mainstreaming are better understood and becoming embedded within the operational activities of security institutions. Nations that are further along with gender mainstreaming have begun to realize the value of adopting a gender perspective to achieve better security outcomes. That said, normative thinking and behavior on complex social issues is slow to change, but change does happen. It requires concerted, continuous and systematic efforts by all.

Lastly, the success of gender mainstreaming efforts is closely related to the involvement of civil society. Global studies have shown that the most successful WPS NAPs are those that have the active involvement of civil society organization at every step of the way. This finding is not surprising, since gender mainstreaming is ultimately about debunking regressive gender stereotypes that exist within  our societies.

References

1. Gender Equality, WPS and NAPs

Boutron, Camille, “Engendering Peacebuilding: The International Gender Nomenclature of Peace Politics and Women’s Participation in the Columbian Peace Process,” Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, Vol. 13, No. 2 (2018), pp. 115 – 121.

Davies, Sara E. and Jacqui True, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace and Security (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019).

De Jonge Oudraat, Chantal and Michael E. Brown, The Gender and Security Agenda: Strategies for the 21st Century (London: Routledge, 2020).

Drumond, Paula and Tamya Rebelo, 1325 and Beyond: Moving Forward the WPS Agenda in Latin America, WIIS Policy Brief (July 2020).

Drumond, Paula and Tamya Rebelo, “Global Pathways or Local Spins? National Action Plans in South America,” International Feminist Journal of Politics, Vol. 22, No. 4 (2020), pp. 462 – 484.

Drumond, Paula and Tamya Rebelo, Implementing the “Women, Peace and Security” Agenda in Brazil: An Assessment of the National Action Plan, Strategic Paper 31 (Rio de Janeiro: Igarapé Institute, August 2019).

Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Regional Report on the Review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action in Latin American and Caribbean Countries (Santiago: United Nations, 2019).

Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Gender Equality Observatory for Latin America and the Caribbean, Gender Equality Plans in Latin America and the Caribbean: Road Maps for Development, Studies 1 (Santiago: United Nations January 2019).

Folly, Maiara and Giannini Renata, Achieving Gender Equality: Best Practices for the Implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, Igarapé Institute Strategic Note (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Igarapé, March 2017).

Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and Peace Research Institute Oslo, Women, Peace and Security Index 2019/2020: Tracking Sustainable Peace Through Inclusion, Justice, and Security for Women, (Washington D.C., USA; GIWPS and PRIO, 2019).

Giannini, Renata and Perola Pereira, Building Brazil’s National Action Plan: Lessons Learned and Opportunities, LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security Working Paper Series, (London, UK; London School of Economics and Political Science, 2020).

Giannini, Renata et al., A agenda sobre mulheres, paz e segurança no contexto latino-americano: desafios e oportunidades, Igarapé Institute Strategic Article (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Igarapé, March 2018).

Hamilton, Caitlin et al, Twenty Years of Women, Peace and Security National Action Pland: Analysis and Lessons Learned (Sydney: University of Sydney, March 2020).

Humanas Colombia, 20 Años Exigiendo que el Gobierno Colombiano se conecte con la Paz y la Seguridad de las Mujeres, (Bogotá, Colombia: Humanas, July 2020).

Jacevic, Mirsad Niki, “WPS, States and the National Action Plans,” in Sara E. Davies and Jacqui True, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace and Security (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), pp. 273 – 292.

Kurtenbach, Sabine, “The Limits of Peace in Latin America,” Peacebuilding, Vol. 7, No. 3, (2019),  pp. 283 – 296.

Marchetti, Ximena Gauche, “Planes de Acción Nacional sobre Mujeres, Paz y Seguridad: Experiencias Comparadas y Proyecciones para el Caso Chileno,” Revista de Derecho, Vol. 30 No. 2 (2017),  pp. 203 – 223.

Marín Carvajal, Isabela and Eduardo Álvarez-Vanegas, “Securing Participation and Protection in Peace Agreements: The Case of Colombia”, in Sara E. Davies and Jacqui True, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace and Security (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), pp. 461 – 474.

Meyer Mcaleese, Mary K., “WPS and the Organization of American States,” in Sara E. Davies and Jacqui True, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace and Security (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), pp. 413 – 427.

Swaine, Aisling, “Globalising Women, Peace and Security: Trends in National Action,” in Rethinking National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security, edited by Sahla Aroussi (Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2017), pp. 7 – 27.

Urrutia Arestizábal, Pamela; Ana Villelas Ariño y María Villegas Ariño, Seguridad Feminista: Aportaciones Conceptuales y Desarrollo Actual, (Barcelona: Institut Catalá Internacional per la Pau, 2020).

Unión Nacional de Mujeres Guatemaltecas, Por una Vida Plena con Libertad, Justicia y Paz: Consulta Latinoamericana para el Estudio Mundial sobre la Implementación de la Resolución 1325, (Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala; UNAMG, May 2015).

Velasco Ugalde, Ana Laura, UNSCR1325 and the WPS Agenda: A Feminist Response to Authoritarianism, WIIS Policy Brief (June 2020).

Women In International Security, 1325 and Beyond: Winning Essays, (Washington, DC: WIIS, 2020)

NAPs can be accessed at https://wwww.peacewomen.org and https:// www.wpsnaps.org

2. Women in the Military and Peacekeeping

Abdenur, Adrina Erthal, Enhancing Peacekeeping Training Through Cooperation: Lessons from Latin America, Policy Brief (Rio de Janeiro: Igarape Institute, June 2018).

Baldwin, Gretchen and Sarah Taylor, Uniformed Women in Peace Operations: challenging Assumptions and Transforming Approaches (New York: International Peace Institute, June 2020).

De Jonge Oudraat, Chantal, et al, Gender Mainstreaming: Indicators for the Implementation of UNSCR

1325 and its Related Resolutions – The 1325 Scorecard: Preliminary Findings (Brussels: NATO, 2015). For a description of the NATO project and the country scorecard reports see https://www.wiisglobal. org/programs/unscr-1325-nato/

Donadio, Marcela and Cecilia Mazzota, La Mujer en las instituciones armadas y policiales: Resolución 1325 y Operaciones de Paz en América Latina, (Buenos Aires: RESDAL, 2009).

Donadio, Marcela et al, Women in the Armed Forces and Police Forces: Resolution 1325 and Peace Operations in Latin America (Buenos Aires: RESDAL, 2010).

Egnell, Robert, et al, Gender, Military Effectiveness and Organizational Change: The Swedish Model (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2014).

Esparza, Diego; Santiago Arca Henon & Hope Dewell Gentry, “Peacekeeping and civil–military relations in Uruguay,” Defense & Security Analysis, Vol. 36 No. 3 (2020), pp. 314-334.

Ghittoni, Marta, Lea Lehouck and Callum Watson, Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations:

Baseline Study ( Geneva: DECAF, July 2018).

Giannini, Renata; Maiara Folly and Mariana Lima, Situações Extraordinárias: a inclusão de mulheres na linha de frente das forças armadas, Igarapé Institute Strategic Article (Rio de Janeiro: Igarape Institute, August 2017).

Hardt, Heidi and Stefanie von Hlatky, “NATO’s About-Face: Adaptation to Gender mainstreaming in an Alliance Setting,” Journal of Global Security Studies, Vol. 5, No.1 (2020), pp. 136-159.

Haring, Ellen, “Gender and Military Organizations” in Chantal de Jonge Oudraat and Michael E. Brown, eds., The Gender and Security Agenda: Strategies for the 21st Century (London: Routledge, 2020), pp. 90 – 112.

Hurley, Matthew, “Watermelons and Weddings: Making Women, Peace and Security ‘Relevant: at NATO Through (Re)Telling Stories of Success,” Global Society, Vol. 32, No. 4 (2018), pp. 436-456.

Jenne, Nicole, “Civilianizing the armed forces? Peacekeeping, a traditional mission for the military,” Defence Studies, Vol. 20 No. 2 (2020), pp. 105 – 122.

Jenne, Nicole and Fiorella Ulloa Bisshopp, “Female Peacekeepers: UNSC Resolution 1325 and the Persistence of Gender Stereotypes in the Chilean Armed Forces,” International Peacekeeping (October 14, 2020).

Karim, Sabrina and Kyle Beardsley, Equal Opportunity Peacekeeping: Women, Peace and Security in PostConflict States (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).

Perera, Fabiana Sofia; and Lieutenant Colonel Duilia Mora Turner, eds., Twenty Years, Twenty Stories: Women, Peace and Security in the Western Hemisphere (Washington, DC: William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, 2020).

Masson, Laura, Militares Argentinas: Evaluación de Políticas de Género en el Ámbito de la Defensa, (Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires: Universidad de la Defensa Nacional, 2020)

Newby, Vanessa F and Clotilde Sebag, “Gender Sidestreaming? Analyzing Gender Mainstreaming in National Militaries and International Peacekeeping,” European Journal of International Security (November, 2020), pp. 1-23.

Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations (NCGM), A Military Guide to the United Nations Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security, (Stockholm, Sweden; NCGM,  April 2020)

Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations, Whose Security? Practical Examples of Gender Perspectives in Military Operations (Stockholm: Nordic Centre for Military Operations, 2015).

Razakamaharavo, Velomahaniha T., Luise Ryan and Leah Sherwood, Improving Gender Training in UN Peacekeeping Operations, WIIS Policy Brief (Washington, DC: WIIS, February 2018).

Wilén, Nina, “Female Peacekeepers’ Added Burden,” International Affairs, Vol. 96 No. 6, (November 2020), pp. 1585 – 1602.

3. Useful listservs and websites

Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF), https://www.dcaf.ch,

Igarape Institute, https://igarape.org.br/temas/consolidacao-da-paz/

London School of Economics Centre for Women, Peace and Security, https://www.lse.ac.uk/womenpeace-security/research/Rethinking-Policy-Advocacy-Implementation

NATO, Allied Command Transformation – Gender Advisor. The website contains on-line education and training modules and toolkits,  https://www.act.nato.int/gender-advisor

Pass Blue Women, press agency, https://www.passblue.com/category/women/

Red de Seguridad y Defensa de America Latina, https://www.resdal.org/

UN Women, https://www.unwomen.org/es

UN Peacekeeping, Department of Peace Operations, https://peacekeeping.un.org/es/department-ofpeace-operations

WILPF’s Women, Peace and Security, https://www.peacewomen.org/

Women In International Security, https://www.wiisglobal.org/wiis-wps-scorecard-security-forces-inlatin-america/

The WomenStats Project at www.womanstats.org

Women’s UN Report Network, listserve (also in Spanish, Portuguese, French), https://wunrn.com/

WPS National Action Plans, https://www.wpsnaps.org/

About the Authors

Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat is President of Women In International Security (WIIS) since February 2013. She has held senior positions at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

North America; the US Institute of Peace; Center for Transatlantic Relations, Paul H. Nitze School of

Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University; Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC; and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) in Geneva. Dr. de Jonge Oudraat has published extensively on a wide array of international security issues. She is co-editor with Dr. Michael E. Brown of The Gender and Security Agenda: Strategies for the 21st Century (London: Routledge, July 2020). De Jonge Oudraat received her PhD in Political Science from the University of Paris II (Panthéon).

Dr. Ellen Haring is a Senior Fellow at Women In International Security where she directs the Combat Integration Initiative. She is the former CEO of the Service Women’s Action Network. Haring’s research and work focuses on women and gender in the military. She is a West Point graduate and a retired US Army colonel. She holds a PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University, and she has taught at the US Army Command and General Staff College, the US Army War College and Georgetown University. Haring has published numerous articles and papers on a wide array of military and security-related topics. She guest lectures, has testified before Congress as a subject matter expert, and has been a guest speaker on foreign and domestic news shows.

Dr. Diorella Islas Limiñana is a Fellow at Women In International Security and an independent security consultant on intelligence, transnational criminal organizations and national security policies. She is Adjunct Faculty member in the Countering Transnational Organized Crime (CTOC) program at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. She has worked as a consultant for the Royal United Service Institute in London, and as a security analyst at the Center for Information and National Security in Mexico City. She holds a PhD in Politics, Languages and International Studies from the University of Bath and a MA and a BA from Tec de

Monterrey, Mexico City Campus. She has taught at the Bader International Study Center of Queens University and delivered guest lectures at different universities and organizations around the world.

Ana Velasco is a Fellow at Women In International Security and a Researcher at Observatorio Nacional Ciudadano, a leading Mexican NGO focused on issues of security and justice. Previously, she worked as an international news reporter in Mexico, and she has held a diplomatic position for the Mexican Secretariat of Economy in Germany. Velasco is the winner of the “1325 and Beyond” international essay competition organized by WIIS and the Heinrich Böll Stiftung. She recently finished a MA in Gender, Violence and Conflict at the University of Sussex with Distinction, and she is about to start her PhD in International Relations at the same institution.

Project Participants*

Aguirre, Johanna (Panama)

Almeida, Katherine (Dominican Republic)

Aquino, Massiel (Dominican Republic)

Arboleda, Naomi (Dominican Republic)

Argueta, Ann Marie (Guatemala)

Arias, Jeannette (Costa Rica)

Baez Racalde, Maria Gloria (Paraguay)

Baires, Emily (Guatemala)

Balcazar, Mauel (Mexico)

Barriga Abarca, Lourdes Aurelia (Peru)

Barrios, Silvana (Argentina)

Beltran Del Portillo, Maria Fernanda (Colombia)

Broce, Rosa (Panama)

Canto, Maria Belen (Argentina)

Capellan, Belgica (Dominican Republic)

Cardenas Hidalgo, Maria Andrea (Ecuador)

Cerdas, Loreley (Costa Rica)

Chaves, Andrea (Argentina)

Colon, Victor (USA)

Cordon, Mireya (Colombia)

Dantas, Stela (Brazil)

Davila Calderon, Martha Jenneth (Colombia)

De Anda Martinez, Erika (USA)

Depaz, Leidy (Peru)

Donadio, Marela (Argentina)

Drumond, Paula (Brazil)

Espaillat, José Rafael (Dominican Republic)

Ferreira Costa, Ivana Mara (Brazil)

Ferreto, Yorleny (Costa Rica)

Fischer, Andrea (Chile)

Flores, Nancy (Guatemala)

Fundora, Cristobal (Panama)

Galan Paniagua, Sonia Maria (Guatemala)

Giannini, Renata (Brazil)

Gil Rosado, Maria Teresa (Dominican Republic)

Gonzalez, Pedro (Chile)

Henandez, Francia (Dominican Republic)

Hernandez, Brianna (USA)

Hormazábal, Javiera (Chile)

Ignacio, Mercedes (Dominican Republic)

Islas, Diorella (México)

Jarpa, Carolina (Chile)

Jeremias da Silva, Jessika Kelly (Brazil) Jiménez Morales, Karen (Costa Rica)

Jorge, Ramon (Dominican Republic) Justynski,

Ashley (USA)

Lancaster-Ellis, Karen (USA)

Layman, Matthew (USA)

Lopez Portillo, Ernesto (Mexico)

Made, Dominga (Dominican Republic) Manes,

Amb. Jean (USA)

Marcial, Cynthia (Argentina)

Marulanda Castano, Diana Marcela (Brazil)

McCann, Elizabeth (USA)

Méndez, Elvira (Panama)

Mendoza Cortes, Paloma (Mexico)

Miranda Vargas, Inaraquel (USA)

Montenegro, Nadia (Panama)

Ortiz, Nereyda (USA)

Otto, Fomina (Chile)

Pacheco, Gloria (Costa Rica)

Pagtakhan, Elisabet (USA)

Paredes Escobar, Byron Gabriel (Ecuador)

Parra, Veronica (Chile)

Pena, Elisama (Dominican Republic)

Perera, Fabiana (USA)

Placencia Almonte, Albania (Dominican Republic)

Porras, Silvia (Costa Rica)

Ramirez Herrera, Carolina (Dominican Republic)

Rebelo, Tamya (Brazil)

Rey Pinto, Eva María (Colombia)

Reynoso Barrera, Jonas (Dominican Republic)

Rivas, Reina Margarita (Colombia)

Rodriguez-Acosta, Cristina (USA)

Rogers, Rhea (Belize)

Rojas, Valeska (Chile)

Rojas Ballestero, Fiorella Andrea (Costa Rica)

Sahid Garnica, German (Colombia)

Salguero, Miguel (Argentina)

Sanabria, Diana (Ecuador)

Sancho, Carolina (Chile)

Sanjines, Karen (Jamaica)

Santolalla, Guillermo (USA)

Santos, Maria Dolores (Ecuador)

Seron, Christian (Chile)

Silva Freire, Maria Eduarda Laryssa (Brazil)

Sprinkle, Abby (USA)

Suarez, Hilda (Argentina)

Summers, Becky (USA)

Talamoni, Ana Florencia (Argentina)

Turner, Duilia (USA)

Typrowicz, Jennifer (USA)

Russ, Sarah (USA)

Velasco-Ugalde, Ana (Mexico)

Villalba, Laura     (USA)

Volia, Zoila (Costa Rica) Weiss, Cornelia (USA)

Williams, Dianna (USA)

* Project participants includes those who participated in at least one of our workshops and/or our country research teams.

[1] In this project we are examining military forces and national police forces (police that operate at the national level not at the local or municipal level).

[2] The methodology was developed by Women In International Security (WIIS) in the context of a NATO sponsored project that sought to assess how well NATO member and partner states had integrated the principles of gender equality and the WPS agenda in their military institutions and operations. See Chantal de Jonge Oudraat et al., Gender Mainstreaming: Indicators for the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 and its Related Resolutions- the 1325 Scorecard: Preliminary Findings (Brussels: NATO, 2015).

[3] See Executive Order, Instituting a National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (Washington, DC: The White House, December 19, 2011). This Plan was subsequently updated in June 2016.

[4] See Women, Peace and Security Act of 2017, Public Law 115-68-October 6, 2017 (Washington, DC: GPO, 2017).

[5] See US Strategy on Women, Peace and Security (Washington, DC: White House, 2019).

[6] See US DOD, Women, Peace, and Security: Strategic Framework and Implementation Plan (Washington, DC: US DoD,  June 2020), p.7.

[7] Ibid.

[8] See Chantal de Jonge Oudraat et al., Gender Mainstreaming: Indicators for the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 and its Related Resolutions – The 1325 Scorecard: Preliminary Findings (Brussels: NATO, 2015). For a description of the NATO project and our country scorecard reports, see: https://www.wiisglobal.org/programs/unscr-1325-nato/.

[9] The term “police” in this tool does not include local or municipal police. The police agencies that are included are those police agencies that also send police officers to UN peacekeeping operations.

[10] For more see wiisglobal.org.

[11] This is a statement that has also been recognized and subscribed to by the US Department of Defense. See US DOD, Women, Peace and Security (2020), p.10.

[12] In the Southern Hemisphere the legal framework for human rights even predates the UDHR. The American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, (adopted in May 1948 in Bogota, Columbia) was the first human rights instrument that recognized equal rights for all people. It was followed in 1969 by the American Convention on Human Rights. The 1969 American Convention on Human Rights requires states to adopt domestic legislation to give effect to these rights.

[13] They were particularly important in integrating Human Rights in the UN Charter and the UDHR.

[14] For more see Marcela Donadio et al., Women in The Armed and Police Forces: Resolution 1325 and Peace Operations in Latin America (Buenos Aires: RESDAL, 2010). More generally see also Ellen Haring, “Gender and Military Organizations” in Chantal de Jonge Oudraat and Michael E. Brown, eds., The Gender and Security Agenda: Strategies for the 21st Century (London: Routledge, 2020), pp. 90 – 112.

[15] In October 2015, the UN Security Council, in Resolution 2242, called for the doubling of the number of female peacekeepers (military and police) within five years. In August 2020, the UN Security Council also adopted Resolution 2538 which recognized “the indispensable role of women in increasing the overall performance and effectiveness of peacekeeping operations.” It also stressed the need to increase the participation of uniformed women in peacekeeping operations.

[16] In 2013, CEDAW adopted General Recommendation 30 on women in conflict prevention, conflict, and post-conflict situations. This strengthened the links between the WPS agenda and CEDAW.

[17] NATO/EAPC Women, Peace and Security Policy and Action Plan, 2018. NATO committed to the three “I”s: Integration: making sure that gender equality is considered as an integral part of NATO policies, programs, and projects guided by effective gender mainstreaming practices; Inclusiveness: promoting an increased representation of women across NATO and in national forces to enhance operational effectiveness and success; and Integrity: enhancing accountability with the intent to increase awareness and implementation of the WPS agenda in accordance with international frameworks.”

[18] See Mary K. Meyer Mcaleese, “WPS and the Organization of American States,” in Sara E. Davies and Jacqui True, eds.,  The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace and Security (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), pp. 413 – 427.

[19] See, for example, Paula Drumond and Tamya Rebelo, “Global Pathways or Local Spins? National Action Plans in South America,” International Feminist Journal of Politics, Vol. 22, No. 4 (2020), pp. 462 – 484; See also Donadio, Women in the Armed and Police Forces (2010). In 2019 Brazilian Navy Lieutenant Commander Marcia Braga received the UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year award for her work in the UN operation in the Central African Republic.

[20] See Drumond and Rebelo, Global Pathways or Local Spins?

[21] See for example, Fabiana Sofia Perera and Lieutenant Colonel Duilia Mora Turner, eds., Twenty Years, Twenty Stories: Women, Peace and Security in the Western Hemisphere (Washington, DC: William J. Perry Center for Hemsipheric Defense Studies, 2020). See also Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations, Whose Security? Practical Examples of Gender Perspectives in Military Operations (Stockholm: Nordic Centre for Military Operations, 2015).

[22] See Renata Avelar Giannini et al., A agenda sobre mulheres, paz e segurança no contexto latino-americano: desafios e oportunidades, Hemisphere (Rio de Janeiro, Brasil: Instituto Igarapé, March 2018). 12  See, for example, studies by the McKinsey Institute and the World Economic Forum.

[23] For many practical examples see Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations, Whose Security? Practical Examples of Gender Perspectives in Military Operations (Stockholm: Nordic Centre for Military Operations, 2015).

[24] The UN’s 2028 target for women in military contingents is 15% and 25% for military observers and staff officers. The 2028 target for women serving in formed police units is 20% and 30% for individual police officers. In 2020, women constitute 4.8% of military contingents and 10.9 % of formed police units in UN peacekeeping missions. See Peackeeping.un.org.

[25] Cited in Chantal de Jonge Oudraat et al., Gender Mainstreaming: Indicators for the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 and its Related Resolutions – The 1325 Scorecard: Preliminary Findings (Brussels: NATO, 2015), p. 7.

[26] This definition is based on the UN ECOSOC definition of 1997. See also Helene Lackenbauer and Richard Langlais, eds., Review of the Practical Implications of UNSCR 1325 for the Conduct of NATO-led Operations and Missions (Stockholm: Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOA), 2013), p. 55.

[27] See UN Women website unwomen.org “Gender Mainstreaming.”

[28] For example, in the United States and Brazil, the WPS agenda and gender equality efforts were not supported by the Donald J. Trump and Jair Bolsonaro administrations. Yet in both cases, the WPS agenda had gained some champions within the foreign affairs and defense establishments. These establishments had also put in place certain processes to integrate gender perspectives. Together, the champions and the institutional processes were able to safeguard some of the efforts that had been started before the advent of the new administrations. In addition, in the United States the US Congress had adopted the WPS Act in 2017, which had broad bi-partisan support. It was a big factor in safeguarding some of the WPS capacities that had been developed earlier. The Act also allowed the expansion of WPS activities in the military with regard to training and the appointment of GENADs in the Combatant Commands. The US Congress even set aside some money for the latter.

[29] See de Jonge Oudraat et al, Gender Mainstreaming (2015), p. 10-11.

[30] See scorecard template in Annex 2 and the scoring protocol in Annex 3.

[31] See country scorecards and narrative reports at the WIIS website (provide link here).

[32] See ECLAC, Regional Report on the Review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in Latin America and Caribbean countries, 25 years on, LC/CRM.14.4 (Santiago: United Nations, 2019).

[33] See IDEA, Gender Quotas Database (Stockholm: IDEA @idea.int).

[34] See ECLAC, Regional Report on the Review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in Latin America and Caribbean countries, 25 years on, LC/CRM.14.4 (Santiago: United Nations, 2019), p. 17.

[35] See Ellen Haring, “Gender and Military Organizations” in Chantal de Jonge Oudraat and Michael E. Brown, The Gender and Security Agenda: Strategies for the 21st Century (London: Routledge, 2020), p. 90.

[36] Nicole Jenne and Fiorella Ulloa Bisshopp, “Female Peacekeepers: UNSC Resolution 1325 and the Persistence of Gender Stereotypes in the Chilean Armed Forces,” International Peacekeeping, (October 14, 2020), p. 21.

[37] For strategies to increase women’s participation in national military organizations, see Haring, “Gender and Military Organizations.”

[38] See Georgetown Institute for Women Peace and Security and the Peace Research Institute Oslo, The WPS Index 2020 (Washington, DC: GIWPS, 2020); Oxfam and Development Finance International, Fighting Inequality in the Time of Covid-19:

The Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index 2020 (Oxford: Oxfam, 2020).

[39] Costa Rica is unique in the region as one of only a few countries with no military. It was assessed based on the security provided by the national police.

[40] See Paula Drumond and Tamya Rebelo, “Global Pathways or Local Spins? National Action Plans in South America,” International Feminist Journal of Politics, Vol. 22, No. 4 (2020), pp. 462 – 484.

[41] For more general analysis of NAPs globally see Caitlin Hamilton, Nyibeny Naam and Laura J. Shepherd, Twenty Years of Women, Peace and Security National Action Plans: Analysis and Lessons Learned (Sydney: Sydney University, March 2020). 32  Drumond and Rebelo, “Global Pathways or Local Spins?” p. 1. See also Paula Drumond and Tamya Rebelo, 1325 and Beyond:

Moving Forward the WPS Agenda in Latin America, WIIS Policy Brief (July 2020); and

Ana Laura Velasco Ugalde, UNSCR1325 and the WPS Agenda: A Feminist Response to Authoritarianism, WIIS Policy Brief (June 2020), p. 1. Velasco notes the Covid-19 crisis and the call for staying at home has exposed the violence at home.

[42] Cited in Drumond and Rebelo, Global Pathways or Local Spins? p. 12. See also Paula Drumond and Tamya Rebelo, 1325 and Beyond: Moving Forward the WPS Agenda in Latin America, WIIS Policy Brief (July 2020).

[43] Ibid.

[44] For more on Brazil’s NAP see Renata Avelar Giannini and Perola Abrue Pereira, Building Brazil’s National Action Plan: Lessons

Learned and Opportunities (London: LSE, March 3, 2020 – blog); Paula Drumond and Tamya Rebelo, Implementing the “Women,

Peace and Security” Agenda in Brazil: An Assessment of the National Action Plan, Strategic Paper 31 (Rio de Janeiro: Igarape Institute, August 2019). See also https://igarape.org.br/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2019-07-31_AE-31_Women-Peace-andSecurity-National-Action-Plan.pdf.

[45] Argentine NAP: p. 10. Government of Argentina, National Action Plan of the Argentine Republic for the Implementation of Resolution Nº1325/2000 of the Security Council of the United Nations. (Argentina, 2015) at: https://www.peacewomen.org/ sites/default/files/Argentina%20NAP%202015%20(English).pdf and see the Spanish version at: http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/ infolegInternet/anexos/250000-254999/252151/Dto1895.pdf. 37  Today Argentina leads the region in WPS implementation.

[46] See UN Secretary General, Departmental Focal Points for Women in the Secretariat, ST/SGB?2008/12 (New York: United Nations, August 1, 2008). See also UN Women, Gender Focal Points and Focal Points for Women @ unwomen.org; and United Nations, Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Policy: Gender Responsive United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (New York: United Nations, February 1, 2018).

[47] RESDAL obtained much of its data through freedom of information mechanisms. See Marcela Donadio et al., Women in the

Armed Forces and Police in Latin America: Agender Approach to Peace Operations (Buenos Aires: RESDAL, 2010). See Renata Avilar Giannini, Maiara Folly and Mariana Fonseca Lima, Situacoes extraordinarias a entrada de mulheres na linha de frente das Forcas Armadas brasileiras (Rio de Janieri: Igarapé Institute: 2017). We do not know to what extent the US government is collecting data on the number of women in military forces around the world and how it applies that data to its International Military Training and Education (IMET) programs.

[48] The US DoD tracks the incidence rate of sexual harassment and assault in the ranks and publishes annual reports on their Sexual and Prevention Website. This is a Congressionally mandated annual requirement. https://www.sapr.mil/. See also Government of Canada, 2019 Sexual Misconduct Incident Tracking Report https://www.canada.ca/en/department-nationaldefence/corporate/reports-publications/sexual-misconduct-tracking-report.html. In Australia, the Chief of the Army came out strongly against sexual harassment and abuse. See Australia’s Chief of the Army addresses to soldiers on sexual assault in the ranks. https://vimeo.com/71028162.

[49] Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. See Adriana Erthal Abdenur, Enhancing Peacekeeping Training Through Cooperation: Lessons from Latin America, Policy Brief (Rio de Janeiro: Igarape Institute, June 2018).

[50] See Humanas Colombia, 20 Años Exigiendo que el Gobierno Colombiano se conecte con la Paz y la Seguridad de las Mujeres, Pronunciamiento (Bogotá, Colombia: Humanas, July 2020) at https://www.humanas.org.co/alfa/dat_particular/arch_contenidos/ i_e_73153_q_PRONUNCIAMIENTO_R1325.pdf; Also from Humanas Colombia, see Observatorio Mujeres, Paz y Seguridad (a group actively lobbying for a WPS NAP), Cumplimiento del Estado Colombiano con la Resolución 1325 de 2000: Informe de monitoreo del año 2017 y primer semestre de 2018, (Bogotá, Colombia: Humanas, December 2018) at https://www.humanas.org. co/alfa/dat_particular/ar/ar_9042_q_R1325informe.pdf.

 

 

Enhancing Security: Women’s Participation in the Security Forces in Latin America and the Caribbean

2020 Country Report

Argentina – Summary Report 2

Brazil – Summary Report 7

Chile – Summary Report 14

Colombia – Summary Report 19

Costa Rica – Summary Report 23

Dominican Republic – Summary Report 27

Ecuador – Summary Report 33

Guatemala – Summary Report 38

Mexico – Summary Report 42

Panama – Summary Report 47

Paraguay – Summary Report 52

Peru – Summary Report 56

Trinidad and Tobago – Summary Report 61

Uruguay – Summary Report 64

Argentina – Summary Report

WPS National Action Plan (NAP) Status:

Argentina adopted a NAP in 2015 for a three-year period. A new NAP is reportedly in development.

Overall Assessment:

Argentina demonstrates a strong commitment to the WPS agenda, a commitment that is expressed in many national documents.Argentina’s NAP, published in 2015, is currently being updated.

National Importance/Political Will:

Gender equality is enshrined in the Argentine constitution and related laws, which are enforced by the police and the courts.[1] There are explicit references made to WPS/UNSCR 1325 in top national foreign policy[2] and national security documents.[3]

In 2008, the Argentine Ministry of Defense adopted a WPS Action Plan for gender mainstreaming in international peacekeeping operations. [4] This was developed in response to Argentina’s participation in UN operations. It led to many “policy reforms in the field of defense and the armed forces.”[5] For example, it strengthened pre-deployment training on gender issues and established a requirement for Gender Focal Points in the military.

Argentina adopted a WPS NAP in 2015 for a three-year period.[6] A new NAP is currently under development. The NAP explicitly references the Ministry of Defense (MoD) and the Ministry of Security (which oversees public safety and security, the federal police, and the gendarmerie), as principal actors in the implementation of the WPS agenda and assigns specific tasks to them. Resources and positions have been allocated for NAP and WPS agenda implementation. For example, there is the MoD Directorate of Gender Policies, with Gender Offices distributed among the armed forces. The national police have plans for meeting NAP/WPS objectives, and they are monitored and evaluated for progress by the Gender Policy Council.[7]

Institutional Policy and Practice:

Strategy, Plans, and Policies

WPS has been integrated into strategy, plans, policy, and other doctrinal documents at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels.[8]

In the military, prevention of sexual violence is explicitly mentioned in strategy, plans, and policy documents at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels as well as in field manuals and handbooks.[9] It is also explicitly identified as a hazard to operational effectiveness. WPS principles, gender analyses, and gender perspectives are integrated into police strategy, plans, policy, and doctrinal documents as well as in some field manuals and handbooks of the police forces.[10]

A full-time Military Gender Advisor (GENAD) has been appointed at the strategic and operational levels of the military forces and has been assigned as a member of the senior military commander’s staff. GENADs receive certified training at the Argentine Center for Joint Training in Peacekeeping Operations (CAECOPAZ) as part of established practice.[11]

In the police forces, a GENAD is part of the Human Resources staff and other staffs, but not at the highest level.[12] The Directorate of Gender Policies and Gender Offices focusing on Gender Focal Points (GFPs) exists in the armed forces and police forces, where GFPs are appointed throughout various police organizations.[13]

Nevertheless, information on NAP implementation by police forces is lacking, and the integration of WPS principles do not seem as advanced in the police as in the military.

Gender in the Ranks (Military and Police):

ServiceMenWomenPercent Women
Army41,2636,93014%
Army Senior Women   
Navy13,2283,17719%
Navy Senior Women   
Air Force9,8633,40026%
Air Force Senior Women   
National Police[14]   
National Police Senior Women   
Women Deployed  8%

Women have been allowed to occupy all positions in the military, including combat positions, since 2013. All positions in the police are open to women.

Although all military positions are open to women, few women have reached senior ranks, and none are in the senior ranks of combat occupations (in part because they were only recently opened to women).

In 2008, the Ministry of Defense set a target goal of 25-40% women in the ranks.[15] Despite that one of the NAP’s first objectives is to increase the presence of women in peacekeeping, in humanitarian operations and in decision-making bodies, only 8% of deployed personnel are women. No data was obtained on women serving in the national police.

Work Environment

Family Policies: The implementation of WPS principles in work environments is governed by the human resource guidelines for the military and police. Military and police personnel receive 90 days of paid maternity leave and 10 days of paid paternity leave.[16] Childcare, including kindergarten and family leave policies that support members of the military, are available and widely used.[17]

Protection Policies: Both the military and police have programs to prevent sexual harassment and assault of military and police personnel. The programs are both transparent and effective. The programs provide support to victims, and they ensure that perpetrators are prosecuted and punished.[18] Moreover, there is a sexual harassment and sexual exploitation and abuse prevention program to address issues of military and police personnel as perpetrators of violence against civilians. If a member of the military commits an act of serious misconduct, they are sanctioned at the military disciplinary level and prosecuted in civil courts.[19]

Equipment and Facilities: There are gender-specific individual equipment within the military and police forces, including uniforms and personal protective equipment designed for and issued to all women. Facilities, including bathrooms and billets, are available for women in military and police quarters, and they are provided during deployments as required by the United Nations Standards Operations Procedures (SOP).[20]

Training, Education, and Exercises

GENADs facilitate consistent education on gender awareness and WPS as part of entry-level training for both military and police personnel. Similarly, WPS principles for military and police forces are introduced and integrated into the education and training of personnel at the mid-grade and senior level. Personnel are also trained in the prevention of, and in response to, sexual violence, sexual exploitation, and abuse. The training is focused both internally (within the organization) and externally (civilian populations outside the organization).[21] 

Further, the military pre-deployment training course, provided by the Argentine Joint Peacekeeping Training Center (certified by the United Nations), is responsible for the delivery of mandatory pre-deployment training, which includes the following areas: the importance of the protection, rights and needs of women, men, girls, and boys; information on how to engage with, and increase, the participation of local women as well as how to exchange information with women; cultural awareness training based on an analysis of gender relations in the area of operations; information on how integrating a gender perspective can serve as a force enabler and increase operational effectiveness of the mission; and creating an understanding of measures with respect to international law regarding the rights and protection of women and girls, especially civilians during armed conflict.

Monitoring/Reporting and Evaluation:

Military: Argentina has specific monitoring and evaluation requirements for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and WPS principles in the military. It is overseen by the MoD’s Observatory Office, which was created within the National Directorate of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. The Observatory Office is tasked with monitoring and evaluating the full inclusion of women in the military. Sex-disaggregated data and lessons learned are collected and analyzed within the MoD for use in military operations to improve security outcomes for women, men, girls, and boys. Additionally, while formal involvement of several civil society organizations and groups in the WPS/NAP review exists, only the military and police forces can make data publicly available.[22]

Police: Despite explicit mention in the NAP of the importance of gathering sex-disaggregated data, data for the national police forces are lacking.

Although Argentina expresses public commitment to the principles of WPS, monitoring and assessments are only carried out for the military, not the police. 

Recommendations:

The new NAP must fully include all police forces in the country. Resources and monitoring and evaluation for implementation in the police must be clearly outlined. Specifically, the police must be required to collect and publish sex-disaggregated data on women in their areas of operations and within the force.

Report Contributors:

Ana Florencia Talamoni.

María Belén Canto, Ministry of Defense, Advisor.

Lic. Silvana Lorena Barrios, Ministry of Defense, Advisor

Dr. Cristina A.Rodriguez-Acosta, Florida International University

December 2, 2020

Brazil – Summary Report

WPS National Action Plan (NAP) Status:

Brazil published a NAP in 2017 with a two-year duration period (2017 – 2018).[23] In March 2019, the 2017 NAP was extended for a four-year period.[24]

Overall Assessment:
Brazil has made limited progress in advancing the WPS agenda. The NAP (initially developed under a previous administration and extended in 2019 by the current government) has not been a priority for the government and is mostly considered in the context of Brazil’s engagement with UN peace operations. Women continue to serve in very limited numbers in the security forces (military and police), lower than in most countries in the region.. Data collection and monitoring and evaluation is limited and not publicly available.

National Importance/Political Will:

Like many other countries in the Western Hemisphere, Brazil has a solid legal framework that recognizes gender equality. The 1988 Brazilian Constitution establishes the principles of gender equality, non-discrimination, and the protection of the rights of women.[25] In addition, the government has approved several laws related to gender equality, gender mainstreaming, and the protection of women, including a law criminalizing femicide and a decree that provided assistance for victims of sexual violence.[26] Brazil has also ratified the Convention Eliminating All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). In the early 2000s, the government launched new policy initiatives to further mainstream human rights and gender equality in the country.[27] In 2018, the government created additional political instruments to advance gender equality domestically, including a National Plan to Combat Domestic Violence.[28]

In January 2019, with the ascent of a new administration under the leadership of President Jair Bolsonaro, gender equality became less of a priority, The new administration championed conservative ideologies that focused on traditional family values and on women as mothers and caregivers. The lack of focus on gender equality and the individual empowerment of women could also be seen when in 2019, the Ministry of Human Rights became the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights.[29]

Initial NAP Development

Discussions and development of a NAP started in 2015 when Pandiá Calógeras, an independent think tank within the Ministry of Defense (MoD, carried out research about the possibility for the development of a Brazilian NAP. Around this time, the Brazilian MoD also created a Gender Commission tasked with advancing gender equality and the integration of women in the armed forces and participation in NAP discussions.[30]

The actual drafting of a NAP was carried out by an Interinstitutional Working Group.[31] It brought together officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Justice and Public Security, Ministry of Human Rights, as well as representatives of UN Women and the Igarapé Institute as the only representatives of civil society. Throughout 2016, the Working Group organized a series of meetings and defined NAP priorities.

Consultations were hampered by the political turmoil in the country, including President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment and removal from office in 2016. Despite these difficulties, the Brazilian Government published a NAP in March 2017.[32] Discussions on a new NAP were to start at the end of 2018. However, the end of 2018 also coincided with general elections that brought Jair Bolsonaro to power. While the WPS agenda and gender equality was not known to be a priority for the Bolsonaro administration, the MoD announced in April 2019, at a Ministerial Peacekeeping meeting in New York, that Brazil had extended the 2017 NAP for a four-year period.[33]

The extension of the NAP was a welcome development for many civil society organizations, including many mid-level public servants who had been engaged in the process early on. Yet the lack of political will at the highest levels has meant that little progress has been made to implement the NAP and make it a more robust instrument for the integration of gender in military operations.[34] The Brazilian NAP is also an outward looking NAP and thus seen by many officials as mostly relevant within the context of Brazil’s participation in UN peacekeeping operations.[35]

In sum, for past and current Brazilian administrations the WPS NAPs are mainly outward-looking plans and foreign policy instruments rather than inward-looking plans that could further gender perspectives within the country, particularly within the security sector.[36] More generally, the NAP and the WPS agenda are not regularly referred to in foreign policy documents or documents of the MoD.

Institutional Policy and Practice:

Strategy, Plans, and Policy

The NAP lists the MoD as one of the main actors charged with  increasing the participation of women in the security sector, and it lays out a series of activities to fulfill this objective. For example, it states that the MoD should:

(1) assess the main challenges faced by women in relation to the application of the WPS agenda;

(2) promote the deployment of women military police officers; and

(3) exchange best practices regarding the participation of women in the military with other countries.

That said, the MoD has not developed specific implementation plans, and follow up is unclear.

For example, although the White Papers of each of the three branches of the armed forces mention the importance of the participation of women, they do not present specific actions for increasing the number of women in the armed forces.[37] Similarly, the National Defense Strategy and the National Defense Policy do not contain any mention of the WPS agenda or gender equality.[38]

The police are mentioned in the NAP, but not given any specific tasks.[39]

Gender in the Ranks (Military and Police), 2016[40]

ServiceMenWomenPercent Women
All Military309,65825,507[41]7.6%
Army203,5978,1104%
Army Senior Women*26,2834,48214%
Navy19,2301,55213%
Navy Senior Women*7,2113,47732%
Air Force55,4079,84815%
Air Force Senior Women*7,4053,87534%
National Police378,6983,64519%
National Police Senior Women   
Women Deployed5658%

*all commissioned officers from lieutenant to general.

As a percentage of the force, women serve in very low numbers in the military and police. Many military positions were closed to women until recently. In 2012, the Army announced that women could attend the Military Academy Agulhas Negras and serve in combat positions. In 2018, 33 women were admitted to the Military Academy Agulhas Negras, where they can choose logistics and weapons specialists roles in support of combat roles.[42] Infantry, artillery, cavalry, communications, and engineering remains closed to women. In the Air Force, logistics was opened to women in 1996, and combat pilot positions were opened to women in 2003. In 2014, women were allowed to serve in logistics positions in the Navy; all Navy positions were opened to women in 2019.[43]

All police positions are open to women. However, in some states there is a ceiling on the number of women permitted to serve. In addition, women police officers report that there are subjective and cultural challenges in the force, and many are not allowed to work “on the streets.”

Work Environment

Family Policies: In 2015, the right to six months of maternity leave was extended to the military forces. It also allows fathers to receive five paid days after the birth of a baby.[44] Interviews with female military officers showed that there is no childcare available in military organizations.[45]

Anti-Harassment and Abuse Policies: Sexual exploitation and abuse do not constitute a crime under the Brazilian Military Penal Code. According to WPS experts, this situation inhibits reporting, prosecuting, and collecting information about such misconduct.[46]

Equipment and Facilities: The police and the armed forces provide gender specific facilities for women. In terms of equipment, in some cases there are uniforms tailored for women, though this is not generally the case. It is known that the training uniform used by the female soldiers is the same as the one used by the men without any modification for women’s bodies.[47] Furthermore, there is no women-specific personal protective equipment.

Training, Education, and Exercises

Peacekeeping training centers offer modules on sexual violence, exploitation, and abuse. Those who are deployed to UN missions receive pre-deployment training, which includes training about international humanitarian law and the rights and protection of civilians, including women and girls during armed conflict. The focus of most of the trainings is on the prevention and response to sexual violence and sexual exploitation as it relates to civilians in the area of operations. Training on gender is not widely  included in the normal training of soldiers. Only peacekeeping training centers have gender focal points.[48] Gender Advisors are appointed for specific missions.

Monitoring/Reporting and Evaluation:

There is no monitoring and evaluation mechanism for the Brazilian NAP. However, the ministries that are parties to the NAP meet once a year to discuss developments and challenges. In 2019, each institution was tasked with the responsibility of elaborating indicators. Only the Ministry of External Relations, the coordinator of the NAP implementation, developed such indicators. The Gender Commission also has responsibilities in this regard. However, the Gender Commission is not known to have met in recent years. In addition, there is no public evidence that sex-disaggregated data and lessons learned are collected and analyzed by the military.

The Igarapé Institute published an evaluation of the development and content of the Brazilian NAP.[49] To date, it is the only civil society actor in Brazil actively engaged on the WPS agenda. The Centro de Apoio Operacional das Promotorias de Justiça dos Direitos Humanos also monitors and reports on governmental actions related to gender equality, but not necessarily on the WPS NAP.[50]

Recommendations:

The WPS NAP should be approved by the Congress and become law.

The National Defense Strategy and the National Defense Policy should take advantage of the NAP and add specific strategies and actions to include gender provisions and support national efforts to increase the participation of women..

Future NAPs would benefit from the participation of civil society in the drafting, implementation, and evaluation processes. The inclusion of civil society would increase transparency and improve the overall outcome.

Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms should be put in place as well as specific action plans for each governmental institution that signed the NAP.

A dedicated budget for the NAP implementation should be allocated.

Issues concerning Brazilian women challenges in areas of undeclared armed conflicts could benefit from being included in the NAP. For this purpose, other ministries could take part in a future NAP.

All limitations on women’s military and police service should be removed immediately. Women must have access to all training programs and be employed on the streets and during deployments.

In addition, the Brazilian MoD should mainstream gender training across the force and not limit it to forces deploying during peacekeeping operations.

Finally, the military must immediately criminalize sexual harassment and sexual abuse in the Military Penal Code and start collecting data regarding harassment and discrimination cases.

Report Contributors:

Dr. Paula Drumond, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio); Global South Unit of Mediation (GSUM).

Dr. Renata Giannini, Senior Researcher, Igarapé Institute and Coordinator of the Brazilian WPS Network.

Dr. Tamya Rebelo, Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing and Centro Universitário Belas Artes, São Paulo, Brazil.

December 2, 2020

Chile – Summary Report

WPS National Action Plan (NAP) Status:

In 2009, Chile became the first country in Latin America to adopt a NAP. The second iteration was published in 2015, covering the period 2015-2018. In view of the 20th anniversary of UNSCR 1325, several Chilean ministers expressed support for the development of a third NAP. It would be a third-generation document with emphasis on deployment for disaster relief.

Overall Assessment:

Chile has taken positive steps towards the implementation of the WPS agenda that go beyond the political realm. Concrete actions to implement a gender perspective in the duties of the Ministry of Defense (MoD) and the Investigations Police of Chile (PDI for its acronym in Spanish) were noted.[51] However, there are still areas for improvement; not all commitments have been fully realized.

National Importance/Political Will:

Gender equality is recognized in Chile’s constitution. It is likely that the new constitution will go even further. The Constitutional Convention is required to have gender parity. This means that Chile’s new constitution will be the first one in the world drafted by an equal number of women and men.[52]

The national importance of the WPS agenda in Chile is evident since the adoption of the first NAP during the first presidential term of (former president) Michelle Bachelet. The second version of the NAP was not only a continuation of the country’s commitment, but also an improvement upon the first NAP that integrated many lessons learned. For example, the second NAP established specific monitoring, auditing, and accountability processes. It also emphasized the importance of mainstreaming efforts in different ministries.

An Inter-ministerial Committee for the Implementation of the NAP meets regularly and includes the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Women Affairs and Gender Equity, and the Ministry of the Interior and Public Security (which includes the Chilean police). Chile has also joined the Network of Women Mediators of the Southern Cone to promote sustainable peace in the region. The network is promoted by Argentina and UN Women of Latin America and the Caribbean and also includes Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.[53]

UNSCR 1325 and WPS principles are explicitly mentioned in key foreign policy and national security documents, and they put forth specific political commitments. In the 2017 Book of Chile’s National Defense, the section called “Resolution 1325” highlights Chile’s commitment to the WPS agenda.[54] In addition, in the Sectoral Policy in the Field of Military Policy chapter, the section “Gender Policy” explicitly refers to Resolution 1325, the NAP, and the commitments of the MoD, which include: increasing the participation of women in the armed forces; promoting women’s participation in peacekeeping operations; integrating a gender perspective in the training cycle; and strengthening the institutional framework for the inclusion of gender policies in the defense sector.

Institutional Policy and Practice:

Strategy, Plans, and Policy

The MoD integrates a gender perspective in its planning as it is a national policy requirement for all ministries. In May 2018, the MoD signed an agreement with the Ministry of Women Affairs and Gender Equality on the rights of women in the armed forces, the objective of which is to “strengthen equal opportunities, in addition to ensuring and protecting full respect for the rights of women.”[55] Accordingly, the three services of the military (army, navy and air force) have appointed gender delegates whose duties are similar to those of a gender focal point (GFP). In turn, the Joint Staff also has a gender delegate. The gender delegates are tasked with promoting the agreement and disseminating related protocols.[56] Among them is the protocol for complaints related to sexual and labor harassment adopted in March 2019.[57] However, the gender delegates are not always full-time and often have double-hatted functions. In addition, they do not function at the operational and tactical levels, where there are no GFPs or Gender Advisors. More generally, it may be noted that despite the work of the gender delegates, what the adoption of a gender perspective by the armed forces means lacks widespread understanding.

The police participated in the preparation of the first and second NAPs. Through the Joint Staff, they also participate in peacekeeping missions and therefore are part of certain actions of the NAPs.

The police have incorporated gender equality and WPS principles in parts of their operations, as exemplified by the Department of Organizational Development, Equity and Equal Opportunities and the Human Rights and Gender Equity Department, both at the PDI. The police also have Gender Advisors and GFPs who are deployed in all regions of the country. Their main tasks include:  participation in inter-ministerial and institutional commissions; advising the High Command in strategic institutional planning; observing and analyzing procedures and claims; and providing workshops, classes, and training.

Gender in the Ranks (Military[58] and Police[59])

ServiceMenWomenPercent Women
Army36,4463,9719.8%
Army Senior Women  0%
Navy17,3721,6018.4%
Navy Senior Women  0%
Air Force7,6936003.16%
Air Force Senior Women  .13%
National Police8,6524,43734%
National Police Senior Women  15%
Women Deployed  10%[60]

Despite the military’s commitment to gender equality and the WPS Agenda, not all combat positions are open to women. The army lifted all restrictions for women’s access to the different combat positions, including armored cavalry and infantry positions, in 2016.[61] All positions in the air force are open as well. In the navy, some positions are still closed to women, such as the Marine Corps and the Submarine Service.[62] The military does not have a specific recruitment goal for increasing women’s participation. All police positions are open to women and, although they do not have any recruiting goals, nearly 50% of new recruits are women.[63]

Work Environment

Family policies: For military and police personnel, the paid maternity, paternity, and family life measures are the same as for the rest of the workers in Chile. Women receive 18 weeks of paid maternity leave, and childcare is also available.

Anti-Harassment and Abuse Policies: The armed forces have adopted a sexual harassment and sexual abuse program for protection of military personnel.[64] Nonetheless, interviews conducted for this research with experts in Chile showed that transparency and protection is not equally developed in the three branches of the military and, thus, some victims might be discouraged from coming forward.

The police have also adopted specific policies to deal with sexual harassment and abuse. The information is managed by the Analysis and Monitoring of Misconduct Department and, while it is not published, the information can be requested through government transparency mechanisms.

Equipment and facilities: Both the military and the police provide gender specific equipment, including uniforms and facilities for women in the areas where they are permitted to serve.

Training, Education, and Exercises

The principles of WPS/UNSCR 1325 are not consistently integrated into the education and training of military personnel. Personnel who participate in UN missions consistently receive training on the principles of WPS before deployment and during operations. The courses of the Chilean Joint Peacekeeping Operation Center (CECOPAC) are conducted following UN guidelines on training for peacekeeping operations and use the material provided by the organization for such purposes. Nonetheless, the rest of the military does not provide such training consistently for junior and mid-levels. Each year there are specialized WPS courses available to senior-level personnel from CECOPAC, and they are also available for civilians. Both the military and the police receive training on the prevention and response to sexual violence and sexual abuse. The police incorporate a gender perspective in all its training levels.

Monitoring/Reporting and Evaluation:

Although Chile’s second NAP addressed monitoring and reporting and included indicators, there are still gaps. For instance, as part of the second NAP, Chile launched the Observatory on Women, Peace and Security in 2018, which integrates the portfolios of Foreign Affairs, Defense, Women and Gender Equity, Interior, and Public Security. Its purpose is to: a) publicize progress in the implementation of the 2nd NAP; and b) integrate civil society into the process of monitoring and evaluation. Available information indicates that the Observatory is not currently working. A confirmation of the involvement of civil society in the preparation of the new NAP is absent. Despite these issues, Chile has a robust transparency law framework, and sex-disaggregated data, collected by the military and the police, is available.

Recommendations:

A third NAP would be an opportunity to deepen and consolidate the advancement of gender in the military and the police. Both institutions should be considered as main actors and, most importantly, they should be assigned specific tasks with clear goals and outcomes. In particular, the Gender Advisors should receive clear mandates with authority and resources. Importantly, it is essential that gender perspectives are consistently integrated into the education and training of all military personnel and not just those engaged in UN peacekeeping operations.

A third NAP should also emphasize and provide clearer guidelines for the inclusion of civil society, not only in the drafting of the document, but also in its implementation and monitoring. Finally, all military positions should be opened to qualified women immediately.

Report Contributors:

Andrea Fischer, Master in International Relations

Carolina del Pilar

Carolina Jarpa

Christian Serón, Police Attaché at the Chilean Embassy in the United States, Washington D.C.

Valeska Rojas, Educational Advisor in the Chilean Army, Master in Education specialist in Gender

December 2, 2020

Colombia – Summary Report

WPS National Action Plan (NAP) Status:
Colombia has not developed a NAP. That said, the November 24, 2016 peace agreement includes many gender provisions. Additionally, in 2018 the Ministry of Defense (MoD) published its own transversal (intersectional) gender implementation plan for uniformed personnel in Colombia.

Overall Assessment: Colombia has a robust civil society network dedicated to advancing the WPS agenda, and many are lobbying the Colombian government to adopt a WPS NAP.[65] Although the national government has made statements in support of gender equality and the MoD recognizes UNSCR 1325 and the WPS agenda, no NAP has been developed.

National Importance/Political Will:

Gender equality is enshrined in the Colombian Constitution (See Articles 40 and 43).[66] Colombia also has a Presidential Council for Women’s Equity, which collects and analyzes information related to the situation of women in Colombia. Gender equality, women’s rights, and the empowerment of women are also referred to in the 2018-2022 National Development Plan, an all-inclusive policy document that addresses foreign and domestic security policies.[67]

In Colombia, the army, the air force, the navy, and the national police all fall under the authority of the (MoD). The MoD guidelines and policies apply to all four services. Its 2018 report, Public Policy for a Cross-Gender Approach for the Uniformed Personnel of the Public Force, explicitly refers to UNSCR 1325 and its related resolutions.[68] The report, developed as a requirement of the 2016 peace agreement, is referred to as the military’s WPS implementation plan, and it includes the police under the umbrella term “public force.” It calls on the military and the police to make sure that women have equal access and opportunities. It also sets up Gender Observatories at the level of the MoD and General Command, as well as inside each military branch and the police.

While the political commitments toward gender equality are important, there is no overall monitoring mechanism for the uniformed services to examine how measures are applied. In addition, no additional resources or positions have been made available to ensure that the principles of the WPS agenda are implemented within the security forces.

Institutional Policy and Practice:

Strategy, Plans, and Policy

WPS principles, and the importance of gender analyses and gender perspectives, are mentioned on an ad-hoc basis in military and police strategies, operational plans, and policy documents. They are not systematically applied. For example, it is recognized by the security services that a gender perspective must be included in the investigation of transnational organized criminal activities, but there are no public documents to corroborate that it occurs in other operational situations.

The prevention of sexual violence and the protection of women and children from sexual violence during the conduct of police and military operations is mentioned in many strategic and policy documents as an important objective in operations. That said, interviews with members of the military and the police, as well as civil society actors, seem to indicate that the implementation of this objective is not systematic.

The military has an official gender office with gender advisors, but we do not know how many people staff this office and what training they receive.

Gender in the Ranks (Military and Police)

ServiceMenWomenPercent Women
Army39,8921,5123.7%
Army Senior Women  1.5%
Navy10,3518997.9%
Navy Senior Women  1.8%
Air Force5,6041,24318.2%
Air Force Senior Women  1.7%
National Police131,78413,1429.1%
National Police Senior Women  1.9%
Women Deployed  Less than 1%

Data provided by MoD personnel.

Few women serve in Colombia’s military and police—less than 4% in the army and a little over 9% in the national police. In addition, women are not promoted to the highest ranks at rates equal to the percentage that they serve in the forces.

Women serve mostly in the support branches and remain prohibited from serving in some ground combat occupations and units. Colombia has not set any targets for increasing women’s participation in the security forces.

Work Environment

Family Policies: Women in the Colombian military and police receive 18 weeks of paid maternity leave. Men receive 8 days of paid paternity leave. Neither men nor women receive any paid family leave, and there is no childcare assistance for military members who have children.

Anti-Harassment and Abuse Policies: There are no programs for the prevention or treatment of sexual harassment and sexual exploitation within the ranks, and the security institutions do not publicly report on the incidence rate of such behavior.

Equipment and Facilities: Women do receive equipment and uniforms designed for women, and they are supported with women-specific facilities including bathrooms and billets.[69]

Training, Education, and Exercises

Entry and mid-level military and police personnel are introduced to the concepts of the WPS agenda, but the training is basic and not systematic. Senior level leaders receive no training in the principles of WPS. Civilian staff personnel occasionally receive training on the principles of WPS within the organization and during operations.

The military and police receive training on protection and prevention of sexual violence and sexual exploitation and abuse of civilians in an area of operations. Despite this training, there are many complaints of sexual violence perpetrated by the military, and particularly by the national police.[70]

Monitoring/Reporting and Evaluation:

There are some monitoring and reporting requirements at some agencies, but it is not a formal national level effort. The MoD does have a monitoring and evaluation program.[71] An objective for the Gender Observatories in the military and the police is to ensure the monitoring and follow-up of efforts to integrate gender perspectives. The Observatories are supervised by the Sectorial Committee for Mainstreaming the Gender Approach in the Defense Sector.

Both the military and police collect some sex-disaggregated data, but most are not made public. That said, Colombia has a robust civil society that promotes and advances the UNSCR 1325 and the WPS agenda.[72] The Women Peace and Security Observatory, a coalition of organizations, is actively lobbying the government to adopt a WPS NAP.[73]

Recommendations:

At the national level, Colombia should deepen and codify its commitment to the principles of the WPS agenda by developing and publishing a NAP. The national government should ask their robust civil society groups to assist in writing the NAP and in overseeing its implementation. The military and police should be given specific goals for advancing the agenda as well as resources to realize established goals. Both the military and the police must look internally at how women are treated within the ranks. In particular, the national government should address barriers for women to enter the security forces and how to increase the low numbers. It must also address sexual harassment issues within the ranks.

Report Contributors:

Eva María Rey Pinto, Colombian War College

María Fernanda Beltrán Del Portillo, Nacional MoD

Martha Janneth Dávila Calderón, ‘Escuela de Comunicaciones Militares’ and ‘Escuela Nacional de Carabineros de la Policía Nacional

German Sahid-Garnica, Military Academy (Army), Intelligence School (Army and Air Force)

Leidy Johana Cabrera Cabrera, Gender Observatory – Escuela Militar de Cadetes ‘General José María Córdova

December 2, 2020

Costa Rica – Summary Report

WPS National Action Plan (NAP) Status:

Costa Rica is actively developing a NAP. The National Institute for Women is in the lead, but the Ministry of Public Security is actively participating in the development of the NAP.

Overall Assessment: Although Costa Rica does not have a WPS NAP, it has made great strides in addressing women’s inequality and insecurity in the country. It has an active and well-established ministry-level National Institute for Women that provides advice and has oversight over gender mainstreaming in all other ministries. Costa Rica is one of a few nations that has no standing military. Citizen security is provided by the Ministry of Public Security. The government, including the Ministry of Public Security, is committed to gender equality in all communities across the nation. Costa Rica has creative and progressive programs to address gender inequality, including programs that challenge “machismo” culture through education and outreach to men in rural communities.

National Importance/Political Will:

Costa Rica has a National Institute for Women that functions as a ministry. This ministry-level Institute is responsible for gender issues. The Institute has a National Council responsible for decision-making at the national level. Furthermore, the Institute provides advice and has oversight over gender mainstreaming in all of the government ministries, including the Ministry of Public Security.

Costa Rica does not have a Ministry of Defense; instead, it has a Ministry of Public Security responsible for ensuring border security, citizen safety, and law enforcement. The Ministry of Public Security was consulted for this report. The Ministry of Public Security has adopted a Gender Equality and Equity Policy.[74] The objective of the policy is to create an organizational environment and culture that requires the provision of inclusive citizen security, the development of police actions and procedures in partnership with communities and the general public, and the promotion of gender equity and gender equality and the promotion of human rights in all institutional work. This policy has its own action plan that was developed in recent years.[75]

The General Directorate of the Public Force, which falls under the Ministry of Public Security, is made up of Regional Directorates, which have specific functions on the subject of gender. They receive support from the Office of Gender Equality and Equity located in the Ministry of Public Security and from the Directorate of Preventive Police Programs. The Directorate of Preventative Police Programs provides information and training across the country on the importance of women’s inclusion in public life and their need for security. Similarly, at the Ministry of Public Security, there is an annual operational plan in which actions are established according to the work of each department that focuses on the issue of gender and implementing a gender perspective. Additionally, the police have a violence against women program to address the prevention of violence against women as well as protection of women.[76] This plan was made official through an internal decree that all employees received.

Institutional Policy and Practice:

Strategy, Plans, and Policy

Police force documents have integrated gender equality principles, gender analyses, and gender perspectives into some strategy, plans, and policy and other doctrinal documents at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels.[77] These principles are also mentioned in field manuals and handbooks. The principles of gender equality/WPS are integrated into police exercises, operations, and other police activities, as evidenced in documents like the Operational Plan of the Office for Gender Equality and Equity.[78] The police also have manuals and protocols on how to handle gender-based violence, including domestic violence, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, and toxic masculinities.[79] The Office for Gender Equality and Equity serves as a gender advisory office for the police and falls under the Vice-Ministry of Special Units. It does not operate at the highest level and functions more in a human resources capacity. Each police delegation has personnel who are specially trained on gender perspectives, violence against women, and domestic violence It also provides training for civilian groups that make up community security committees and youth groups.

Gender in the Ranks (Police)[80]

ServiceMenWomenPercent Women
National Police Academy 3918.8%
NPA Senior Women 555%
Public Force 2,61319.3%
Public Force Senior Women 71.5%
Border Police 195.5%
Border Police Senior Women 120%
Air Surveillance Service 13521.3%
ASS Senior Women No Data21%
National Coast Guard 468.6%
NCG Senior Women 730%
Drug Control Police 3821%
DCP Senior Women 5No Data
Total Force12,5492,89018.7%

Women serve in all positions and all ranks in the Ministry of Public Security. There is no numerical goal to increase women’s participation, but there are incentive policies to increase women’s participation. The institution has a strong non-discrimination policy, and women are targeted in recruitment advertising.[81]

Work Environment

Family Policies: In accordance with national laws, women receive 120 days of paid maternity leave, including one month before delivery and three months after delivery. Men receive 2 days of paternity leave after the birth of a baby. There are some family leave programs, including a program that allows for leave in the event that a minor child is hospitalized. Costa Rica has national childcare programs that are available to police personnel.[82]

Anti-Harassment and Abuse Policies: Women in the Department of Public Security are protected by a number of provisions that address sexual harassment and abuse.[83] The sexual harassment and abuse prevention program is actively utilized, and it is transparent. The curriculum of the National Police Academy includes prevention of sexual harassment and abuse (they are considered serious offenses).

Equipment and Uniforms: Women receive equipment and uniforms specifically designed for them. Specifically, after women objected to being issued unisex bullet proof vest that didn’t fit them, women-specific body armor was procured and issued to women. Women also receive maternity uniforms as required.

Facilities: Infrastructure with billets and bathrooms for the exclusive use of women is provided. Despite the limitations in police infrastructure, there has been effort to modify facilities to accommodate women.

Training, Education, and Exercises

The principles of WPS are present in all levels of training through thematic content in the subjects of human rights, intrafamily violence, commercial sexual exploitation, and appropriate police behavior.

Monitoring/Reporting and Evaluation:

There are monitoring and reporting mechanisms in place for all departments. The public is invited to comment via a website link, but civil society groups do not participate in monitoring and evaluation. Sex-disaggregated data are collected and published annually, and data are tracked over time.[84]

Recommendations:

At the national level, Costa Rica should deepen and codify its commitment to the principles of the WPS agenda by expeditiously publishing a comprehensive NAP. The police should be given specific goals for advancing the agenda. Monitoring and evaluation should include the systematic use of civil society groups, and all reports should be made publicly available.

Report Contributors:

Zoila Volio Pacheco, Member of Parliament

Silvia Porras Jiménez

Gloriana Pacheco

Fiorella Rojas Ballestero, Departamento de Ciencias Forenses, Organismo de Investigación Judicial, Poder Judicial

December 2, 2020

Dominican Republic – Summary Report

WPS National Action Plan (NAP) Status: The Dominican Republic has not developed a WPS NAP.

Overall Assessment: The Dominican Republic demonstrates strong political commitment to the principles of gender equality, as can be seen in policy documents and offices that support women’s inclusion. That said, the implementation of actions is uneven and the number of women who serve in the security and defense forces remains low. Furthermore, only a fractional minority of those who serve are promoted to the highest ranks.

National Importance/Political Will:

Gender equality is mentioned in the Dominican Republic Constitution (Article 39) and is supported by other laws and rules.[85] Additionally, the 2030 National Development Strategy and the 2015-2020 Foreign Policy Strategic Plan prioritize gender equality and the provision of equal opportunities and rights for all citizens.[86] Moreover, the main national security documents include provisions to protect and advance gender equality[87].

In 2000, the government created the Ministry of the Woman as a way to implement the commitments established in the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action.[88] The Ministry of the Woman is responsible for preparing the Plan of Egalitarianism and Gender Equality and monitoring its progress. The latest National Plan of Egalitarianism and Gender Equality III 2018-2030 was presented in 2018.[89] The plan evaluates the advances in terms of gender equality and presents recommendations and observations for the future. It presents the context, priorities, objectives, and lines of actions in seven issue areas: education, health, economic autonomy, social and political participation, the environment, violence, and digital technologies. The plan serves as guide for all governmental offices.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is relevant to the WPS agenda because it oversees all the international commitments of the Dominican Republic, including the ones related to UNSCR1325. In its New Policy of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs considers gender equality, human rights, and social inclusion as key components of their foreign policy.

In the Dominican Republic, the national police is part of the Interior and Police Ministry, while the Ministry of Defense (MoD) has authority over the army navy and air force.[90] The MoD has a Strategic Plan (Jan 2017-Dec 2020) that presents the strategic objectives, the lines of action, and goals for the different services.[91] The Strategic Plan is in alignment with the national constitution and the different laws to achieve gender equality.

Article 11 of the Strategic Plan states that the armed forces employ a gender perspective (gender approach), as called for in the legal framework of the country, with an objective to increase gender equality and decrease gender discrimination. Article 12 of the MoD Strategic Plan requires that “all the plans, programs, projects and public policies should incorporate a gender approach, to identify discriminatory situations between men and women and to take actions to guarantee egalitarianism and gender equality.”[92]

Institutional Policy and Practice:

Strategy, Plans, and Policy

The principles of WPS/gender equality are sometimes integrated into military and police exercises, operations, and activities, as evidenced by documents to include exercise directives, operations orders, etc. The MoD has a Directorate of Gender Equality and Development that is headed by a colonel who is responsible for gender equality workshops and education programs.[93] This office serves as the MoD’s and military’s full-time gender advisor. Additionally, the army, navy and air force each have their own Office for Gender Affairs. Similarly, the national police have an Office of Gender Equality and Development.

Gender in the Ranks (Military and Police)

ServiceMenWomenPercent Women
Army24,1334,42015.5
Army Senior Women  4
Navy9,4652,54021.2
Navy Senior Women  2.3
Air Force13,2775,34928.7
Air Force Senior Women  4.4
National Police31,9776,72921.04%
National Police Senior Women  8.6
Women Deployed  5.1-8

All positions are open to women in the military and police forces, although women report that there are cultural and institutional limitations. For example, policewomen report that there are ceilings on the number of women who may serve in some states, and that many women are not put to work “on the streets.” Promotions across the institutions are equally offered, but few women have reached senior ranks. The national police, the army, the navy and the air force all have their own strategic and operational plans, and each one of them carries out different actions in terms of gender equality.

The national police have specific objectives and allocation of resources to tackle different aspects of gender equality.[94] For example, Goal 1.1.3 of the Operative Plan 2020 of the Office for Gender Equality and Development establishes a coordination mechanism with other institutions to follow up on the actions and training measures regarding gender equality. At the same time, objective 1.1.5 includes activities such as: 1) training personnel in the different aspects of gender equality; 2) elaborating a didactic guide to support the gender perspectives; 3) incentivizing decision makers to include women in senior positions; and 4) creating a work plan to track the network of focal points.

As to the military, although the army had the objective of strengthening the Department of Gender Equality in its Strategic Plan, the Operative Plan 2019 and 2020 show no extra allocation of financial resources for this objective.[95] The only gender-related activity considered in the operative plan was a single conference to advance gender equality in senior ranks. Similarly, the Strategic Plan 2017-2020 of the air force does not present any specific actions to increase and advance gender equality. [96] The only reference in the air force Plan 2020 to gender equality is about planned “talks about gender equality.” [97] In the case of the navy, no information was available on its official website at the time of writing this report.

Work Environment

Family Policies: The Labor Law of the Dominican Republic grants 14 weeks of paid maternity leave and seven paid days of paternity leave.[98] The employees of the MoD and the national police have access to the same social benefits as other governmental ministries, including childcare stays.[99]

Equipment and Facilities: The MoD Strategic Plan 2012-2020 and the National Police Strategic Plan 2017-2020 specifies that one of the lines of action to improve physical infrastructure is to be more inclusive of women. Such actions would include dormitories, bathrooms, sport facilities, lactation rooms, and childcare stays.[100] However, even when the Strategic Plan notes the improvement of the facilities to accommodate women, the goal has only partially been achieved.

Anti-Harassment and Abuse Policies: Documentation related to programs that seek to prevent, protect and respond to sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, and abuse is part of the internal rules and procedures of each institution. At the national level, sexual harassment and sexual violence are established as criminal offences in the Law 29-97 of the Penal Code.[101]

Training, Education, and Exercises

Training in gender affairs and gender perspectives are conducted at entry and mid-level positions. Senior level personnel also receive training in gender and updates in institutional and inter-agencies actions. In addition to standard training, there are multiple educational actions through the year conducted at the armed forces academies and police academy. Other institutions also provide specialty topics in their education programs, such as the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Right Graduates School.[102] Similarly, the national police consistently provides gender training to its personnel at the entry, mid- and senior levels, following the National Police Annual Operative Plan 2020 that states that the Office of Gender Equality and Development should offer related trainings to its personnel.[103]

Military and police personnel consistently receive training on the prevention and response to sexual violence and sexual exploitation and abuse. Military pre-deployment training includes: the importance of protection, rights and needs of women, men, girls and boys; how integrating a gender perspective can serve as a force enabler and how it increases operational effectiveness; and specific information on gender norms in areas of operations.

Monitoring/Reporting and Evaluation:

Efforts for monitoring the performance of the public sector, including the military and police, are outlined under the Presidential Goals System.[104] Both the military and police collect sex-disaggregated data, which can be easily accessed at each of theirs transparency offices.[105] However, there is a challenge to presenting a general picture of the security institutions due to the existence of multiple decentralized agencies. Although each agency collects its own information, there is a need to create one national report that integrates and presents the data from the different security and defense agencies. There are very few NGOs that consistently monitor the security sector. At this point, the latest report monitoring actions regarding gender equality was presented by Pax Christi International.[106]

Recommendations:

At the national level, the Dominican Republic shows real commitment towards achieving gender equality. The activities of the Ministry of the Women and the National Plan of Egalitarianism and Gender Equality are a guide and a tool for all governmental institutions. However, it is advisable that the country creates a WPS NAP. The MoD makes it clear that gender equality is a priority for the ministry; however, the MoD’s prioritization differs from the actions reported in the operational plans of the three military branches. Therefore, we recommend the following measures:

  • The offices for Gender Affairs of the army, of the air force and of the navy should increase their efforts towards gender equality and define specific activities and measurement tools to achieve gender equality objectives. For example, the army and the air force could organize more workshops that educate, promote and encourage people in all ranks about gender perspectives.
  • MoD’s gender advisor office functions at the directorate level; however, we recommend that the army, the air force and navy gender offices appoint senior personnel to oversee and lead these offices. Furthermore, these offices should report directly to the senior leadership of each military service.
  • In addition, it is advised that the MoD commission a study to determine why so few women are reaching senior ranks and how each armed service is applying the gender equality objectives.
  • The MoD should establish an action plan for the services to be accomplished by the army, the navy and the air force. Such plan should have measurement tools and reviews to ensure the accomplishment of all objectives.
  • Although the army, the navy and the air force have their own strategic and operational plans, each one of them carries out different actions in terms of gender equality. The MoD should establish minimum standards to be accomplished by each service branch.
  • Finally, the principles of the WPS agenda should be included in the next strategic plan for the armed forces.

The National Police, including its de-centralized agencies, should consider gender equality as a priority. To further their efforts in this regard, the recommendations are as follows:

  • The National Police should establish coherency and coordination between the Strategic Plan and the Operative Plan.
  • The National Police should communicate the gender policy across departments, with awareness as a goal.
  • The Ministry of Interior, including the National Police, must coordinate joint actions to further gender equality at all levels and to create awareness of the WPS principles.
  • Observing the efforts carried out by the Ministry of Interior and the National Police on gender issues within the operative plans, it is advised that the efforts extend to the creation of the Dominican Republic’s WPS National Action Plan.

As a UN member state, the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MIREX) should:

  • Increase awareness about the UNSCR1325 and the WPS principles within all national institutions and facilitate efforts for the creation of a NAP.
  • Create a collaborative network between international actors and the national institutions to further the actions related to gender equality.
  • Given that all members of the diplomatic and consular offices are trained by the Instituto de Educación Superior, Diplomática y Consular “Eduardo Latorre” (INESDYC), [107] it is advised that INESDYC is considered a tool within the Dominican Republic’s future NAP, and that it develops specialized courses and trainings regarding the WPS agenda.

Report Contributors:

Couns. Katherine Almeida Ramos, Interamerican Defense and Security

Carolina Ramirez, Security International Consultant

Maria Teresa Gil Rosado, Gender Focus Consultant

Cor. Pil. Jonas Reynoso Barrera, FARD (DEM), Counter Transnational Organized Crime

C.C. Ramon Jorge Taveras, ARD, Security

December 2, 2020

Ecuador – Summary Report

WPS National Action Plan (NAP) Status:

Ecuador has not published a NAP, but it is currently developing one.

Overall Assessment:

Ecuador’s efforts to implement the principles of UNSCR 1325 are significant but unevenly distributed within the military and the police. Although the national government has expressed a strong commitment to gender equality, the issue has not filtered down completely to the armed forces. While the police rank better in this regard, transparency and channels of communication with civil society are currently lacking.

National Importance/Political Will:

Despite not having adopted a NAP, Ecuador has shown significant political commitment to the principles of gender equality, which are embraced in major foreign policy documents such as the Foreign Policy Agenda 2017-2021 and the Policy for Gender Equality.[108] The Specific Plan of Foreign Relations and Human Mobility calls attention to UNSCR 1325 and states that a NAP is being developed.[109] Ecuador also has a solid gender equality national agenda. A relevant document is the National Agenda for Women and LGBTI People 2018-2021, which sets specific tasks for different ministerial actors, such as the police.[110] The document was created, and is implemented, under the supervision of the Gender Equality Council. This is an inter-ministerial body in charge of mainstreaming gender equality at the national level in all institutions, including the military. Resources dedicated to these tasks are difficult to track since budget reporting tends to vary each year.

Major national security documents, like the Policy of National Defense of Ecuador and the Defense Sector Plan, refer to gender equality as a principle, but they do not make specific references to UNSCR 1325. [111] The national police is an example of how, despite not having adopted a NAP, security institutions can adhere to WPS values. The National Plan for Human Security and Peaceful Social Coexistence does not refer specifically to the WPS agenda, but it includes a comprehensive argument about the importance of gender and intersectional perspectives in security issues, a review of gender-based violence in Ecuador, and references highlighting the contributions of women in the police.[112]

Institutional Policy and Practice

Strategy, Plans, and Policy

At the organizational level, the MoD has taken steps to include WPS principles. The Gender Policy of the Armed Forces of Ecuador, published in 2013, explicitly recognizes UNSCR 1325 and call on states to implement it. The policy states four general objectives to mainstream gender within the ranks, including: ensuring equality of opportunities; improving the work environment; applying a gender perspective in training; and preventing discrimination.[113] Another relevant policy document is the Institutional Strategic Plan of the Armed Forces, which also refers to UNSCR 1325, although it limits the application of UNSCR 1325 to including women’s participation in UN missions.[114] Despite these limitations, it was noted during interviews that the gender equality agenda’s visibility depends on the leadership in the MoD. Ecuador has named two women as Ministers of Defense, and gender mainstreaming was more prominent under their leadership.

There is not a specific directive to include gender perspectives in operational planning. The MoD has a Human Rights, Gender Issues and Humanitarian International Law Unit that functions as a full-time GENAD, but it does not work directly with the Joint Command of the three branches of the military.[115] The Joint Command has a Human Rights unit of its own, but the Director of the unit is not a senior staff officer and, only on occasion, are there officers specialized in gender issues. The armed forces have human rights advisors, but they are not specialized in gender matters.

Police doctrine makes a more comprehensive inclusion of gender equality principles. The Strategic Plan for the National Police 2017-2021 provides guidelines for operational planning, mentioning that policemen and policewomen are to be involved in all operations.[116] There is a full-time GENAD at the police focused solely on this task. Neither the military nor the police have Gender Focal Points.

Gender in the Ranks (Military and Police)[117]

ServiceMenWomenPercent Women
Army26,2384621.73%
Army Senior Women   
Navy9,5944294.28%
Navy Senior Women   
Air Force6,4172824.21%
Air Force Senior Women   
National Police42,6137,33615%
National Police Senior Women   80[118] 
Women Deployed  44%[119]

The presence of women in the military in Ecuador remains low. Although all positions are officially open to them, they are not represented in every occupation. Data regarding promotion to senior ranks was not available, though it is believed to be less than 1%. In the police, all positions are open to women. The police have some women serving in the senior ranks. Neither the military nor the police have defined specific goals to increase women’s participation in their ranks.

Work Environment

The military has made efforts to improve the working environment for service members. A relevant publication in this matter is the Gender Book, which aims to present applicable legislation related to gender in a concise and educational fashion.[120]

Family Policies: Military and police personnel are both granted 80 calendar days of paid maternity leave, and 10 to 15 days of paternity leave. Childcare is available to both military and police personnel.

Anti-Harassment and Abuse Policies: There is no specific program in place to protect military personnel who are victims of harassment or abuse; when it occurs, it is handled by the civilian justice system and the civilian penal code. Depending on the verdict, administrative action can be taken against perpetrators. It is unclear if the gender policy for the military has had an impact on these cases. In the case of the police, the process for prosecution is similar. Police doctrine emphasizes human rights and the responsibility not to abuse power, but it is mostly an outward rather than inward perspective.

Equipment and facilities: For daily operations, there are women-specific uniforms, including maternity uniforms, but there is no specific personal protective equipment. Bases and units are prepared to have both women and men, but some operational environments are still not equipped for women, and they do not serve in such positions.

Training, Education, and Exercises

Gender topics are part of the curriculum during junior and mid-level military education and fall within human rights studies. Learning about gender issues remains at a very abstract and theoretical level. For senior level officers, gender training is sometimes provided. The training tends to be optional and sporadic and depends on the particular profile of the personnel teaching, rather than as an institutionalized topic. That said, particular training on UNSCR 1325 is offered.[121] The police receive training in this matter, since part of their duties includes the protection and prevention of violence against vulnerable people. The Gender Equality Council, in particular, provides training for the police in implementing a gender perspective.[122] The military also receives training pertaining to protection of vulnerable persons within the framework of international humanitarian law, but it is not clear if the training includes an internal focus to prevent this violence within its own ranks.

Monitoring/Reporting and Evaluation:

There is some monitoring and reporting associated with the indicators developed in the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030. For example, there is a specific indicator that measures the percentage of women police officers.[123] The Gender Equality Council collaborates with civil society to monitor the advancements of the National Agenda for Women and LGBTI People and thus oversees commitments related to the police. Civil society does not participate in any monitoring of the military. It is also unclear if civil society is involved in the current drafting of the NAP. Sex-disaggregated data is collected both by the military and the police, but it is not always publicly accessible. That said, these figures can be obtained through public policy transparency mechanisms.

Recommendations: Ecuador should deepen its commitment to the principle of WPS by expeditiously publishing a robust NAP that outlines clear goals and objectives for the military and police, identifies resources for implementation, and provides independent mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation. Civil society groups should immediately be consulted for the NAP currently under development. Training about gender perspectives should be conducted on a regular basis at the highest level. Specific steps must be taken to allow more women to access all positions in the military and to reach the highest positions. Sex-disaggregated data for the military and police should be published annually. Protocols to prevent abuse and harassment should be strengthened. Lastly, GENADs should be appointed for all branches of the military; they should assume operational roles and not be placed in administrative positions.

Report Contributors:

Mgs. Byron Gabriel Paredes Escobar

Mgs. Diana Carolina Sanabria Salinas

Mgs. Marco Antonio Criollo Asimbaya

Lic. María Andrea Cárdenas H.

Ing. María Dolores Santos Vidal, President of AFCEA International Ecuador Chapter

December 2, 2020

Guatemala – Summary Report

WPS National Action Plan (NAP) Status:

Guatemala adopted a NAP in 2017, but it did not have a specific time frame for its implementation or expiration.

Overall Assessment:

Guatemala is an active supporter of the WPS agenda, and the NAP has paved the way for the inclusion of the WPS principles in its security and defense institutions. However, implementation of the NAP is hard to measure given the lack of a monitoring and assessment mechanism to evaluate progress or determine impact. Guatemala has low representation of women in the military and police, with few to no women serving in the senior ranks.

National Importance/Political Will:

Guatemala is a signatory of key international legal frameworks on gender equality. Guatemalan women took a leading role in ending the recent civil war, which lasted from 1960 until 1996, but they were subsequently underrepresented in the formal peace processes and negotiations.[124] Most institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women’s rights in the country are derived from the Peace Accords (signed at different stages after the civil war ended). The most relevant of these is the creation of the Women’s Secretariat. Gender equality is also enshrined in Article 4 of the Constitution, and there are other laws, such as the Law of Dignification of the Integral Promotion of Women.[125] Among the most relevant strategies for women’s equality is the National Policy for the Promotion and Integral Development of Women and Equal Opportunities Plan 2008-2023 that is implemented by the Secretariat.[126] Although it does not make a direct reference to UNSCR 1325, it directs the police to take specific actions. For example, they are directed to create programs that prevent discrimination within the institution and to acknowledge the multiethnic facet of Guatemala. This is not a minor feature, since more than 80% of the victims in the civil war were indigenous people, including many women who were victims of sexual assault[127] and forced domestic slavery.[128] The Ministry of National Defense (MoND) is not mentioned in this document.

Guatemala’s NAP was developed by the Inter-Agency Roundtable on Women, Peace and Security (MIMPAZ). This roundtable was created in 2012 with the purpose of promoting and facilitating the implementation of the WPS agenda. Both the  MoND and the national civil police are members of MIMPAZ. Nonetheless, the principles of WPS are not explicitly mentioned in the most important security documents, such as the Framework Law of the National Security System[129], the Pact for Security, Justice and Peace,[130] or the National Defense Book.[131]

Institutional Policy and Practice

Strategy, Plans, and Policy

The NAP outlines a set of operational actions to create and implement gender equality policies in the national security system, including the national civil police and the Ministry of National Defense. It calls for: 1) the full participation of women at all decision-making levels; 2) measures to prevent violence against women; and 3) the commitment to ensure work-life balance for women serving in the ranks.[132] Nonetheless, the WPS principles are absent in strategy, policy or planning documents, and in any field manuals, both from the military and the police. They are also not integrated into military or police operational policy planning processes. The MoND, through Government Agreement No. 30-2016, created the Department of Gender, General Directorate of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law[133]. The NAP was co-designed by this department, which also serves as a GENAD. However, this position is not part of the General Staff of National Defense. In the case of the police, a GENAD is part the Gender Unit of the General Sub-directorate for Violence Prevention. GENADs have received training from the Presidential Secretariat of Women. No GFPs have been assigned to the military or the police.

The police have a Department for Gender Equality that is part of the General Sub-directorate for Crime Prevention. The Comprehensive Community Security Police Model does mention gender equality as a priority for the institution, but it is not linked to operational practices.[134] The policy document closer to the WPS agenda is the Police Didactic Manual for the Prevention of Cases of Violence Against Women.[135]

Gender in the Ranks (Military and Police)

ServiceMenWomenPercent Women
Army 1,395 
Army Senior Women   
Navy   
Navy Senior Women   
Air Force   
Air Force Senior Women   
National Police 6,67116%
National Police Senior Women   
Women Deployed162148%[136]

All positions in the military and police are technically open to women. However, women serve in extremely low numbers and at the lowest ranks. Women comprise less than 8%[137] of the armed forces and 16% of the police. To date, no women have been promoted beyond the rank of colonel in the military, and there are no target goals to increase the percentage of women in the ranks. In the police, some women have reached senior ranks. Although the NAP calls for the full participation of women at all decision-making levels, there has been little progress on this front.[138]

Work Environment

Family Policies: Women receive 84 days of paid maternity leave in both the military and the police. Childcare is also available.

Anti-Harassment and Abuse Policies: Programs against sexual harassment and sexual abuse to protect personnel within the military and the police exist, but they are not transparent. Every year, personnel participate in conferences, workshops, and preventive talks related to sexual harassment and sexual abuse, but it is not possible to assess their impact or effectiveness. There is also a prevention program to address issues of military and police personnel as perpetrators of violence against civilians.

Equipment and Facilities: There is some equipment and uniforms specifically designed for women in the military and the police, as well as facilities for women in both institutions in the areas where they serve.

Training, Education, and Exercises

Guatemala has a specialized training center for personnel who participate in UN missions. The Regional Training Command of Peacekeeping Operations (CREOMPAZ) includes courses on how to employ a gender perspective.[139] The principles of WPS are integrated into the education and training of military and police personnel at every level of the hierarchy. This training is also available for the staff. Nonetheless, there is no information on the frequency of this training or who provides it. Personnel consistently receive training on the prevention and response to sexual violence and sexual exploitation and abuse. The training is both internally (within the organization) and externally (UN missions) focused.

Monitoring/Reporting and Evaluation:

Information published by MIMPAZ this year indicates that a Monitoring and Evaluation System of the NAP has been presented by UN Women Guatemala, but no further report was located.[140] This is relevant since there are no national or agency level requirements to monitor or to report on progress in meeting the WPS agenda, despite this being a requirement of the NAP. The involvement of civil society is mentioned in the NAP, but no specific information is available about their current involvement in monitoring and reporting. The police and the military collect sex-disaggregated data, but it is not made publicly available.

Recommendations: Guatemala has the opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to the WPS agenda by publishing a second NAP that builds upon the successes and limitations of the first version. A new NAP must clearly identify responsible agencies in both the military and police, provide resources, identify goals, set a time frame for implementation, and provide clear indicators to measure advancement. In this regard, it would be valuable to include the Technical Secretariat of the National Security Council, as they coordinate the institutions of the national security system. Additionally, there must be independent and transparent monitoring and evaluation that include civil society organizations. The military and police should solicit input from women in the field with operational experience. Military and police leadership must take specific steps to guarantee the participation of women in their ranks, particularly as flag and general officers, and must mainstream a gender perspective in the institution, for example, by implementing a transparent permanent program to prevent and punish sexual harassment and assault within the ranks.

Report Contributors:

1. Female staff of the Technical Secretariat of the National Security Council

2. Emily Rubí Baires Martínez – National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (CONRED)

December 2, 2020

Mexico – Summary Report

WPS National Action Plan (NAP) Status:

In January 2020, Mexico announced the adoption of a feminist foreign policy. Mexico is also developing its first 1325/WPS NAP.

Overall Assessment:

In 2019, the government of Mexico restructured the security and defense apparatus extensively.[141] The reforms created a new National Guard, which functions as a national police force. While this is a civilian force under civilian direction, its leadership and the majority of its personnel come from the armed forces. In addition, in May 2020, the Mexican President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (also known as AMLO), issued an executive decree that formalized and expanded the role of the military to participate in public security tasks. [142] In both the military and police, the number of women serving is low, and they often serve at the lowest ranks. Until recently, civil society has not been much involved in the integration of women in the security forces.

National Importance/Political Will:

The Mexican Constitution, national laws and a number of national policy documents and statements recognize and support the notion of gender equality and women’s rights, but these laws and regulations are not systematically enforced by the police and the courts.[143] For example, the National Development Plan mentions both the police and military as principal actors, but it does assign specific actions to the police or military, and there are no goals or benchmarks to measure progress.

National support for the WPS agenda in Mexico has been weak, but there are some signs of support under the new AMLO administration. A WPS NAP was set to be released in October 2020. It is worth noting that this did not occur, and the authorities are expected to launch it before the end of 2020. The Mexican security forces have reportedly participated in the development of the plan. (See the Report of the Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection).[144]

In January 2020, Mexico announced that it had adopted a feminist foreign policy focused on reducing structural differences, gender gaps and inequalities at home and abroad. Recent foreign policy documents make repeated references to gender equality, women’s rights, and women’s empowerment as major foreign policy aims.[145] These are presumably also the stated aims of the feminist foreign policy. That said, the government has not yet published a detailed implementation plan how gender equality and women’s rights will be advanced in the foreign policy context.

The National Peace and Security Plan (2018-2024) that introduced reforms to the security forces, including the creation of a National Guard, does not address the protection and prevention of conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence against women, nor does it address the need for the increased participation of women in peace and security activities.[146]

On the other hand, the National Defense Sector Program 2020-2024 considers the promotion of equality and inclusion as a priority strategy. It includes as tasks:  to consolidate the culture of respect and equality among women and men to avoid gender violence, harassment, discrimination, as well as sexual abuse; and to strengthen the professional development of military women.[147] The Navy Sector Program 2020-2024 has as a priority strategy the task of promoting respect for human rights, gender equality, and interculturality.[148]

Institutional Policy and Practice:

Strategy, Plans, and Policy

The Mexican military has integrated some gender equality/WPS principles into their strategies, plans, and policy documents. The most notable commitment by the military (army and air force) is the establishment in 2011 of the Observatory for Equality between Women and Men. The military reports that this Observatory functions as a Gender Advisor. However, there are no publicly available reports that detail the activities and members of the Observatory, or explain the resources it has at its disposal. Their access to the highest ranks of the military also remains unclear.

The National Guard has not systematically incorporated the principles of WPS in their strategy, plans, and policy documents, and they have not appointed any gender advisors or gender focal points in their organization.

That said, to what extent the military and the National Guard have integrated WPS and gender equality principles is difficult to tell, since many policy documents are currently under development.

Gender in the Ranks[149]

ServiceTotalMenWomenPercent Women
Army/Air Force[150]214,153188,75825,39511.8%
Army/Air Force – Senior Women  200[151]3%
Navy88,10076,00012,10014%
Navy – Senior Women  84[152]1%
National Guard/Police78,46670,0008,46610.7%
National Guard/Police -Senior Women   19%
Women Deployed[153]137646%[154]

Most women serving in the Mexican military serve in the medical and administrative branches and not the operational and combat branches. Not surprisingly, few women are deployed during operations. Women also occupy very few senior positions in the Mexican military—a mere 3% in the Army and just 1% in the Navy. Furthermore, official information about the number of women in the armed forces is difficult to find in open sources. Although Secretariat of Defense personnel said that there are efforts to increase women’s participation in the military and reach a goal of 30% by 2024, this goal seems unrealistically high given that women currently only comprise 11.8% of the force.

Work Environment

Family Policies: The military and police provide three months of paid maternity leave and 10 days of paid paternity leave. Paternity leave must be used immediately following the birth of a baby. Childcare and other family leave policies support members of the military and they are widely used.

Equipment: Women in both the military and police are issued equipment designed specifically for women. Facilities, including bathrooms and living quarters are available to accommodate women in the military, but they are not systematically available in the National Guard.

Anti-Sexual Harassment Policies: Although the military has policies to address sexual harassment and assault of military members, the number of cases, the disaggregation of cases by sex, or the number of cases that is prosecuted is not made public. Prosecution of cases between military personnel takes place within the military command. However, when the offense is committed against a civilian, the case takes place within the civil tribunals. There is no program to address sexual harassment, assault or exploitation in the National Guard. Presumably, these cases would be referred to the civilian courts.

Training, Education, and Exercises

WPS principles are introduced and integrated into the education and training of personnel at the junior-level as part of entry-level training but it is not widely reinforced with follow-on training at the mid- or senior-levels.

Military personnel consistently receive training on the prevention and response to sexual violence and sexual exploitation and abuse. The training is both internally (within the organization) and externally (civilian populations outside the organization) focused. Although the Mexican government said that National Guard personnel will receive training on gender perspectives, it is unclear if this training is fully integrated into the curricula at all levels.

Monitoring/Reporting and Evaluation:

The military and police report that sex-disaggregated data and lessons learned are collected and

analyzed to improve security outcomes for women, men, girls and boys but the data is not made publicly available. Furthermore, there are no national level programs to monitor and evaluate progress toward meeting the goals of the WPS agenda and civil society groups are not engaged in any assessments.

Recommendations:

Publish a robust WPS NAP as soon as possible and ensure that it provides clear goals, metrics, and resources for both the military and National Guard. Goals should include: metrics for analyzing and assessing progress in the areas of increasing women’s participation in the forces; a minimum budget allocation; addressing sexual harassment, abuse and exploitation of military and police personnel and civilians in the areas of operation;, applying a gender lens to all programs and operations; andannually evaluating and publishing progress toward meeting national goals. It is important that this plan is not limited to Mexico’s performance in the UN missions, but that it has a firm internal focus. It is also advisable to include monitoring from the Defense and Marine Commissions of the legislative branch or through the Bicameral National Security Commission.

Report Contributors:

Diorella Islas Limiñana

Ana Velasco Ugalde

Mario Abrego Valdez

Carlos Mercado-Casillas

Paloma Mendoza Cortés

Erika de Anda

Manuel Balcázar Villarreal

December 2, 2020

Panama – Summary Report

WPS National Action Plan (NAP) Status:

Although Panama does not have a NAP, the Institute of Women has a Strategic Operative Plan that carries out a variety of activities to promote gender equality in government and society.[155]

Overall Assessment:

Panama has been developing a robust legal framework to enhance gender equality. In May 2020, the government of Panama and UN Women signed a five-year agreement to develop a strategy to improve gender equality and women’s empowerment in the country.[156] In terms of its national security structure, Panama does not have a military but does have a Ministry of Public Security that oversees four law enforcement branches:  the National Police, the National Aeronaval Service, the National Borders Service and the National Migration Service. While the overall national commitment to gender equality is high, its application in the Ministry of Public Security is relatively low. It was enhanced with the creation of a Gender Advisor (GENAD) office in 2017, which has progressively and steadily increased its activities.

National Importance/Political Will:

Gender equality is mentioned in Article 19 of Panama’s constitution. It explicitly states that there shall be no discrimination on the basis of race, birth, disabilities, social class, sex, religion and political thought.[157] Furthermore, the legal framework that supports gender equality is composed of at least 20 laws, three executive resolutions and four public policy tools. This remarkable framework includes activities for all levels of the citizenship. For example, Law number 6, approved in 2000, made it mandatory for all school texts and materials to include a gender perspective. Law number 54, approved in 2012, reformed the electoral code and requires political parties to have at least 50% of women on electoral lists for primary elections.

In 2017, Executive Decree No. 100 mandated that every ministry and governmental institution create an office for women and/or gender issues, with a special unit to deal with cases of domestic violence, sexual harassment, and abuse. These offices are financed by the Comité Nacional Contra la Violencia en la Mujer. The Committee is part of the National Institute for Women, which works with an overall budget of US $6,516,551 in 2019 and US $5,747,864.00 in 2020.[158]

In 2017, the Congress approved Law 56, which established quotas for the participation of women in state boards of directors. Article 2 requires that any institution supported by the Central government, including decentralized, public companies, should assign at least 30% of seats on their administrative councils, boards of directors, or similar entities to women.[159]

The government of Panama created the National Institute for Women in 2008. Its main task is to monitor and oversee the public policies related to gender equality and equal opportunities.[160] The Institute of Women has worked with the Ministry of Public Security in furthering gender equality. The 2018 Activities Report of the Institute mentions that it worked with the police and provided special training to police on issues related to gender-based violence. Subsequently, the police created a service specialized in gender-based violence. This service is now housed in the offices of the different police zones in Panama and is in charge of dealing with cases of domestic violence.[161] In 2019, the Institute and the National Police carried out a presentation about gender equality and violence against women. The Institute’s Annual Operative Plan for 2020 shows that the activities carried out during the year included two sensitization workshops for the national police. Such workshops focused on how to prevent the revictimization of victims during police and judicial investigations[162]

In terms of the Ministry of Public Security, it created the Office of Gender Equality and the Equality of Opportunities in 2018(Oficina de Equidad de Genero y Equiparación de Oportunidades) in compliance with the executive decree No. 100 published in 2017. Its organizational structure includes a director and sub-director, psychologists, sociologists, and social workers. The Office is composed of different divisions, including one that focuses on generating statistics, and two specialized units: 1) equal opportunities; and 2) gender issues.[163] Moreover, the manual of the Office of Gender Equality, published in 2019, presents a detailed description of the tasks and responsibilities of each position and each area within the Office. Such activities include: the creation of an annual operational plan regarding gender issues to be formulated in coordination with the national police, the National Migration Service, the National Borders Service, and the National Aeronaval Service; the coordination of gender-sensitization campaigns; and the provision of legal and juridical advice to women facing violent events.

Institutional Policy and Practice:

Strategy, Plans, and Policy

The principles of WPS/gender equality are sometimes integrated into police exercises, operations, and activities, as evidenced by the Organizational Manual of the Ministry of Public Security. The Oficina de Participacion Ciudadana (Office of Citizen Participation) is the office in charge of preparing plans and programs, with a strategic focus on citizen security with a gender perspective.[164] This Office integrates the group of administrative units of the Ministry of Public Security in an auxiliary support level. In this regard, the Ministry of Public Security is the ministry in charge of citizen security and the promotion of the participation of community leaders and civil groups to strengthen security strategies and policy implementation.

The Strategic Plan of the Ministry of Public Security of Panama does not present a list of actions to improve gender equality or gender perspective in the law enforcement forces of Panama. Instead, it outlines that the next actions are to: “Begin a consultive process to update the goals, results and activities of the Strategy, considering the incorporation of some subjects such as the environment, the indigenous peoples and gender in a transversal (cross-cutting) way.” [165]

Gender in the Ranks (Police)[166]

ServiceMenWomenPercent Women
National Police17,1023,45916.8
National Aeronaval Service3,53146311.6
National Borders Service3,5963679.3
National Migration Service88856638.9
Total22,6374,85516.2
Senior Ranks5609814.9

All police positions are open to women. That said, there are few women serving in some of the institutions like the Servicio Nacional Aeronaval and the Servicio Nacional de Fronteras, but this is attributed to the fairly recent creation of both institutions in 2008.

Work Environment

Family Policies: Article 107 of the Labor Code establishes that paid maternity leave lasts 14 weeks: six weeks prior to delivery and 8 weeks after delivery.[167] In 2017, three days of paid paternal leave were added.[168] The employees of the Ministry of Public Security have access to the same social benefits as other governmental ministries, including childcare centers.

Anti-Harassment and Abuse: Article 178 of the Penal Code of Panama was modified in 2018 to include sexual harassment. The reform dictates that sexual harassment at work is an offense that can be punishable with 2-4 years in jail.[169] In addition, the Organic Law of the National Police explicitly prohibits any type of discrimination.[170]

Equipment and Facilities:There are some women specific uniforms but no personal protective equipment designed for women. Moreover, there are facilities, including bathrooms and billets, available for women in police facilities, and they are provided during deployments.

Training, Education, and Exercises

Training in gender affairs and gender perspectives are conducted at entry, mid- and senior-level positions. The Office of Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities in the Ministry of Public Security and the National Institute of Women provide training on gender and gender perspectives to the police.

The Office of Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities has substantially increased its activities throughout the two years of its existence. The 2019 report has a detailed description of its accomplishments, including: activities of sensitization; introduction courses and self-care course;, new facilities for the Office; and courses on intervention for first respondents on violent crimes. Planned activities include: building a webpage for the office; providing courses and workshops about gender equality; developing educational material; creatiing a workplan for training entry level personnel as well as training for senior ranks; and the creation of a police unit specialized in gender violence as part of the national police.[171]

Monitoring/Reporting and Evaluation:           

The monitoring and evaluation of gender policies and programs is undertaken by the Institute of Women. In terms of the security sector, the evaluations are carried out by the Office of Gender Equality and the Office of Equality of Opportunities of the Ministry of Public Security. Additionally, NGOs like the Konrad Adenauer Foundation are also monitoring gender policies in Panama[172].

Recommendations:

Panama has a robust legal framework with respect to gender equality. Given many new policy developments, it might be time to update the Organization Manual of the Ministry of Public Security. It was published in 2015 and does not include the new Office of Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities that started operating in 2018.

Furthermore, the Strategic Plan of the Ministry of Public Security should consider including concrete objectives about how to promote and advance gender equality beyond the prevention of gender-related violence. For example, it could establish a plan to provide protective equipment for all the women in the police forces and address how to recruit and retain more women.

In a similar vein, the gender training provided by the Office of Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities should include more information on gender analyses and gender perspectives. Currently, the training is focused on investigative actions of violence against women. In addition, more attention should be paid to the promotion opportunities of women within the police.

Report Contributors:

Cristobal Fundora Sitton

Elvira Méndez

Nadia Montenegro

Rosa Broce

Sophia Wendderburn

Xiomara Edwards

Gloria Guerra

Carmen Solano

Zuleika Roa

Juan Gonzalez

Gitzel Bolaños

Isbel Valderrama

December 2, 2020

Paraguay – Summary Report

WPS National Action Plan (NAP) Status:

Paraguay adopted its first NAP in 2013. A new version is currently under development.

Overall Assessment:

Paraguay has made progress towards the adoption of the WPS principles, thanks to the national gender equality agenda. That said, the 2013 NAP was never implemented because of a change in the political leadership of the country. The NAP was developed and published by the Frente Guasú and the Partido Liberal administration. In the 2013 elections, the Partido Colorado was the winner and the implementation of the NAP lost priority. The current Partido Colorado administration, elected in 2018, has been more positive towards the WPS agenda. The Ministry of Women is currently leading an effort to develop a new NAP.

National Importance/Political Will:

National importance given to the WPS agenda has waxed and waned over the years. However, Paraguay is committed to gender equality, which is evident in key foreign and national policy documents, such as is the National Development Plan 2030,[173] which was developed in the context of the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development.[174] In particular, the gender equality strategy of the plan promotes equitable and participatory access under equal conditions for women and men; it addresses power structures and decision-making processes, and it also calls for the integration of a gender perspective in public policies, plans, programs, projects, and regulations of public institutions.[175] Since the National Development Plan is a joint effort that involves all ministries, both the police (as part of the Ministry of Interior) and the Ministry of Defense (MoD) are engaged in the achievement of these goals. Given the status of the National Development Plan, both the military and the police are expected, but not obligated, to adapt their institutional policy documents to its goals.

The WPS agenda is not mentioned in national security documents such as the National Policy of Defense.[176] This document mentions equality and peace as goals, but it falls short in referring to the WPS agenda. As for the police, the report “Mainstreaming of the Gender Approach in the Strategy National Security Citizen” also does not refer to UNSCR 1325 or the WPS agenda, but it makes clear recommendations on how to improve the integration of a gender perspective into activities of the police.[177] The IV National Equality Plan of the Ministry of Women represents the clearest effort of the government to mainstream gender equality, although it does not mention UNSCR 1325.[178] Other relevant efforts by this Ministry include the Observatory of Women, which monitors the incidence of femicide and efforts to prevent trafficking of women.

Institutional Policy and Practice:

Strategy, Plans, and Policy

In the NAP, Paraguay committed to creating a Gender Observatory and to incorporating a gender perspective in all areas related to defense and security institutions. Nevertheless, the NAP did not specify which institution should host the Observatory. In addition, due to the change in political leadership, the Gender Observatory did not materialize (as can be noted in the Strategic Institutional Plan 2019-2023 of the MoD). That said, the MoD has a Gender Unit, which is part of the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Directorate. Since 2019, the Directorate of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law and the Gender Unit fall under the supervision of the Vice Minister. It functions as a GENAD position. It is not clear whether there are GFPs in the armed forces. The police do not have a GENAD, but they do have a Gender Violence Unit, which is in charge of providing specialized care for victims of domestic violence. The police also do not have any GFPs.

Gender in the Ranks (Military and Police)

ServiceMenWomen[179]Percent Women
Army 129 
Navy 55 
Air Force 48 
Women Deployed26  3[180]10%

No data was provided on the number and percentage of women who serve in senior ranks in the military and police, except as related to UN peacekeeping operations. Many positions in the military are closed to women. In the Aamy, all cavalry and infantry occupations are closed to women; however, all positions in the air force and navy are open to women. Interestingly, a civilian woman currently serves as the Vice Minister of National Defense, and formerly a woman served as Minister of Defense. Women are only deployed in UN missions. In the police, all positions are open to women, but few women occupy senior ranks. Neither the military nor the police have set recruitment goals to increase the number of women in the ranks. However, the police have new career plan regulations to promote equal participation of women in its ranks.[181]

Work Environment

Family Policies: Military and police personnel receive 18 weeks of paid maternity.[182] Child care is also provided. In particular, the police have new career plan regulations and amendments to the law to ensure the equal participation of women in its ranks.[183]

Anti-Harassment and Abuse Policies: There are directivesin place to prevent sexual harassment both in the military and the police.

Equipment and facilities: Equipment and uniforms for women in both institutions are available, and facilities to accommodate women are also provided.

Training, Education, and Exercises

Military personnel that participate in UN missions receive training on the principles of WPS. The training is provided by the Peace Operations Training Institute or by training centers from neighboring countries in the Southern Cone. Military personnel who participate in UN missions consistently receive training on the prevention and response to sexual violence and sexual exploitation and abuse. The training is both internally (within the organization) and externally (civilian populations outside the organization) focused. Nonetheless, it is unclear if these, or similar courses, are available and mandatory for the rest of the military at all levels.

The police and other law enforcement institutions receive training in gender perspectives from the Ministry of Women (MINMUJER). This Ministry is the normative and strategic governing body of gender policies, and it currently coordinates the implementation of the IV National Equality Plan.

Monitoring/Reporting and Evaluation:

General monitoring, evaluation, and reporting are considered within the institutional framework of the Fourth NAP of Open Government of Paraguay.[184] The Paraguayan government has developed short-term plans as tools to ensure accountability for development policies. Civil society is an active contributor to their formulation. That said, the involvement of civil society with regards to security-related policies and activities of the military and the police is limited. In part, this is because the number of specialized NGOs in matters of gender and security is small. The military and the police collect sex-disaggregated data, but the data it is not routinely made public unless requested through transparency mechanisms.

Recommendations:

At the national level Paraguay should deepen and codify its commitment to the principles of the WPS agenda by expeditiously publishing a new, comprehensive NAP. The military and police should be given specific goals for advancing the agenda. The new NAP should include mechanisms to institutionalize its implementation so that it can withstand political changes in the executive. This can be achieved with the adoption of specific implementation plans for the armed forces and the police, and the allocation of resources to these ends. Monitoring and evaluation should be clearly established and include the systematic use of civil society groups, and all data and reports should be made publicly available.

Contributors:

María Gloria Báez Recalde, General Director of Prevention and Care Against Trafficking, Ministry of Women, Asunción, Paraguay

Laura A. Villalba, Senior Principal Consultant, Politics & Policy LLC, Minnesota, USA

December 2, 2020

Peru – Summary Report

WPS National Action Plan (NAP) Status:

Peru has not adopted a NAP.

Overall Assessment:

Despite not having adopted a NAP, Peru has made concrete progress toward gender equality and the adoption of WPS principles in the armed forces and the police. International commitments are reflected in national legislation and the National Plan for Gender Equality. The latter serves as a roadmap for progress. That said, more work needs to be done regarding the integration of gender equality norms in Peru’s national security institutions.

National Importance/Political Will:

At the international level, Peru has shown commitment to UNSCR 1325 by supporting the legal international frameworks for gender equality, including the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women, the Inter-American Convention to Prevent, Punish and Eradicate Violence Against Women, and the Declaration and Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women. Additionally, Peru has advocated for the elimination of gender-based restrictions in the armed forces in multilateral forums, such as the Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas.

At the national level, Peru has pursued a national gender equality agenda supported by the Constitution,[185] a legislative framework, and the National Plan for Gender Equality.[186] The Plan is intersectional in nature and addresses structural discrimination against women as a central problem in the country. Among its priorities, it includes guaranteeing women’s access and participation in decision-making institutions as well as guaranteeing the protection of children, adolescents and women against all types of violence. Overall, the national gender equality policy is projected to be implemented by 2030, in accordance with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Peru has a Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations, which is active in the implementation of a gender mainstreaming in all ministries, including the Ministry of Defense (MoD) and the Ministry of the Interior (which includes the police). Therefore, although the MoD is not specifically identified as a main actor, it implements some policies related to the principles of the WPS agenda. For example, the gender policies of Peru’s National Agreement[187] and the national security and defense policy seek to reduce inequality gaps by promoting a human security approach; the White Paper on National Defense provides information related to the promotion of peace and security and the protection of human rights.

The national police started gender mainstreaming in the 1990s. It has included gender perspectives in its policies and provides training on both gender and women’s rights.[188]

Institutional Policy and Practice:

Strategy, Plans, and Policy

Military: WPS principles, and gender analyses and gender perspectives are mentioned in military strategies, plans, and other policy documents on an ad-hoc, not systemic, basis. Gender is not integrated in operational planning processes. There is some recognition of the role that gender plays in military operations, and it is framed as a human rights issue.

The prevention of sexual violence is neither included in military strategic documents, nor is it part of military regulations. However, it is considered in the Law of the Disciplinary Regime of the Armed Forces (Law 29131).[189] The Committee for Gender Equality of the Ministry of Defense (MoD) was created in 2017 to contribute to the follow-up and monitoring of the implementation of national policies and the strategic objectives of the National Gender Equality Policy. The latter has, as goals, the reduction of gender gaps in planning instruments and the actualization of a gender equal organizational culture. The MoD does not have a specific Gender Advisor position, nor does  it have a specific budget allocation for gender related work.[190]

Police: Violence against women and the role of the police is specifically mentioned in the Institutional Strategic Plan of the Police 2020-2024.[191] These issues are also covered in plans and protocols that mention the police as a main actor (for example, the National Plan Against Gender Violence 2016-2021). As a result, personnel of the national police are continuously trained in these issues.[192] The police have also assigned a Commissioner for the Fight Against Violence Against Women.[193] This position meets some of the characteristics of a GENAD, but it is mainly oriented to the external tasks of the institution.

Gender in the Ranks (Military and Police)

ServiceMenWomenPercent Women
Army  11%
Army Senior Women  .5%
Navy  9.6%
Navy Senior Women  .3%
Air Force  9.6%
Air Force Senior Women  .2%
National Police  18.0%
National Police Senior Women  .4%
Women Deployed 2912%[194]

In the armed forces, there are no legal limitations for women to serve in all positions. However, there are no women serving in combat positions. Women do participate actively in UN missions. Among the three branches of the military, there are at least 12 women who serve in the rank of colonel. This number is expected to increase in the coming years due to the fairly recent incorporation of women into the armed forces (since 1997).[195] No recruiting goals have been established to increase women’s participation, but the recruitment system does target women.

Women serve in all occupations in the national police and throughout the national territory, including in the Emergency Squad, Explosives Deactivation, and Criminalistics and the Police Aviation Unit. [196] There are women in all specialties, but few women serve in the most senior ranks and not at the same rate as men.

Work Environment

Family Policies: Women in the military and the police receive 98 days of paid maternity leave.[197] Childcare assistance is provided.

Equipment and Facilities: Equipment and uniforms designed to maximize women’s performance exist, but they are not always available and must be constantly adapted.[198] Facilities including restrooms and accommodations are available for women at military and police facilities and during deployment for peacekeeping operations.

Anti-Harassment and Abuse Policies: ThePolice Disciplinary Regime Law (No. 30714) and the Armed Forces Disciplinary Regime Law (No. 29131) regulate and/or punish serious offenses related to harassment.

Training, Education, and Exercises

In the educational curriculum, there are no specific courses on gender equality. However, compulsory courses on international humanitarian law and human rights are part of the training of personnel who participate in military operations inside the country and those who participate in UN missions abroad. These courses are based on the notion of respect and the idea of human life as a fundamental right. In general, mandatory training on WPS principles in the armed forces has not been considered. This type of training is only mandatory for personnel deployed to UN missions. In the case of the police, police personnel are constantly trained on preventing and responding to sexual violence and sexual exploitation and abuse of civilians, and they actively collaborate with the Ministry of Women.

Monitoring/Reporting and Evaluation:

There are efforts to inform and evaluate the implementation of gender equality in the armed forces and police. The presentation of reports and evaluation is carried out through the Personnel Directorates of each institution. However, there is no gender office in either institution that focuses exclusively on gender mainstreaming. The data that is collected and analyzed is confidential. This is also the case with the police.

Recommendations: Peru should deepen and codify its commitment to UNSCR 1325 by developing a NAP. Specific goals with transparent performance indicators for advancing gender equality and WPS agenda are highly recommended, as well as resources to accomplish established goals. Peru should consider the creation of gender offices in security and defense institutions to focus on monitoring gender integration strategies. These offices would benefit from having GENADs to monitor and evaluate national policies and plans. It is also advisable to incorporate a gender perspective in the curriculum for all levels in the armed forces and the police. It is further advisable to encourage the training and education of women in all specialties of the armed forces as well as to increase the participation of women at all decision levels. Gender specific uniforms, equipment and facilities that are fully adapted to women are also important steps to ensure the full participation of women in all aspects of duty.

Report Contributors:

Leidy Depaz Caballero, International Lawyer, Master in Development and National Defense, Writer and Researcher.

Col. EP Lourdes Barriga Abarca, Director of the Scientific and Technological Institute of the Peruvian Army

Col.EP Guillermo Santolalla, Advisor to the Inter-American Defense Board

PhD Luis Garcia Westphalen, Technical Secretary of the Legal Defense Commission of the Ministry of Defense

Miguel Peña Castro, Multilateral Affairs Officer of the Ministry of Defense

December 2, 2020

Trinidad and Tobago – Summary Report

WPS National Action Plan Status:

Trinidad and Tobago does not have a NAP but is actively engaged in developing one.

Overall Assessment:

Although Trinidad and Tobago does not have a NAP, they have engaged in a number of best practices for promoting women’s participation in government agencies, and a relatively high percentage (29%) of the national police are women. Notably, at the ministerial level, they have a Minister of Gender and Child Affairs with a department dedicated to gender equity and justice. However, the Ministry of National Security, which includes the military and police, is separate from this organization; although there are some gender advisors in the security sector, they do not serve at the highest levels, and their training is informal and on an ad hoc basis. 

National Importance/Political Will:

Trinidad and Tobago is a signatory of all international laws and frameworks promoting women’s rights, and gender equality is enshrined in the constitution and in laws that are mostly enforced by the police and the courts.[199] The Office of the Prime Minister includes a Minister of Gender and Child Affairs. The purpose of the Gender Affairs Division is to “effectively promote Gender Equity and Gender Justice through the process of Gender mainstreaming in all government Policies, Programmes and Projects.”[200] In 2018, the ministry published The National Policy on Gender and Development.[201] This comprehensive document outlines the government’s goals of promoting gender equality across the nation. However, although the national policy says it applies to “all government and ministry agencies,” and it has a section titled “Gender Based Violence and Human Security,” it does not spell out specific responsibilities, tasks, goals, or metrics for the Ministry of National Security, which encompasses both the military and police.

Institutional Policy and Practice:

Strategy, Plans, and Policy

WPS principles, gender analyses and gender perspectives are integrated into some strategy, plans, and policy and other doctrinal documents at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels. They are also occasionally mentioned in field manuals and handbooks. The principles of WPS are integrated into military and police exercises and operations on an ad-hoc, not a habitual basis, as evidenced by documents including exercise directives and operations orders. Both the military and police have some gender advisors, but only the police have trained gender advisors, and they are not assigned to the highest levels. They serve mostly in human resource departments. Prevention of sexual violence is mentioned in key documents, field manuals, and handbooks of both the military and police.

Gender in the Ranks (Military and Police)

ServiceMenWomenPercent Women
Military434772614.3%
Senior Military Women   
Police7,3232,93929%
Senior Police Women   

All positions in the military and police are open to women, but there are no recruiting goals to increase women’s participation, and women are limited by policy to 30% of the police force. In fact, there are women waiting to join the police force who cannot get in due to the 30% cap. Women are promoted to senior ranks at the same percentage as they serve across the force. A woman has held the highest position in the police force, serving for a period of time as the “acting” Commissioner of Police.

Work Environment

Family Policies: Women receive 90 days of paid maternity leave and men receive three days of paid paternity leave. Childcare and other family leave policies are available to support members of the military, and they are widely used.

Anti-Harassment and Abuse Policies: There is a sexual exploitation and abuse program in the military, but it is not transparent. The number of reported cases and the disposition of cases is not made public. There is no specific program for the police. However, both the military and police have programs to address sexual exploitation and abuse of civilians in the areas of operations.

Uniforms, Equipment and Facilities: There is women-specific individual equipment, including uniforms and personal protective equipment designed for and issued to all women. There are facilities including bathrooms and billets available for women in military and police facilities.

Training, Education, and Exercises

WPS principles are introduced, but not widely trained, during entry level training. Beyond entry level training, only the military continues to train personnel on the principles of WPS. Personnel receive training only on the prevention and response to sexual violence and sexual exploitation as it relates to civilians in the areas of operations, not as it relates to personnel within their own ranks.

Monitoring/Reporting and Evaluation:

There are some monitoring and reporting requirements for the military, but it is not a national level effort and there are no requirements for monitoring or evaluating gender equity implementation by the police. The police collect some sex-disaggregated data for analysis, but the military does not. There is informal involvement of some civil society organizations in monitoring and evaluating implementation of WPS principles/gender equality in the military and police.  

Recommendations:

At the national level, Trinidad and Tobago should deepen and codify its commitment to the principles of the WPS agenda by expeditiously publishing a comprehensive National Action Plan. The military and police should be given specific goals and benchmarks for advancing the agenda.

Both the military and police should immediately develop programs for addressing sexual harassment and abuse within the ranks.

Both the military and police should develop and implement a monitoring and evaluation program with benchmarks and goals to increase women’s participation at all levels.

An independent monitoring and evaluation program should be established utilizing civil society

groups and the annual reports should be made publicly available.

The restriction limiting women to 30% of the police force should be eliminated immediately.

Report Contributors:

Dr. Dianne Williams, Independent Researcher

Karen Lancaster-Ellis, PhD student at the University of the West Indies, Acting Superintendent of Police, Trinidad & Tobago Police Service

December 2, 2020

Uruguay – Summary Report

WPS National Action Plan (NAP) Status:

Uruguay has not published a NAP, but one is in development.

General Assessment:

Uruguay has made concrete advancement towards the implementation of the WPS principles despite not having published a WPS NAP. As a contributor of personnel to the UN missions, its involvement with the WPS agenda is extensive. These efforts have also permeated the police. That said, the WPS standards should be integrated more fully in all security (defense and police) forces and not just those deployed in UN missions.

National Importance/Political Will:

The constitution guarantees that all people shall be treated equally, and in 2007 Uruguay enacted the Equal Rights and Opportunities between Men and Women law.[202] [203]Uruguay’s commitment to the WPS principles is reflected in key foreign policy documents, such as the Strategic Plan 2015-2020.[204] The Foreign Ministry is also consistent in its support for the international gender equality framework and explicitly makes references to UNSCR 1325.[205]

At the national level, the National Strategy for Gender Equality by 2030 stands out as the main instrument for the implementation of Uruguay’s commitments to gender equality.[206] The National Strategy is a comprehensive and inclusive roadmap, which guides the actions of the state in matters of gender equality in the medium term. It is also relevant that there is momentum in Uruguay for women’s rights.  In 2019, Uruguay elected for the first time a woman as Vice President of the Republic, and there is a very active multi-party caucus of congresswomen coordinating gender policies. Given the support for gender equality in the country and in the Congress, both the National Defense policy and the rest of the legal frameworks contain formulations that imply the presence and active participation of women.[207]

Nonetheless, there is room for improvement, particularly in referring explicitly to the Ministry of Defense (MoD) and the police as principal actors of the implementation of WPS and gender equality principles. Both institutions participate in the National Council of Gender, but neither has specific plans to implement the principles of UNSCR 1325.[208]

Institutional Policy and Practice:

Strategy, Plans, Policy

In Uruguay, the National Gender Council is a key government body that advances gender equality principles. This body, created by Law No. 18,104, mainstreams the spirit of UN Resolution 1325 and integrates the principles of gender equality in all public policies of the state, including those related to military strategy, policy, and planning. That said, none of these documents are publicly available.

The principles of WPS/UNSCR 1325 are more substantially integrated into key documents related to police strategy, plans, policy, and operations.[209] This is also the case for police operational planning process.

The Ministry of the Interior actively promotes gender equality in security institutions, for example, by the elimination of female entry quotas and their participation in UN missions.

Despite these advances, the military has not appointed a full-time Gender Advisor (GENAD). A GENAD is appointed only for UN missions. The police also not have a GENAD. That said, in both the military and the police there are double-hatted GFPs.

Gender in the Ranks (Military and Police)

ServiceMenWomenPercent Women
Army13,5161,43210%
Army Senior Women  2%
Navy4,16159513%
Navy Senior Women  1.2%
Air Force2,17443817%
Air Force Senior Women  1.6%
National Police4,1271,30224%
National Police Senior Women  3%
Women Deployed104781[210]7%

On average, women make up 11% of the military. Their presence in flag positions remains very low. The Uruguayan armed forces frequently participate in UN missions. Uruguay is the largest troop contributor of Latin America. Of the troops contributed to UN missions, women represent 7.18% of all personnel.

All positions in the military are open to women. The recruitment target for women in the armed forces is set at maintaining the current percentages. This is related to the national demographics. Uruguay’s population has not significantly grown in the past three decades; rather than increasing the gross number of women in the armed forces, the goal is to maintain the rate. The MoD has taken steps to achieve this, for example through presenting the military as an appealing professional career.[211]

In terms of the police, 25.6% of the personnel are women. The target goal for the recruitment of women in the police is 50%.

Training, Education, and Exercises

The principles of WPS/UNSCR 1325 are not consistently integrated into the education and training for military personnel. Specialized courses are available for Uruguayan personnel before deployment at UN missions. These courses are mandatory. But this is not the case for the rest of the personnel.[212] In the training, emphasis is given to the protection of vulnerable populations. This is particularly important after a series of sexual abuse accusations against the Uruguayan peacekeepers were acknowledged at the highest political level.[213] Since then, Uruguay has strengthened its instructions. This “lessons learned and good practice” response has been recognized by the UN as such.[214]

In terms of the police, the Ministry of the Interior provides an extensive curriculum and extracurriculum training program for police officers, including with regard to issues related to domestic violence, receipt of complaints, budgets and planning with a gender approach, trafficking of persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation, sexual and reproductive health, gender and sexual diversity, and gender and deprivation of liberty.

Work Environment

Family policies: The Uruguayan military and police provide maternity/paternity leave as well as childcare. This is a direct ordinance from the Ministry of the Interior that provides training on sexual and reproductive rights, pregnancy, breastfeeding and leave, including consultation services and the distribution of contraceptives.

Anti-Harassment and Abuse Policies: Both institutions have protocols to prevent and respond to sexual harassment cases within the ranks, although the protocol for the military is recent.[215] In 2020, a general from the army was sanctioned for a domestic abuse case.[216] There is also a sexual harassment and sexual exploitation and abuse prevention program to address issues of military and police personnel as perpetrators of violence in an area of operations.

Equipment and Facilities: Although there are facilities and infrastructure available for women in the military and the police, uniforms and equipment are not necessarily adapted.

Monitoring/Reporting and Evaluation:

Despite not having published a WPS NAP, civil society is involved in the monitoring of the adoption of WPS/gender equality principles through the National Gender Council and the 4th National Action Plan for Open Government 2018-2020.[217]

In the area of accountability, the Ministry of the Interior, through the Division of Gender Policies, reports annually to the National Institute of Women on the implementation of the Plan for Equal Rights and Opportunities in its area of action.

Sex-disaggregated data is collected by the military and the police, and it is available through transparency mechanisms.

Recommendations:

Uruguay has a great opportunity to consolidate and expand the efforts of implementing WPS principles by adopting a NAP. The experience of the police can become the basis for an inward-looking perspective for the Plan. Uruguay’s experience with UN missions could also be the starting point for an external perspective. The NAP should specify particular tasks for the MoD, apart from those that it already undertakes. Further mainstreaming of a gender perspective in the military should be a priority, both for increasing the number of women in decision making-positions as well as in the training of all personnel. Assigning a full-time GENAD that is part of the senior command would prove valuable to achieve it. The consolidation of the protocols through a program for the prevention of sexual violence within the ranks should also be included.

December 2, 2020

[1] See Article 75, subsection 22 and 23 of the Constitution of Argentina. Senado y Cámara de Diputados, Constitución de Argentina. (Argentina, January 3, 1995), at: http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/0-4999/804/norma.htm

[2] See Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Decreto Nº 1895/2015, Plan Nacional de Acción de la República Argentina para la Implementación de la Resolución N° 1325/2000 del Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas y Subsiguientes.s. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Argentina, September 21, 2015), at: https://www.argentina.gob.ar/normativa/nacional/decreto-1895-2015-252151/texto

[3] National Defense Policy Directive, Decree 1714/2009 (Argentina: National Defense Policy Directive, 2009) see CHAPTER III, “Regarding Human Rights and Gender Policies”, subsection e) and its update Decree 2645 / 2014

[4] Ministry of Defense, Decreto 1714/2009. (Argentina: Ministry of Defense, 2009), at: http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/160000-164999/160013/norma.htm

[5] Argentine NAP: p. 10. Government of Argentina, National Action Plan of the Argentine Republic for the Implementation of Resolution Nº1325/2000 of the Security Council of the United Nations. (Argentina, 2015),  at: https://www.peacewomen.org/sites/default/files/Argentina%20NAP%202015%20(English).pdf;  and  see the Spanish version at: http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/250000-254999/252151/Dto1895.pdf

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ministry of Homeland Security, Resolución Nº58/2011, (Argentina, March 11, 2011), at: http://revistarap.com.ar/Derecho/administrativo/fuerzas_armadas_de_seguridad/1ADM0098095548000.html and Ministry of Homeland Security, Resolución Nº 1021/2011, (Argentina, October 20, 2011), at:

https://www.argentina.gob.ar/normativa/nacional/resoluci%C3%B3n-1021-2011-188451/texto

[8] See Chapter III subsection E. Ministry of Defense, Decreto 1714/2009, (Argentina, October 10, 2011) at: http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/160000-164999/160013/norma.htm; see also the Ministry of Defense, Resolución Nº 1348/08, (Argentina: MoD, 2008) at: https://docplayer.es/78701127-Anexo-i-a-la-resolucion-mindef-no-1348-08-recursos-de-lucha-contra-la-violencia-familiar.html, Ministry of Defense, Resolución 1226/08, (Argentina: MoD, 2008),at: https://www.argentina.gob.ar/sites/default/files/resolucion_1226_08_anexos.pdf;  Ministry of Defense, Resolución 1407/08, (Argentina: MoD, 2008),at:  https://www.argentina.gob.ar/sites/default/files/resolucion_1407_08_anexo.pdf ; Ministry of Defense, Resolución 01/2010, (Argentina: MoD, 2010).

[9] Ibid. See also University of National Defense (UNDEF), Militares Argentinas: evaluación de políticas de género, (Argentina: UNDEF, September 2020), at: https://www.argentina.gob.ar/sites/default/files/militares_argentinas._evaluacion_de_politicas_de_genero_libroonline.pdf

[10] Ibid.  

[11] See courses at CAECOPAZ, Centro Argentino de Entrenamiento Conjunto para Operaciones de Paz, (2020) at:  http://caecopaz.mil.ar/ofertaacademica.html

[12] Resolution MoD Nº 96/2014 establishes that each year the Chiefs of each Force and the Auditor General of the Armed Forces must designate personnel from the Gender Offices, the General Directorates of Personnel and the Auditors of each Force to receive specific training in “Gender and Institutional Management.”

[13] See Annex II, Comprehensive Gender Centers,  Ministry of Homeland Security, Resolución 1021/2011, (Argentina: MoHS, October 20, 2011)

https://www.argentina.gob.ar/normativa/nacional/resoluci%C3%B3n-1021-2011-188451/texto; Ministry of Homeland Security,  Resolución 58/2011, (Argentina: MoHS, March 14, 2011), at: https://www.argentina.gob.ar/normativa/nacional/resoluci%C3%B3n-58-2011-180084/texto and Ministry of Homeland Security,  Resolución 1021/2011.

[14] Sex disaggregated data was available for evaluation.

[15] See Ministry of Defense Resolución 1226/2008

[16] See Article 38 subsection E. Congress of Argentina, Ley 19101 (June, 1971), at:  http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/15000-19999/19875/norma.htm;  Ministry of Defense, Resolución Nº706/2011, (Argentina: MoD, 2011), at: https://www.argentina.gob.ar/sites/default/files/res_706_11.pdf; Ministry of Defense, Decreto 3413/79, (Argentina: MoD, 2011) at:  http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/15000-19999/19213/texact.htm

 Ministry of Defense, Resolución 198/2008 (Argentina: MoD, February 21, 2008), at: https://www.argentina.gob.ar/sites/default/files/resolucion_198_08.pdf

[17] Ibid Ministry of Defense, Resolución 198/2008.

[18] See Chapter III, Article 11, subsection 7. Congress of Argentina  Ley 26485 (Argentina, April 1, 2009), at: http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/150000-154999/152155/texact.htm; Congress of Argentina, Ley 26394, (August 6, 2008) at: http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/140000-144999/143873/norma.htm and Ministry of Defense Resolución 112/2009.

[19] General Audit of the Armed Forces, Circular Nº 19/2009, (Argentina, December 9, 2009), at: https://www.argentina.gob.ar/sites/default/files/circular_09.pdf

[20] Ministry of Defense, Resolución 213/2007, (Argentina, February 16, 2007), at:  https://www.argentina.gob.ar/sites/default/files/res_21307.pdf

[21] Ministry of Defense, Resolución 28/10,  (Argentina, January 20, 2010)  https://www.argentina.gob.ar/sites/default/files/resolucion_28_10.pdf; Ministry of Homeland Security Resolución 1019/2011,  (Argentina, October 12, 2011), at: http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/185000-189999/188315/texact.htm

[22] The National Action Plan 2020-2022 against gender-based violence has federal scope, including commitments from the provinces and municipalities. It is transversal at the level of the National Administration, Axis 4: “Integrated information management, transparency and monitoring.”

[23] Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (Brasilia, Brazil: 2017), at: http://funag.gov.br/biblioteca/download/1220-PNA_ingles_final.pdf

[24] Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Extensão da Vigência do Plano Nacional de Ação sobre Mulheres, Paz e Seguranca (Brasilia: April 5, 2019) http://www.itamaraty.gov.br/pt-BR/notas-a-imprensa/20261-extensao-da-vigencia-do-plano-nacional-de-acao-sobre-mulheres-paz-e-seguranca

[25] Congresso of Brazil. Constitution of the Federal Republica of Brazil 1988 as amended to 2014 (Brasilia, Brazil: 2014), at: https://constitutions.unwomen.org/en/countries/americas/brazil?provisioncategory=b21e8a4f9df246429cf4e8746437e5ac

[26] Brazil NAP, pp. 8-10. The femicide law adopted under the Brazilian Penal Code, imposes specific sanctions for harming or killing women because of their gender. See also Law 13,112/2015 on registration of children; see also https://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/initiatives/stepitup/commitments-speeches/brazil-stepitup-commitment-2015-en.pdf?la=en&vs=5255

[27] See, for example, the National Plans of Policies for Women (Plano Nacional de Politicas para es Mulheres) developed by the National Secretariat of Politics for Women housed at the time in the Ministry of Human Rights. The first plan was developed in 2004, a second plan in 2008 for the period 2008-2011; and a third in 2013 for the period 2013-2015. See Centro de Apoio Operacional das Promotorias de Justiça dos Direitos Humanos, Governo Federal institui Sistema Nacional de Políticas para as Mulheres e Plano Nacional de Combate à Violência Doméstica (November 29, 2018) at: https://direito.mppr.mp.br/modules/noticias/makepdf.php?storyid=44 and the Brazilian NAP, p.12. See also Governo Federal. Secretaria Nacional de Políticas para Mulheres (SNPM) (Brazil, June 20, 2018) at https://www.gov.br/mdh/pt-br/navegue-por-temas/politicas-para-mulheres/politica-para-mulheres

[28] The National Policy System for Women, created in 2018, required states and municipalities to develop plans to mainstream gender equality and human rights. An example of a municipal plan can be found at: http://repositorio.londrina.pr.gov.br/index.php/menu-mulher/cmdm/resolucoes-5/31271-pmpm-2020-2021-final-publicacao/file .

[29] See Presidential Decree 10.174, http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/_Ato2019-2022/2019/Decreto/D10174.htm#art8

[30] Ministry of Defense, Ordinance 893 of 2014. (Brazil, March 15, 2014), at: http://www.lex.com.br/legis_25426485_PORTARIA_N_893_DE_14_DE_ABRIL_DE_2014.aspx

[31] The Group was officially formed in 2016.

[32] See Paula Drumond and Tamya Rebelo, Implementing the “Women, Peace and Security” agenda in Brazil: An Assessment of the National Action Plan, Strategic Paper 31 (Rio de Janeiro: Igarapé Institute, August 2019) at: https://igarape.org.br/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2019-07-31_AE-31_Women-Peace-and-Security-National-Action-Plan.pdf; See also Renata Avelar Giannini and Perola Abreu Pereira, Building Brazil’s National Action Plan: Lessons Learned and Opportunities (London: LSE, March 3, 2020 – blog) https://www.lse.ac.uk/women-peace-security/assets/documents/2020/WPS24GianniniandPereira.pdf

[33] At the same event, corvette captain Marcia Andrade Braga, an officer in the Brazilian Navy who at that time served as Military Adviser for Gender at the headquarters of the United Nations Integrated and Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), was awarded the United Nations Military Defender of Gender Award.

[34] See Renata Avelar Giannini and Perola Abreu Pereira, Building Brazil’s National Action Plan: Lessons Learned and Opportunities (London: LSE, March 3, 2020 – blog).

[35] See also Paula Drumond and Tamya Rebelo, “Global Pathways or Local Spins? National Action Plans in South America,” International Feminist Journal of Politics, Vol. 22, No.4 (2020), pp.462-484.

[36] This is true for all previous and current Brazilian administrations. The MFA is the lead organization for the NAP, and they are focused on foreign affairs. In addition, Brazil’s foreign policy stance is very clear about the non-interference, not viewing domestic issues as part of a Security Council agenda. See also Drumond and Rebelo, Implementing the “Women, Peace and Security” agenda.

[37] See, for example, Ministry of Defense, Livro Branco de Defesa Nacional-Brasil 2020 (Brazil, 2020),at https://www.gov.br/defesa/pt-br/assuntos/copy_of_estado-e-defesa/livro_branco_congresso_nacional.pdf

[38] Ministry of Defense, Politica Nacional de defesa, Estrategia Nacional de Defesa (Brazil), at  https://www.gov.br/defesa/pt-br/assuntos/copy_of_estado-e-defesa/pnd_end_congresso_.pdf

[39] It may be noted that during the development of the NAP, the Ministry of Justice had frequent leadership changes and was not actively engaged. The other institutions did not feel comfortable including targets for the police in the absence of representation from the Ministry of Justice. Also, it must be noted that whenever the NAP mentions the police system, it refers to the state military police and not the federal police. The state military police falls under the authority of the national states. The state police institutions have very little knowledge about the WPS agenda. Brazilian police who participate in UN peacekeeping operations do so mostly on an individual basis, with little or no support from their states.

[40] Data from the Ministry of Defense, sent to the Igarapé Institute and shared for this publication. https://igarape.org.br/mulheres-forcas-armadas/pt/ and https://igarape.org.br/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/AE-09_PROMOVER-GENERO-E-CONSOLIDAR-A-PAZ.pdf

[41] Approximately 32% of women serve in the army; 30 % in the navy and 39% in the airforce.

[42] In 2017 a total of 10,893 women applied. See Presidency of the Republic of Brazil. Women can now reach command positions in the Army, (Brazil, May 21,2018) at: http://www.brazil.gov.br/about-brazil/news/brazil-is-back/security-and-defense/women-can-now-reach-command-positions-in-the-army?TSPD_101_R0=77a741840fe2af28c521b181b3699e7ej0D00000000000000003b1dbcbdffff00000000000000000000000000005f8e587800c4f8d97408282a9212ab2000a46fe560e4ae79184380f9944be51f1c2319bd5ce6abec593c6d37edd47213cc0808a813bd0a2800c684a09af7d7ecd452921be3f0cd08b828d8836795a574833d7a94eb47075c2d993f4caba36e6fc2

[43] Renata Giannini, et al, Situações Extraordinárias: a entrada das mulheres na linha de frente das Forças Armadas brasileiras. Available at: https://igarape.org.br/mulheres-forcas-armadas/pt/

[44] See Law 13109, signed in 2015 by president Dilma Roussef. UN Women, Step it up for Gender Equality, (2015), at: https://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/initiatives/stepitup/commitments-speeches/brazil-stepitup-commitment-2015-en.pdf?la=en&vs=5255

[45] Renata Giannini, et al, Situações Extraordinárias: a entrada das mulheres na linha de frente das Forças Armadas brasileiras, at: https://igarape.org.br/mulheres-forcas-armadas/pt/

[46] Paula Drumond and Tamya Rebelo, Two Years On: An analysis for supporting the review of the Brazilian National Action Plan on: Women, Peace and Security (Rio de Janeiro: Igarape Institute August 2019), at https://igarape.org.br/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2019-07-31v2-AE31_summary-Women-Peace-and-Security-National-Action-Plan.pdf

[47] Natalia Eiras, Mulheres no Front, (Brazil, 2017), at: https://tab.uol.com.br/edicao/mulheres-exercito/#page1

[48] Renata Giannini, Promover o gênero e consolidar a Paz: a experiência brasileira, Strategic Paper 9(Rio de Janeiro: Igarapé Institute, September 2014), at: https://igarape.org.br/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/AE-09_PROMOVER-GENERO-E-CONSOLIDAR-A-PAZ.pdf

[49] See Paula Drumond and Tamya Rebelo, Implementing the “Women, Peace and Security” agenda in Brazil: An assessment of the national Action Plan, Strategic Paper 31 (Rio de Janeiro: Igarapé Institute, August 2019). See also https://igarape.org.br/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2019-07-31_AE-31_Women-Peace-and-Security-National-Action-Plan.pdf

[50] Centro de Apoio Operacional das Promotorias de Justiça dos Direitos, Governo Federal institui Sistema Nacional de Políticas para as Mulheres e Plano Nacional de Combate à Violência Doméstica Humanos, (Brazil, November 29, 2018) https://direito.mppr.mp.br/modules/noticias/makepdf.php?storyid=44

[51] All the references to the police in this report refer specifically to the Investigations Police of Chile (PDI), the civilian police, and not the Carabineros of Chile.

[52] Javiera Arce-Riffo, “Gender Parity in the Chilean Constitutional Convention: What Does it Mean for Chilean Democracy?”, (OxHRH Blog, April 2020), at: http://ohrh.law.ox.ac.uk/gender-parity-in-the-chilean-constitutional-convention-what-does-it-mean-for-chilean-democracy; and Claudia Mojica, “Chile celebrates a Gender Equality Milestone”, (United Nations Development Program, November 2, 2020), at: https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/blog/2020/chile-celebrates-a-gender-equality-first.html

[53] Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, “Canciller en conmemoración de la agenda “Mujeres, Paz y Seguridad”: “El trabajo de las mujeres contribuye a construir el tejido social y a prevenir conflictos a través del diálogo”, October 30th 2020 at: https://minrel.gob.cl/canciller-en-conmemoracion-de-la-agenda-mujeres-paz-y-seguridad-el/minrel/2020-10-30/174117.html

[54] Ministerio de Defensa, Libro Nacional de la Defensa 2017, (Santiago de Chile, Chile;  Ministerio de la Defensa Nacional, noviembre 2017), at: https://www.defensa.cl/media/LibroDefensa.pdf

[55] Subsecretaría para las Fuerzas Armadas, “Ministerios de Defensa y de la Mujer y Equidad de Género firman convenio para fortalecer la igualdad de género en las FF.AA.”, (Santiago de Chile, Chile: SSFFAA, May 2018), at: https://www.ssffaa.cl/noticias/ministerios-de-defensa-y-de-la-mujer-y-equidad-de-genero-firman-convenio-para-fortalecer-la-igualdad/

[56] Carlos Reyes P., “La primera delegada de género del Ejército: “De pronto se nos confunde el acoso laboral con lo cotidiano del trabajo”, La Tercera (January 30, 2019) at: https://www.latercera.com/la-tercera-pm/noticia/la-primera-delegada-de-genero-del-ejercito-de-pronto-se-nos-confunde-el-acoso-laboral-con-lo-cotidiano-del-trabajo/506503/

[57] Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Establecen protocolo conjunto de denuncias por acoso sexual o laboral para las FF.AA., (Santiago de Chile, Chile: Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, March 12, 2019), at: https://www.defensa.cl/noticias/establecen-protocolo-conjunto-de-denuncias-por-acoso-sexual-o-laboral-para-las-ff-aa/

[58] Figures for the Army, Navy and Air Force are taken from the 2016 Report from Red de Seguridad y Defensa de America Latina (RESDAL), A Comparative Atlas of Defence in Latin America and Caribbean, (Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires: RESDAL, 2016) at: https://www.resdal.org/ing/assets/atlas_2016_ing_completo.pdf

[59] Figures for the police are updated to 2020 and it does not consider administrative staff.

[60] This figure considers only Chile’s participation in UN Missions. See: Peace Keeping United Nations, Summary of Troops Contributing Countries by Ranking Police, UN Military Experts on Mission, Staff Officers and Troops 2020 (Peace Keeping United Nations, 2020) at: https://peacekeeping.un.org/sites/default/files/2_country_ranking_13.pdf

[61] Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, No hayBarreras para la Mujer en la Defensa Nacional, (Santiago de Chile, Chile: Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, August 3, 2017), at: https://www.defensa.cl/temas-principales/no-hay-barreras-para-la-mujer-en-la-defensa-nacional/

[62]Admisión Armada de Chile, Grumete Infante de Marina, at:  https://www.admisionarmada.cl/grumete-infante-de-marina/postulacion/2016-06-21/151346.html

[63] Tamara Cerna, “El 49% de los nuevos estudiantes que ingresarán a la Escuela de Investigaciones son mujeres”, Emol (January 6, 2019), at: https://www.emol.com/noticias/Nacional/2019/01/06/933208/El-49-de-los-nuevos-estudiantes-que-ingresaran-a-la-Escuela-de-Investigaciones-son-mujeres.html

[64] Cámara de Diputadas y Diputados, Aprobación de Protocolo Conjunto en Denuncias de Acoso Sexual o Laboral en las Fuerzas Armadas, (Santiago de Chile; Cámara, March 12, 2019), at: https://www.camara.cl/verDoc.aspx?prmID=168321&prmTIPO=DOCUMENTOCOMISION

[65] See Humanas Colombia, 20 Años Exigiendo que el Gobierno Colombiano se conecte con la Paz y la Seguridad de las Mujeres, Pronunciamiento (Bogotá, Colombia: Humanas, July 2020), at https://www.humanas.org.co/alfa/dat_particular/arch_contenidos/i_e_73153_q_PRONUNCIAMIENTO_R1325.pdf; Also from Humanas Colombia, see Observatorio Mujeres, Paz y Seguridad (a group actively lobbying for a WPS NAP), Cumplimiento del Estado Colombiano con la Resolución 1325 de 2000: Informe de monitoreo del año 2017 y primer semestre de 2018, (Bogotá, Colombia: Humanas, December 2018), at https://www.humanas.org.co/alfa/dat_particular/ar/ar_9042_q_R1325informe.pdf..

[66] See Corte Constitucional, Constitución Política de Colombia 1991, Actualizada con los Actos Legislativos a 2016, (Bogota: Corte Constitutional), at https://www.corteconstitucional.gov.co/inicio/Constitucion%20politica%20de%20Colombia.pdf

[67] See Departamento Nacional de Planeación (DNP), Colombia en la Escena Global: Política Exterior Responsable, Innovadora y Constructiva, (Bogotá: DNP, May 2019) at https://www.dnp.gov.co/DNPN/Plan-Nacional-de-Desarrollo/Paginas/Pilares-del-PND/Legalidad/Colombia-en-la-escena-global.aspx; and also from DNP, Plan Nacional de Desarrollo 2018-2022 at https://www.dnp.gov.co/DNPN/Paginas/Plan-Nacional-de-Desarrollo.aspx

[68] Ministerio de Defensa, Política Pública Sectorial de Transversalizacion del Enfoque de Genero para el Personal Uniformado de la Fuerza Pública 2018-2027, (Bogotá: MinDefensa 2018), at https://www.justiciamilitar.gov.co/irj/go/km/docs/Mindefensa/Documentos/descargas/Prensa/Documentos/politica_genero.pdf

[69] See, for example, Reserva Naval de Colombia, Uniformes, (Bogotá-Colombia, 2020), at https://www.reservanaval.co/uniformes

[70] See, for example, Julie Turkewitz, “Seven Colombian Soldiers Charged in Rape of Indigenous Girl,” The New York Times (June 26, 2020) at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/26/world/americas/colombia-indigenous-girl-rape.html. See also, Daniel Arias Bonfante, “Denuncian Caso de Violencia Sexual de Policías,” RCNRadio (September 12, 2020) at https://www.rcnradio.com/bogota/denuncian-caso-de-violencia-sexual-de-policias-contra-tres-mujeres-en-bogota; Justicia, “Solo el 29% de uniformados con crímenes sexuales han sido condenados,” El Tiempo (July 4, 2020), at https://www.eltiempo.com/justicia/delitos/violencia-sexual-condenas-contra-militares-o-policias-por-crimenes-sexuales-514276

[71] See Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Politica Publica Sectorial: De Transversalizacion del Enfoque de Genero para el Personal Uniformado de Fuerza Publica 2018-2027 (Bogota: Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, 2018), at https://www.justiciamilitar.gov.co/irj/go/km/docs/Mindefensa/Documentos/descargas/Prensa/Documentos/politica_genero.pdf

[72] See note 1.

[73] See note 1.

[74] Ministry of Public Security, Política Institucional de Igualdad y Equidad de Género PIEG – MSP, (Costa Rica, November 16, 2020), at: https://www.seguridadpublica.go.cr/ministerio/igualdad_equidad_genero/politica_institucional_pieg.aspx

[75] Ministry of Public Security, Oficina de Igualdad de Género, (Costa Rica, November 16, 2020), at: https://www.seguridadpublica.go.cr/ministerio/igualdad_genero.aspx

[76]Observatorio de violencia de género contra las mujeres y acceso a la justicia. Hostigamiento sexual. (Suprema Corte de Justicia: Costa Rica, 2019), at: https://observatoriodegenero.poder-judicial.go.cr/index.php/soy-especialista-y-busco/circulares/hostigamiento-sexual

[77] Ministry of Public Security, Orientaciones Políticas del Ministerio de Seguridad Pública 2020. (Costa Rica, 2020) at: www.seguridadpublica.go.cr/documentos/orientaciones_politicas_ministerio_seguridad_publica.pdf

[78] Ministry of Public Security, Planes Anuales Operativos 2020. (Costa Rica, 2020), at:

https://www.seguridadpublica.go.cr/transparencia/planes/planes_inst/plananualoperativo/plan_anual_operativo_2020.pdf

[79] See toxic masculinity public force training course. Ministry of Public Security, Masculinidades, (Costa Rica), at: https://www.seguridadpublica.go.cr/ministerio/igualdad_equidad_genero/documentos/masculinidad.pdf

[80] Data from Department of Control and Documentation as of 08/19/2020.

[81] Andrea Mora, “Fuerza Pública busca 1000 policías nuevos para 2018,” El País (January 16, 2018), at: https://www.elpais.cr/2018/01/16/fuerza-publica-busca-1000-policias-nuevos-para-2018/

[82] Centros Infantiles de Atención Integral (CINAI), Dirección de CEN CINAI: 60 años contribuyendo con el bienestar de la niñez costarricense. (Costa Rica, May 8, 2011), at: https://www.cen-cinai.go.cr/images/pdf/Informes/LIBRITO_INTERACTIVO_MEMORIA_.pdf and https://www.cen-cinai.go.cr/index.php/cen-cinai/historia#

[83] The Ministry of Public Security has documents that require the respect and fulfillment of women’s rights, among them we can mention: 1. Executive Decree No. 015-2019 MSP “Declaration of the Ministry of Public Security as an institution with zero tolerance for sexual harassment.” 2. Agreement Number 124-2018-MSP “Declaration of zero tolerance for any manifestation of violence against women in the Ministry of Public Security”.

[84] See, for example data on femicide, which has gone down steadily in recent years. Poder Judicial, Feminicidios 2020, (Costa Rica, October 26, 2020), at: https://observatoriodegenero.poder-judicial.go.cr/images/Estadisticas/Femicidio/Documentos/Femicidio_2020_26_de_octubre-cd4.pdf

[85] See https://www.ifrc.org/docs/idrl/751ES.pdf

[86] Ministry of Planification and Development, Ley 1-12 Estrategia Nacional de Desarrollo 2030, (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 2012), at: https://mepyd.gob.do/mepyd/wp-content/uploads/archivos/end/marco-legal/ley-estrategia-nacional-de-desarrollo.pdf; and Ministry of Foreign Relations, Plan Estratégico 2015-2020 La Nueva Política de Relaciones Exteriores, (Santo Domingo, 2015) at: https://www.mirex.gob.do/pdf/planestrategico.pdf

[87] Ministry of Defense, Plan Estratégico Institucional PEI 2017-2020, (Santo Domingo, 2017), at: https://www.mide.gob.do/transparencyfile.aspx?id=6516 and National Police, Plan Estratégico Institucional, (Santo Domingo, January 2017) at: https://www.policianacional.gob.do/transparencia/plan-estrategico-institucional/

[88] UN Women, The Beijing Platform for Action: inspiration then and now, (UN Women, 2015), at: https://beijing20.unwomen.org/en/about

[89] Ministry of Women, Plan Nacional de Igualdad y Equidad de Género, (Santo Domingo, 2020), at: https://oig.cepal.org/sites/default/files/2019_planeg_iii_dom.pdfx

[90] Ministry of Defense, ¿Quénes Somos? (Santo Domingo, 2020), at: https://www.mide.gob.do/detail.aspx?id=449&sl=96

[91] A PDF can be downloaded at Ministry of Defense, 6. Plan Estratégico de la institución, (Santo Domingo, 2017), at: https://www.mide.gob.do/transparencia/index.html

[92] Ibid. page 119.

[93] Mirando al los Cuarteles. Coronel Ana O Matos Feliz sigue en Equidad y Genero del MIDE, (September, 2016), at: https://www.mirandoloscuarteles.com/2016/09/coronel-ana-o-matos-feliz-sigue-en.html

[94] National Police, Oficina de Equidad de Género POA 2020, (República Dominicana, 2020), at:https://www.policianacional.gob.do/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/OFICINA-DE-EQUIDAD-DE-GENERO-POA-2020.pdf

[95]Army of the Dominican Republic, Institutional Strategic Plan 2017-2020, (Santo Domingo, 2017),at: https://www.ejercito.mil.do/transparencia/images/docs/plan_estrategico/2018/PLAN%20ESTRATEGICO%20INSTITUCIONALERD%202017-2020.pdf Army of the Dominican Republic, Avances del Plan Operativo 2019, (Santo Domingo, 2019), at: https://www.ejercito.mil.do/transparencia/planificacion-estrategica/plan-operativo-anual-poa/category/2019-30 and Army of the Dominican Republic, Avances del Plan Operativo 2020, (Santo Domingo, 2020), at: https://www.ejercito.mil.do/transparencia/planificacion-estrategica/plan-operativo-anual-poa/category/2020

[96] Fuerza Aérea de República Dominicana, Plan Estratégico Institucional, (Santo Domingo, 2017) https://transparencia.fard.mil.do/plan-estrategico-institucional/#59-wpfd-planificacion-estrategica-institucional

[97] Fuerza Aérea de República Dominicana, Plan Operativo Anual 2020, (Santo Domingo, 2020), at: https://transparencia.fard.mil.do/plan-estrategico-institucional/#60-wpfd-plan-operativo-anual-poa-plan-estrategico-institucional-1555038726

[98] Congreso de la República, Resolución No. 211-14 (Santo Domingo, 2014), at: https://observatoriojusticiaygenero.gob.do/documentos/PDF/normativas/NOR_Res_No_211_14.pdf and La República, “Discurso Completo de rendición de cuentas de Danilo Medina en 2019” La República.(February 27, 2019), at: https://listindiario.com/la-republica/2019/02/27/555400/discurso-completo-de-rendicion-de-cuentas-de-danilo-medina-en-2019

[99] Ministry of Defense, “MIDE resalta iniciativas del Gobierno para mejorar la vida de los militares” Ministry of Defense, at: https://mide.gob.do/detail.aspx?id=1409

[100] Op. Cit. page 74

[101]National Congress, Ley No. 24-97.(Santo Domingo, January1997), at: https://pdba.georgetown.edu/Security/citizensecurity/domrep/Leyes/ley24.html

[102] See Instituto Superior para la Defensa, Escuela de Graduados en Derechos Humanos y Derecho Internacional Humanitario (Santo Domingo: Ministerio de la Defensa, 2020), at: https://egdhdih.mil.do/

[103] See https://www.policianacional.gob.do/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/OFICINA-DE-EQUIDAD-DE-GENERO-POA-2020.pdf

[104] Office of Gender Equality and Development, Plan Nacional Operativo 2020, (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: National Police, 2020), at: https://minpre.gob.do/transparencia/publicaciones-oficiales/

[105] National Police, Memoria Annual 2019. (Santo Domingo, 2019) at: https://www.policianacional.gob.do/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/MEMORIA-ANUAL-2019-FIRMADA.pdf and Ministry of Defense, Bienvenidos al Portal de Transparencia del Ministerio de Defensa. (Santo Domingo, 2020), at:https://www.mide.gob.do/transparencia/index.html

[106] Pax Christi International, Mujeres, paz y seguridad: panorámica y perspectivas en América Latina y el Caribe. (Belgium: Pax Christi International, December 2013), at: http://archive.paxchristi.net/MISC/2014-0216-es-am-GE.pdf

[107] See Instituto de Educación Superior en Formación Diplomática y Consular (INESDYC), Sobre el INESDYC, (Santo Domingo, 2014), at: http://www.inesdyc.edu.do/sobre-el-inesdyc

[108] Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Movilidad Humana, Política para la Igualdad de Género, (Quito, Ecuador: Cancillería, January 2018), at: https://www.cancilleria.gob.ec/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/politica_para_la_igualdad_de_genero_2018.pdf ; and, Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Movilidad Humana, Agenda de Política Exterior 2017-2021, (Quito, Ecuador: Cancillería, 2018), at https://www.cancilleria.gob.ec/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/agenda_politica_2017baja.pdf

[109] Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Movilidad Humana, Plan Nacional de Seguridad Integral: Plan Específico de Relaciones Exteriores y Movilidad Humana 2019-2030, (Quito, Ecuador: Cancillería, 2019), at: https://www.defensa.gob.ec/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2019/07/plan-nacional-min-exteriores-web.pdf

[110] Consejo Nacional para la Igualdad de Género, Agenda Nacional de Mujeres y Personas LGBTI 2018-2021, (Quito, Ecuador: Consejo Nacional para la Igualdad de Género, 2018), at: https://www.igualdadgenero.gob.ec/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Agenda_ANI.pdf

[111] Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Política de Defensa Nacional del Ecuador “Libro Blanco,, (Quito, Ecuador: Ministerio de Defensa, December 2018) at: https://www.defensa.gob.ec/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Pol%C3%ADtica-de-Defensa-Nacional-Libro-Blanco-2018-web.pdf; Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Plan del Sector de 2017-2021, (Quito, Ecuador: Ministerio de Defensa, July 2019),  at: https://www.defensa.gob.ec/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/plan-sectorial-web.pdf

[112] Ministerio del Interior, Plan Nacional de Seguridad Ciudadana y Convivencia Social Pacífica, (Quito, Ecuador: Ministerio del Interior, 2019), at: https://www.ministeriodegobierno.gob.ec/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/PLAN-NACIONAL-DE-SEGURIDAD-CIUDADANA-Y-CONVIVENCIA-SOCIAL-PACI%CC%81FICA-2019-2030-1_compressed.pdf 

[113] Ministerio de Defensa, Política de Género de las Fuerzas Armadas de Ecuador, (Quito, Ecuador: Ministerio de Defensa, March 2013), at: https://www.defensa.gob.ec/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2013/03/politicas-texto-final.pdf

[114] Comando Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, Plan Estratégico Institucional de las Fuerzas Armadas, (Quito, Ecuador: Comando Conjunto, January 2012), at  https://www.ccffaa.mil.ec/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2019/04/k-anexo-1-PLAN-ESTRATEGICO-FF.AA_.-2010-2021.pdf

[115] Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Estatuto Orgánico de Gestión Institucional, (Quito, Ecuador: Ministerio de Defensa, November 2017), at: https://www.defensa.gob.ec/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2017/11/oct_ESTATUTO-ORGANICO-DE-GESTION-ORGANIZACIONAL_nov2017.pdf

[116] Ministerio del Interior, Doctrina Policial de la Repúbica del Ecuador, (Quito, Ecuador: Ministerio del Interior, December 2012), at: https://www.ministeriodegobierno.gob.ec/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/12/Doctrina-Policial-de-la-Repu%CC%81blica-del-Ecuador.pdf

[117] Unless stated otherwise, this data was obtained through different public sources collected by contributors to this report and is updated until 2019.

[118] Ministerio del Interior, 2019, op. Cit.

[119] This figure is for Ecuador’s participation in UN Missions. See: Peace Keeping United Nations, “Summary of Troops Contributing Countries by Ranking Police, UN Military Experts on Mission, Staff Officers and Troops 2020,” at: https://peacekeeping.un.org/sites/default/files/2_country_ranking_13.pdf

[120] Ministerio de Defensa, Cartilla de Género: Fuerzas Armadas del Ecuador,  (Quito, Ecuador: Ministerio de Defensa, March 2017), at: https://www.defensa.gob.ec/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2017/03/cartilla-genero-2017-marzo.pdf

[121] Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, “Fuerzas Armadas Fortalecen sus Filas con Mujeres en la Carrera Militar”, (December 2019), at: https://www.defensa.gob.ec/fuerzas-armadas-fortalecen-sus-filas-con-mujeres-en-la-carrera-militar/

[122] Consejo Nacional para la Igualdad de Género, 2019, op. Cit.

[123] Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas y Censos, Ficha Metodológica: Indicador ODS, Porcentaje de Mujeres Oficiales de Policía, (Quito, Ecuador: CEEG, 2019), at: https://www.ecuadorencifras.gob.ec/documentos/web-inec/Sistema_Estadistico_Nacional/Objetivos_Desarrollo_Sostenible_ODS/Objetivo_5/Meta_5.5/Indicador_5.5.2/4_FM_Porcentaje_mujeres_oficiales_policia.pdf

[124] PeaceWomen, “National Action Plan: Guatemala”, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, at https://www.peacewomen.org/action-plan/national-action-plan-guatemala

[125] http://extwprlegs1.fao.org/docs/pdf/gua134317.pdf

[126] Secretaría Presidencial de la Mujer (SEPREM), Política Nacional de Promoción y Desarrollo Integral de las Mujeres y Plan de Equidad de Oportunidades, (Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala: SEPREM, Nov 2009), at  http://www.segeplan.gob.gt/downloads/clearinghouse/politicas_publicas/Derechos%20Humanos/Politica%20Promoci%C3%B3n%20%20y%20desarrollo%20Mujeres%202008-2023.pdf

[127] UN Women, Sepur Zarco case: The Guatemalan women who rose for justice in a war-torn nation (UN Women, October 19, 2019), at: https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2018/10/feature-sepur-zarco-case

[128] UN Women, 2019, op. Cit.

[129] Secretaría Técnica del Consejo Nacional de Seguridad (STCNS), Ley Marco del Sistema de Seguridad Nacional, (Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala: STCNS, February 2018), at https://stcns.gob.gt/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/06_Ley_Marco_SNS_.pdf

[130] Ministerio de Gobernación (MinGob), Pacto por la Seguridad, la Justicia y la Paz, (Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala: MinGob, May 2012) https://www.plazapublica.com.gt/sites/default/files/pacto_por_la_paz_la_seguridad_y_la_justicia.pdf

[131] Ministerio de la Defensa Nacional, Libro de la Defensa Nacional de la República de Guatemala, (Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala: MinDef, 2015), at  https://www.mindef.mil.gt/datos_abiertos/pdf/Libro%20de%20la%20Defensa.pdf

[132] MIMPAZ, National Action Plan for the Implementation of Resolution 1325 of the United Nations Security Council and Related Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security, (Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala: MIMPAZ, 2017), at https://gnwp.org/wp-content/uploads/Guatemala-NAP-2017_DP160100212.pdf

[133] Ministerio de la Defensa Nacional, ACUERDO GUBERNATIVO NÚMERO 130-2016, (Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala: MINDEF, June 2016), at http://www.dgam.gob.gt/ACUERDO%20130-2016.pdf

[134] Dirección General de la Policía Nacional Civil, Modelo Policial de la Seguridad Integral Comunitaria, (Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala: PNC, August 2014), at https://pnc.edu.gt/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Manual-MOPSIC1.pdf

[135] UNFPA Guatemala, Manual Policial Didáctico para Prevención de Casos de Violencia Contra la Mujer para niños, niñas y padres de familia, (Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala: UNFPA, February 2020), at: https://guatemala.unfpa.org/es/publications/manual-policial-did%C3%A1ctico-para-prevenci%C3%B3n-de-casos-de-violencia-contra-la-mujer-para

[136] This figure is for Guatemala’s participation in UN missions. See: Peace Keeping United Nations, Summary of Troops Contributing Countries by Ranking Police, UN Military Experts on Mission, Staff Officers and Troops 2020, (Peace Keeping United Nations, 2020) at: https://peacekeeping.un.org/sites/default/files/2_country_ranking_13.pdf

[137] Alicia Álvarez, “Un país sin generalas: las mujeres en el Ejército de los hombres,” Plaza Pública (April 23, 2019), at https://www.plazapublica.com.gt/content/un-pais-sin-generalas-las-mujeres-en-el-ejercito-de-los-hombres

[138] Redacción Diario La Hora, “Mujeres fortalecen a la PNC con su capacidad e inteligencia; hay 5 mil 451”, Diario La Hora (August 9, 2017), at https://lahora.gt/mujeres-fortalecen-a-la-pnc-con-su-capacidad-e-inteligencia-hay-5-mil-451/

[139] Ministerio de la Defensa Nacional, Comando Regional de Entrenamiento de

Operaciones de Mantenimiento de Paz (CREOMPAZ), (Ministerio de la Defensa Nacional), at: https://www.mindef.mil.gt/Organizacion/4misiones_paz/2creompaz/creompaz.html

[140] Secretaría Presidencial de la Mujer (SEPREM), Cuarta reunión ordinaria de la Mesa Interinstitucional sobre Mujeres, Paz y Seguridad -Mimpaz, (Guatemala: SEPREM, August 13, 2020), at: https://seprem.gob.gt/cuarta-reunion-ordinaria-de-la-mesa-interinstitucional-sobre-mujeres-paz-y-seguridad-mimpaz/

[141] Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (aka AMLO) assumed the Mexican Presidency on December 1, 2018.

[142] The military is indeed heavily involved in public security. Unlike many other countries in Latin America, Mexico has no territorial disputes, and the AMLO administration considers the threat of external aggression low to non-existent. See also Maureen Meyer, One Year after National Guard’s Creation, Mexico is Far From Demilitarizing Public Security, Commentary (Washington, DC: Washington Office on Latin America, May 26, 2020). See Also Mark Stevenson, “Mexico puts Military in Charge of Customs Operations,” Associated Press (July 18, 2020).

[143] Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos, Impunidad Feminicida, (Ciudad de México, March 2020) at: https://redtdt.org.mx/mujeres/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2020/03/131019-informe-de-mujeres-6.pdf ; National Federal Journal of the Federation, Development Plan 2019-2024, (Mexico City, 2019), at: https://www.dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5565599&fecha=12/07/2019 and National Institute for Women, Qué Hacemos, (Ciudad de México 2020) at: https://www.gob.mx/inmujeres/que-hacemos

[144] The only information available was the announcement of the development of a NAP (page 112) in the Second Annual report of the Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection. Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection, Second Annual Report: Security 2019-2020, (Mexico City, 2020), at: https://www.gob.mx/cms/uploads/attachment/file/574793/2019-2020_Segundo_Informe_de_Labores_SSPC__1_.pdf

[145] Secretariat of Foreign Relations, México anuncia la adopción de su Política Exterior Feminista, (Mexico City, January 9, 2020), at https://www.gob.mx/sre/prensa/mexico-anuncia-la-adopcion-de-su-politica-exterior-feminista?state=published#:~:text=La%20Pol%C3%ADtica%20Exterior%20Feminista%20de%20M%C3%A9xico%20est%C3%A1%20fundada%20en%20un,sociedad%20m%C3%A1

[146] Andres Manuel López Obrador, National Peace and Security, (Mexico City, November 2018) Plan, at: https://lopezobrador.org.mx/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/PLAN-DE-PAZ-Y-SEGURIDAD_ANEXO.pdf and Mexican Congress, National Strategy of Public Security, (Mexico City, May 16, 2019), at: https://www.gob.mx/cms/uploads/attachment/file/434517/Estrategia_Seguridad-ilovepdf-compressed-ilovepdf-compressed-ilovepdf-compressed__1_.pdf . Mexican feminists have become increasingly critical of the actions of the AMLO administration, particularly its lack of response to the violence against women. See, for example, Denise Dresser, “Mexican Women Are Furious. AMLO Should Start Listening,” Americas Quarterly (October 6, 2020)

[147] Secretariat of National Defense, National Defense Sector Program, (Mexico City, June 2020), at https://dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5595529&fecha=25/06/2020

[148] Navy Secretariat, Navy Sector Program 2020-2024, (Mexico City, 2020), at  https://transparencia.semar.gob.mx/rendicion%20de%20cuentas/Programa-Sectorial-de-Marina-2020-2024.pdf

[149] Data for this report was provided through interviews with personnel at the Secretariat of Defense.

[150] The Army and Air Force are part of the same organization.

[151] Estimated number of women in senior ranks, obtained by adding those reported on 2018 see: Fernanda Nava, “En el Ejército 5 mujeres logran grado de general”, La Razón, (November 5, 2018), at https://www.razon.com.mx/mexico/ejercito-5-mujeres-logran-grado-de-general-sedena-escalafon-militar-mexico/ and Jorge Medellín, “Ascensos en el Ejército Mexicano. Defensa” (November 18, 2020), at: https://www.defensa.com/mexico/ascensos-ejercito-marina-mexico-siete-nuevos-generales-division; SEDENA, “Relación del Personal que asciende en la promoción general del 18 nov.2020”, (México: SEDENA, November 18, 2020), at: https://www.gob.mx/cms/uploads/attachment/file/592807/BOLETIN_DE_ASCENSOS_2020.pdf

[152] This number refers to the number of women in senior ranks accounted up to 2013. See SEMAR, “Entorno de las Mujeres en la Armada de México”, (Mexico City: SEMAR, 2013), at: http://www.semar.gob.mx/redes/igualdad/1.pdf

[153] Most of the deployments of the Mexican armed forces occur inside the Mexican territory as part of the efforts against organized crime.

[154] These figures correspond to Mexico’s participation in UN Missions only. See Peace Keeping United Nations, Summary of Troops Contributing Countries by Ranking Police, UN Military Experts on Mission, Staff Officers and Troops 2020, at: https://peacekeeping.un.org/sites/default/files/2_country_ranking_13.pdf

[155] National Institute for Women (INAMU) Memoria Institucional 2019 (Panama, 2019), at: https://inamu.gob.pa/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/INAMU-Memoria-2019-comprimido.pdf

[156] ONU Mujeres, Gobierno de Panamá y ONU Mujeres firman acuerdo de cooperación (May 11, 2020), at: https://lac.unwomen.org/es/noticias-y-eventos/articulos/2020/05/onu-mujeres-y-gobierno-de-panama-firman-acuerdo-de-cooperacion

[157] Official Gazette Constitución Política de la República (November 15, 2004), at: https://pdba.georgetown.edu/Constitutions/Panama/vigente.pdf

[158] All the mentioned laws and its respective links can be found at the National Institute for Women (INAMU), Normativa. (Panama, 2020), at: https://inamu.gob.pa/normativa/ additional information for the budget can be found here https://inamu.gob.pa/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/PROYECTOS-INVERSIÓN-SEPTIEMBRE.pdf

[159] See page 18-19, Official Gazette, Ley N.54 (Panama: Government of Panama, July 11, 2017), at: https://www.gacetaoficial.gob.pa/pdfTemp/28320/GacetaNo_28320_20170712.pdf

[160] See Ley N°71 Official Gazette, Ley N.71 (Panama: Government of Panama, December 30, 2008), at: https://docs.panama.justia.com/federales/leyes/71-de-2008-dec-30-2008.pdf

[161] See page 62, National Institute for Women (INAMU) Memoria Institucional 2019 (Panama, 2019), at: https://inamu.gob.pa/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/MEMORIA-INAMU-LISTA-PARA-IMPRIMIR.pdf

[162] National Institute for Women, Activity Report 2020 (Panama, 2020) https://inamu.gob.pa/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/POA-2020-SECRETARIA-GENERAL-fusionado.pdf

[163] See Oficina de Equidad de Género y Equiparacion de Oportunidades, Manual of the Gender Equality Office, (Panama, 2019), athttps://www.minseg.gob.pa/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/MANUAL_OEGEO.pdf

[164] See page 46, Office of Institutional Development, Manual de Organización del Ministerio de Seguridad Pública (Panama: Ministry of Public Security, 2015), at: https://www.minseg.gob.pa/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Manual-de-Organizacion-y-Funciones.pdf

[165] See page 2, Ministry of Public Security, Estrategia País De Seguridad Ciudadana, (June, 2015), at: https://www.minseg.gob.pa/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Resumen-Estrategia-Pais-de-Seg-Ciudadana.pdf

[166] Information provided by the human resources office of each institution.

[167] Ministry of Labor and Laboral Development (MITRADEL), Código de Trabajo (December 31, 1971), at: https://www.mitradel.gob.pa/trabajadores/codigo-detrabajo/

[168] MITRADEL, Ejecutivo sancionó ley de Licencia de Paternidad (May 25, 2017), at: https://www.mitradel.gob.pa/ejecutivo-sanciono-ley-licencia-paternidad/

[169]National Assembly, Prupuesta de Ley que Modifica el artículo 178 del Código Penal (Panama, September 10, 2020), athttps://www.laestrella.com.pa/nacional/180216/ley-acoso-sexual-vigencia

[170]Legislative Assembly, Ley Orgánica de la Policía Nacional (Panama, Jun 3, 1997), at: https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CAT/Shared%20Documents/PAN/INT_CAT_ADR_PAN_25554_S.PDF

[171] Ministry of Public Security, Memorias 2019 (Panama, 2019), at: https://www.minseg.gob.pa/descargas/Memoria2019.pdf

[172]Alejandro Marin Leiva, “Violence against women and the COVID-19 pandemic in Panama” (Panama: Konrad Adenauer Foundation, August 12, 2020), at: https://www.kas.de/en/web/panama/event-reports/detail/-/content/violencia-contra-la-mujer-y-la-pandemia-en-panama-1

[173] Gobierno Nacional, Plan Nacional de Desarrollo 2030, (Asunción, Paraguay: Gobierno Nacional, December 2014), at: https://www.stp.gov.py/pnd/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/pnd2030.pdf

[174] See: Organization of the United Nations (UN), Sustainable Development Goals, (New York: UN, November 2020), at: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/gender-equality/

[175] Ibid, p. 42.

[176] Consejo de Defensa Nacional (CODENA), Política Nacional de Defensa 2019-2030, (Asunción, Paraguay: CODENA, 2019), at: http://www.mdn.gov.py/application/files/7415/6415/4362/Politica_de_Defensa_Nacional_2019-2030.pdf

[177] Ministerio del Interior (MDI), Tranversalización del Enfoque de Género en la Estrategia Nacional de Seguridad Ciudadana (ENSC), (Asunción, Paraguay: MDI, February 2014), at: http://www.mdi.gov.py/images/pdf_mdi/informe_enfoque_genero_24feb.pdf

[178] Ministerio de la Mujer (MINMUJER), IV Plan Nacional de Igualdad 2018-2024, (Asunción, Paraguay: MINMUJER, December 2018), at: https://oig.cepal.org/sites/default/files/paraguay_2018-2024_plan_de_igualdad.pdf

[179] Figures excerpted and adaptaded from: Seminario Internacional ”Experiencias exitosas y lecciones aprendidas de la inclusión de la mujer en operaciones militares y acciones de seguridad” with the Directorate of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law – Gender Unit from the MoD in June 2020.

[180] This figure is for Paraguay’s participation in UN missions only. See: Peace Keeping United Nations, Summary of Troops Contributing Countries by Ranking Police, UN Military Experts on Mission, Staff Officers and Troops 2020 (Peace Keeping United Nations, 2020) at: https://peacekeeping.un.org/sites/default/files/2_country_ranking_13.pdf

[181] Ministerio del Interior (MDI), Mujeres policía tienen nuevo “Reglamento de Plan de Carrera” (Asunción, Paraguay: MDI, Novermber 20, 2018), at: http://www.mdi.gov.py/index.php/component/k2/item/10978-mujeres-polic%C3%ADa-tienen-nuevo-%E2%80%9Creglamento-de-plan-de-carrera%E2%80%9D

[182] See Law No. 5508/2015 Art.13 “Promotion, Protection of Maternity and Support for Breastfeeding,” at https://www.bacn.gov.py/leyes-paraguayas/4428/promocion-proteccion-de-la-maternidad-y-apoyo-a-la-lactancia-materna

[183] Ministerio del Interior (MDI), Mujeres policía tienen nuevo “Reglamento de Plan de Carrera” (Asunción, Paraguay: MDI, Novermber 20, 2018), at: http://www.mdi.gov.py/index.php/component/k2/item/10978-mujeres-polic%C3%ADa-tienen-nuevo-%E2%80%9Creglamento-de-plan-de-carrera%E2%80%9D

[184] Secretaría Técnica de Planificación para el Desarrollo Económico y Social (STP), Cuarto Plan Nacional de Gobierno Abierto de Paraguay 2018-2020, (Asunción, Paraguay: STP, August 2018), at: https://observatorioplanificacion.cepal.org/es/planes/cuarto-plan-de-accion-nacional-de-gobierno-abierto-de-paraguay-2018-2020

[185] For further reference see: subsection 2 of article 2 of the Political Constitution of Peru that establishes the right of every person to equality before the law, providing that no one should be discriminated against on the basis of origin, race, sex, language, religion, opinion, economic condition or of any other nature; see also Law 26628.

[186] Ministerio de la Mujer y Poblaciones Vulnerables (MIMP), Plan Nacional para la Equidad de Género 2012-2017, (Lima, Perú: MIMP, 2012), at: https://www.mimp.gob.pe/files/direcciones/dgignd/banner/planig_2012_2017.pdf

[187] See: Congreso de la República, Políticas de Estado del Acuerdo Nacional, (Lima, Perú: Congreso, 2020), at http://www.congreso.gob.pe/DIDP/objetivos_acuerdo_nacional/#:~:text=El%20Acuerdo%20Nacional%20es%20el,y%20afirmar%20su%20gobernabilidad%20democr%C3%A1tica.

[188] Gobierno del Perú, Informe de los Avances en el Cumplimiento de la Ley Nº 28983 de Igualdad de Oportunidades entre Mujeres y Hombres, (Lima, Perú: CDN, 2007), at: https://cdn.www.gob.pe/uploads/document/file/199106/2007-Informe_LIO.pdf

[189] See Law 29131 and legislative Decree N ° 1145 Law, both related to the disciplinary regime of the Armed Forces. Also see Legislative Decree that establishes rules of employment and use of force by the Armed Forces in the national territory: El Peruano, Reglamento del Decreto Legislativo N° 1095, Decreto Legislativo que establece reglas de empleo y uso de la fuerza por parte de las Fuerzas Armadas en el territorio nacional, (Lima, Perú: El Peruano, March 2020), at https://busquedas.elperuano.pe/normaslegales/reglamento-del-decreto-legislativo-n-1095-decreto-legisla-decreto-supremo-n-003-2020-de-1864943-1/

[190] Redacción Andina Agencia Peruana de Noticias, “Ministerio de Defensa crea Comité para la Igualdad de Género”, Andina, (August 23rd 2017), at: https://andina.pe/agencia/noticia-ministerio-defensa-crea-comite-para-igualdad-genero-679585.aspx#:~:text=El%20Ministerio%20de%20Defensa%20(Mindef,las%20pol%C3%ADticas%20y%20gesti%C3%B3n%20institucional.&text=La%20norma%20lleva%20la%20r%C3%BAbrica%20del%20ministro%20de%20Defensa%2C%20Jorge%20Nieto

[191] Ministerio del Interior (MININTER), Plan Estratégico Nacional 2020-2024, (Lima, Perú: MININTER, June 27th 2020), at: https://cdn.www.gob.pe/uploads/document/file/925453/550-2020-IN__Aprobar_el_Plan_Estrat%C3%A9gico_Institucional_PEI_2020_-_2024_del_Ministerio_del_Interior_.pdf

[192] 27

[193] Redacción Andina Agencia Peruana de Noticias, “Mininter presenta a comisionado de la lucha contra la violencia hacia la mujer,” Andina (December 20, 2018), at: https://andina.pe/agencia/noticia-mininter-presenta-a-comisionado-de-lucha-contra-violencia-hacia-mujer-736703.aspx

[194] Summary of Troops Contributing Countries by Ranking Police, UN Military Experts on Mission, Staff Officers and Troops (2020), at: https://peacekeeping.un.org/sites/default/files/2_country_ranking_13.pdf

[195] See: Congreso de la República, Ley Nº 26628 de acceso de las mujeres a las escuelas de oficiales y suboficiales de las Fuerzas Armadas, (Lima, Perú: Congreso de la República, June 19th, 1996), at: https://docs.peru.justia.com/federales/leyes/26628-jun-19-1996.pdf

[196] Redacción Andina Agencia Peruana de Noticias, “Policía: más de 25,000 mujeres trabajan con valor y arrojo en el Perú”, Andina (March 7, 2018), at: https://andina.pe/agencia/noticia-policia-mas-25000-mujeres-trabajan-valor-y-arrojo-el-peru-702343.aspx

[197] Redacción Actualidad Laboral, “Se publica ley que regula el uso de descanso pre y postnatal del personal femenino de las Fuerzas Armadas y Policía Nacional del Perú”, Actualidad Laboral (October 10, 2019), at: https://actualidadlaboral.com/se-publica-ley-que-regula-el-uso-de-descanso-pre-y-postnatal-del-personal-femenino-de-las-fuerzas-armadas-y-policia-nacional-del-peru/#:~:text=El%20d%C3%ADa%20de%20hoy%2C%2010,y%20Polic%C3%ADa%20Nacional%20del%20Per%C3%BA

[198] Ministerio de Defensa (MINDEF), Reglamento de Uniformes del Ejército, (Lima, Perú:MINDEF, 2004), at: https://es.scribd.com/doc/131125940/RE-670-10-Reglamento-de-Uniformes

[199] See Laws of Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago Constitution (Trinidad and Tobago) at: http://laws.gov.tt/pdf/Constitution.pdf

[200] See Gender and Child Affairs, Office of Gender and Child Affairs, (Trinidad and Tobago: Office of the Prime Minister,  2020) at: http://opm-gca.gov.tt/Gender/WhatWeDoatGender

[201]See Gender and Child Affairs, National Policy on Gender and Development, (Trinidad and Tobago: Office of the Prime Minister 2020) at: http://www.opm-gca.gov.tt/Gender/Gender-Initiatives/NationalGenderPolicy

[202] See the Section II of Constitution of Uruguay. Government of Uruguay, Constitución de la República, (1967), at: https://www.impo.com.uy/bases/constitucion/1967-1967/8

[203]https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CCPR/Shared%20Documents/URY/INT_CCPR_ADR_URY_14906_S.pdf

[204] See relevant foreign policy related documents: Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Plan Estratégico 2015-2020: Bases para la Política Exterior de Uruguay, (Montevideo, Uruguay: Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores), at: https://www.gub.uy/ministerio-relaciones-exteriores/sites/ministerio-relaciones-exteriores/files/2018-10/bases%2Bpara%2Bla%2Bpolitica%2Bexterior%2Bdel%2Buruguay.pdf; Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres (InMujeres), Informe de Uruguay sobre la implementación de la Declaración y Plataforma de Acción de Beijing, (Montevideo, Uruguay: InMujeres), at: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/13220Uruguay_review_Beijing20.pdf

[205] Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, “Comunicado de Prensa No. 63/20: Mujeres, Paz y Seguridad: Diálogo Intergeneracional de Alto Nivel para celebrar aniversario de la Resolución 1325 (2000)”, (July 15, 2020), at : https://www.gub.uy/ministerio-relaciones-exteriores/comunicacion/noticias/mujeres-paz-seguridad-dialogo-intergeneracional-alto-nivel-para-celebrar

[206] Ministerio de Desarrollo Social, Estrategia Nacional para la Igualdad de Género 2030, (Montevideo, Uruguay: Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, 2017), at: www.gub.uy/ministerio-desarrollo-social/sites/ministerio-desarrollo-social/files/2019-08/estrategia-nacional-para-la-igualdad-de-genero_web.pdf;

[207] Instituto Nacional de Impresiones y Publicaciones Digitales (IMPO), Ley N° 18650, Ley Marco de Defensa Nacional, (Montevideo: IMPO, 2010) at: https://www.impo.com.uy/bases/leyes/18650-2010/16; also from IMPO see Decreto N° 129/016 (Montevideo: IMPO, 2016), at:

https://www.impo.com.uy/bases/decretos-originales/129-2016/2; Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Plan Estratégico del Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, (Montevideo, Uruguay: Ministerio de Defensa) at: https://www.gub.uy/ministerio-defensa-nacional/institucional/plan-estrategico/plan-estrategico

[208] In its art. 8, the 18.650 law, defines the integration of the National Council of Gender: The National Council is created within the orbit of the Ministry of Social Development Coordinator of Public Policies for Gender Equality, chaired by a representative of the National Institute of Women, which will also be composed of a representative of each Ministry designated by the respective Minister. See: Ministerio de Desarrollo Social, Consejo Nacional de Género, Documento Base de Trabajo 2015-2020, (Montevideo, Uruguay: InMujeres, 2015), at: https://www.gub.uy/ministerio-desarrollo-social/sites/ministerio-desarrollo-social/files/2020-08/documento-base-cng-2015-2020.pdf

[209] Ministerio del Interior, Guía de Procedimiento Policial, Actuaciones en Violencia Doméstica y de Género, (Montevideo, Uruguay: Minterior, July 2011), at: https://www.minterior.gub.uy/genero/images/stories/guia_de_procedimiento_policial.pdf

[210] See Uruguay’s participation in UN Missions. Peace Keeping United Nations, Summary of Troops Contributing Countries by Ranking Police, UN Military Experts on Mission, Staff Officers and Troops 2020), at: https://peacekeeping.un.org/sites/default/files/2_country_ranking_13.pdf

[211] Diálogo, “Uruguay women make great strides in military”, Diálogo Revista Militar Digital (October 8, 2013), at https://dialogo-americas.com/es/articles/uruguay-women-make-great-strides-in-military/

[212] National Peace Operations Training Institute of Paraguay, Courses (Uruguay, 2020), at: http://www.enopu.edu.uy/en/educacion/cursos/

[213] Presidencia de Uruguay, El presidente Tabaré Vázquez enumeró medidas para combatir abuso sexual en misiones de paz, (September 18, 2017), at: https://www.presidencia.gub.uy/comunicacion/comunicacionnoticias/vazquez-naciones+unidas-explotacion-sexual-onu

[214] Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Naciones Unidas distingue a Uruguay como Referente en Políticas de Protección a la Niñez en Misiones de Paz, (June 23, 2020), at: https://www.gub.uy/ministerio-defensa-nacional/comunicacion/noticias/naciones-unidas-distingue-uruguay-referente-politicas-proteccion-ninez

[215] Ministerio del Interior, Protocolo de actuación ante situaciones de acoso sexual en funcionarios y personal, (Montevideo, Uruguay: Minterior and UNFPA, December 2012), at https://www.minterior.gub.uy/genero/images/stories/protocolo_acoso_sexual.pdf. For the military, see: Ministerio de Defensa, Gobierno aprobó protocolo de actuación ante situaciones de acoso sexual en el Ministerio de Defensa, (February 14, 2020), at https://presidencia.gub.uy/comunicacion/comunicacionnoticias/decreto-prevencion-acoso-sexual-ministerio-defensa

[216] Redacción El Observador, “General sancionado por violencia doméstica aceptó el pase a retiro ofrecido por el Ejército”, El Observador (October 13, 2020), at: https://www.elobservador.com.uy/nota/general-sancionado-acepto-el-pase-a-retiro-ofrecido-por-el-ejercito-20201013115448

[217] Presidencia de Uruguay, 4to Plan de Acción Nacional de Gobierno Abierto 2018-2020, (Montevideo, Uruguay: Presidencia, November 2018), at: www.gub.uy/agencia-gobierno-electronico-sociedad-informacion-conocimiento/sites/agencia-gobierno-electronico-sociedad-informacion-conocimiento/files/2019-02/4to_plan_accion_gobierno_abierto_vf_26_11_2018_0.pdf

In every segment of society — from family, to politics, to corporations, to the media — women are taking on visible and influential roles. Many industries and organizations are finally beginning to pay attention to women’s representation and realizing the great potential and need for female talent. Although advocates have argued for years that women have a positive effect on human rights promotion, poverty alleviation, democracy and governance, conflict resolution and peace-building, all too often support for women’s participation slipped to the sidelines. But in the face of immense national and global challenges, it has become clear that women are a tremendous and under-tapped asset for leadership. There seems to be a greater interest than ever before in supporting women’s participation in a variety of fields.

The problem is that the majority of employers know very little about how women are actually faring in their organizations, in terms of the number in seniorlevel positions and in women’s work satisfaction, retention, and promotions. The lack of knowledge about women’s participation and perspectives, combined with the problem of few resources devoted to this issue, have made it difficult to implement meaningful initiatives to promote women’s leadership.

Recently, studies have focused on women’s leadership in some sectors, including academia, the media, and corporations. These studies have highlighted gaps in representation and proposed recommendations for improving women’s opportunities. But a missing component of research seems to be on women’s presence in a  particular area of utmost importance — the national security and foreign policy arena.

This is the first study to examine women in leadership within the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government in international security.

The number of women in leadership roles in national security and foreign policy has certainly improved in the past decade. At the highest levels of government, the U.S. has had three female U.S. Secretaries of State, and women serving at

the helm of the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Agency of International Development, and in Under Secretary policy positions. Women are also increasingly noticeable in the ranks of Assistant Secretaries, Assistant Administrators, Deputy Assistant Secretaries, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretaries, and U.S. ambassadors overseas. As one female former Under Secretary of State observed, “Women are breaking new ground every day in every foreign policy institution.”1

What is the effect of more women in leadership positions in government — on the institution, on younger women, on decision-making? And why do women continue to remain under-represented in many senior-level positions? Are there hidden blockages to women’s advancement? How can women better prepare for and be encouraged to take on these roles in the future? These are some of the questions WIIS set out to explore in interviews with more than 90 mid- and senior-level women from key U.S. Government agencies (including the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security) for this project.

Women who participated in this study expressed the view that we are at a critical juncture — a time of enormous possibilities if leaders and institutions take steps to build the pipeline of female talent in government. These women were hopeful about recent strides in women’s leadership, but at the same time voiced frustration with the slow pace of change and the unresponsiveness to women’s concerns in these working environments. Although they reflected varying perspectives and life experiences, women in this study agreed that:

                                ➤     The culture for women in government agencies has changed for the better.

➤   More women have moved into leadership roles in government, yet they remain under-represented, and this needs to change.

➤   Women are often not getting the support they need (in terms of training,  mentorship, work-life balance) to take on and succeed in leadership positions.

➤   Committed and creative leadership at the top can make a real difference in women’s advancement opportunities and work satisfaction.

the Unsteady climb to 50-50

The opportunities for women in international security government positions have improved enormously in recent decades. Women were often discouraged from applying or entering into government service during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, and for the cohort of women who did enter the policy arena in the 1960s and 1970s, overt gender-based discrimination was a common experience within government agencies. The atmosphere is much different today: the majority of women who were interviewed for this study said that they are considered and treated equally to their male counterparts in government environments, and that young women have a positive view of their career opportunities.

While the percentage of women in the federal workforce increased steadily from 41.3 percent in 1986 to 44.4 percent in 1998 (and has stayed relatively the same since)2, the percentage of women in particular areas of international security policy positions, especially at more senior-levels, has remained below gender parity. Women still account for less than 30 percent of the Senior Executive Service (SES) throughout government agencies and approximately 13 percent in the Senior Intelligence Service.3 In key agencies responsible for national security and foreign policy (i.e. State Department, USAID, Department of Defense), the percentage of women in senior positions continues to hover between 21 and 29 percent.

While women interviewed for this study were optimistic about women’s growing participation in this sector, they also remained acutely aware of their minority status in many international security working environments. As a result, women experienced pressure to establish their credibility, especially in substantive policy areas that remain male-dominated, such as defense, intelligence, and law enforcement.

Practicing Leadership: role Models and Bad Examples

Leadership was repeatedly cited as one of the most important, yet least cultivated skills for women’s advancement in government. This study’s respondents derived many of their lessons about good management from negative experiences with other managers. Although women did not attribute specific leadership qualities to gender, the vast majority described their own approaches as emphasizing consensus, collaboration, inclusiveness, and team-building, and they admired these qualities in other leaders. Building strong relationships — with staff, coworkers, colleagues, and superiors — was viewed as a fundamental element of leadership. While many respondents were hesitant to attribute specific qualities to gender, they felt that women excelled in this area. Women also often looked to male role models for good leadership strategies, in many cases because there have simply been more men in leadership positions.

Women were very aware of perceptions of female leaders as either too “feminine” or “masculine.” Women frequently expressed disapproval of other women who were “overly-aggressive” in their approaches to colleagues and staff. At the same time, women pointed to a double standard with male colleagues in this respect. Furthermore, women recognized that a lack of decisiveness could reduce their credibility and authority: they were cognizant of the need to make difficult decisions in a timely manner when serving in leadership positions, and that  failure to do so is considered a major weakness.

Learning Leadership: Mentoring and training

Women in this study experienced a direct correlation between mentorship and professional advancement. The most effective mentoring relationships went beyond general advice and were based on strong professional relationships, reputation, and trust — mentors who also advocated for their mentees. Promotions into higher-level positions in government are typically facilitated by service in challenging program management positions. As a result, women relied on key personal connections and direct recommendations of mentors or sponsors to gain visibility, attain management, and demonstrate their readiness for future promotion.

Women did not seem to have a preference for female mentoring, and successful women pointed to male mentors who played critical roles in helping them achieve professional advancement. At the same time, women who have had long careers in this field recognized the importance of mentoring younger women to help them through similar challenges as they had faced. However, some women pointed to experiences in which other women were perceived as unsupportive.

Despite the positive impact that mentoring has on women’s success, many government agencies either do not have formal mentoring programs in place, or do not devote enough resources toward ensuring that existing programs are  effective.

Women emphasized the importance of leadership training, but they observed that agencies do not address the need and demand for training. Professional development and leadership training programs remain unevenly dispersed across federal agencies, and many women did not feel that the government places a high value on funding training initiatives or encouraging  employees to take time away from the office to participate in them.

the 24/7 cycle and Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance — what it means, whether it is possible, and how to do it — remains a subject of great concern and varied perspectives among women in international security positions in the government. Those who participated in this study believed that women face unique challenges in this area, and that work-life balance involves trade-offs between professional and personal success. Women varied considerably in their opinions about whether work-life balance could be achieved in the policy arena, especially among the more senior-level respondents. Some expressed skepticism about whether it was possible to  fulfill the responsibilities of high-level positions while carving out time for other priorities outside of the office; others believed that it was possible. However, very few believed that they had achieved their definition of work-life balance in their own lives.

While work-life balance options have improved as more federal employees (women and men) have sought improved flexible arrangements or other work-life benefits, institutional weaknesses continue to linger. Many pointed to outdated maternity and paternity leave policies. Key work-life balance arrangements are not yet institutionalized uniformly across the government. Information about how to set up these arrangements is not always readily available and in the policy arena, there are still very few part-time positions available. Often, women have had to persuade their managers to support flexible schedules on an ad hoc basis, meaning that these negotiated positions have not necessarily been designated or protected as part-time or job share. Additionally, individuals who negotiate flexible schedules say that their job responsibilities often remain unchanged. As a result, they are in reality working much more than the formal part-time status.

Furthermore, the work cultures in many government policy offices do not always empower women to utilize benefits. The realities of the job combined with unwritten expectations of policy positions typically pressure individuals to spend lengthy hours in the office. But the attitudes and examples of leaders make a significant difference in setting expectations and improving acceptance about work-life balance. Women in this study were influenced by how senior-level women handled this issue, and many pointed out that women who have recently taken on high-level policy positions in the government agencies are  creating  cultural changes to better support work-life balance.

Women continue to perceive challenges in the areas of establishing and maintaining credibility, obtaining needed mentoring support and leadership training, and in juggling work-life balance priorities. These are not just “women’s issues,” and the U.S. Government, as well as other employers can no longer afford to marginalize these concerns. In order for the U.S. Government to retain a competitive advantage as an employer in the future, and ensure that the best talent is focusing on national and international security, much more attention and effort will need to be directed to supporting the entry, retention, and advancement opportunities of women. This study is intended to provide an important step in that process.

KEy FindinGS
Women’s Representation and Credibility ➤   Women did not perceive gender-based discrimination as a significant barrier to their career advancement, as it had been for previous generations . While they regarded government institutions as intolerant of discrimination, women remained acutely aware of their minority status in many international security environments . ➤   The majority of women pointed to a need to establish credibility quickly, especially in the defense, intelligence, and law enforcement areas, and acknowledged that this was sometimes difficult in these communities . Women who had military backgrounds credited this experience with helping them “talk the talk” within the defense establishment . ➤   “Ageism” was a commonly cited challenge among mid- to senior-level women . Some interviewees saw “being young and female” as a double set of barriers to overcome in gaining respect and acknowledgement of their rank or position . Other women saw this as a positive opportunity to overcome biases and change viewpoints . ➤   Women working in the U .S . Department of Defense (DOD) expressed a strong perception of the DOD as a meritocracy . ➤   Women in the U .S . Agency for International Development (USAID) were the most positive about the atmosphere and possibilities for women . USAID was described as a less hierarchical culture than the other departments, with a real focus on diversity and gender balance . ➤   Within the U .S . Department of Homeland Security (DHS), some mid-level women perceived that men were being promoted at a greater rate than women . However, women also pointed to a shifting institutional culture, perceiving that more women in leadership positions would  create a more positive environment for women . Practicing Leadership ➤   Women in DOD highlighted the military as an institution that grooms leaders effectively . Women who had previously served in the military before moving into civilian government positions cited the military training and experience as a major benefit in their own ability to lead others . ➤ CONTINUED ON NExT PAGE
➤   The majority of women interviewed did not correlate specific leadership styles with women . However, the vast majority described their own leadership qualities as involving consensus, collaboration, inclusiveness, and team-based approaches . ➤   Many women emphasized the ability to build strong relationships — with staff, coworkers, colleagues, and  superiors — as a fundamental element of leadership where women appear to excel . ➤   Women described numerous examples of both men and women who were micromanaging, disrespectful, and in some cases, abusive toward those who worked for them . In contrast, women distinguished those who sought out talent; recognized, promoted, and rewarded quality work; listened to staff and communicated decisions and how they were reached; and acted as mentors, as model leaders . ➤   Regardless of age, women who were interviewed frequently said that they look to male role models more often than women for good leadership strategies . ➤   Women expressed a struggle in balancing “feminine” and “masculine” qualities . Although some women admired strong female leaders as role models, women disapproved of those who were “overly-aggressive” in their approaches to colleagues and staff . At the same time, women felt that the negativity associated with aggressive approaches by women continues to reflect a double standard . ➤   Women expressed a constant desire to balance inclusiveness and consensus building with decisiveness . When women failed to make difficult decisions, or were uncomfortable justifying or standing by their decisions, it was viewed widely as a weakness in leadership . ➤   Women perceived that demonstrating emotions in the workplace  reflected badly on credibility and professionalism . ➤   Frequently, interviewees brought up the desire to be liked as a major weakness of women . Leadership Training ➤   Women emphasized the importance of training opportunities . Regardless of agency, however, women felt that the civilian sector fell significantly short of the need and demand for leadership training . ➤   Professional development and leadership training resources remain unevenly dispersed across federal agencies, and women found it difficult to gain access and entry to these opportunities . CONTINUED ON NExT PAGE
CONTINUED FROM PREvIOUS PAGE ➤   Many women believed that training is not seen as a natural part of their career experience, nor highly valued by their government employers . The ability to participate in these programs has largely been dependent on the support of their supervisors and the specific office culture . ➤   The majority of the women emphasized that training for civilians should occur at an earlier stage in the career progression, well before promotions into  managerial positions . Mentoring/Sponsorship ➤   Every woman who was interviewed for this study, regardless of agency or level, emphasized the critical importance of mentoring for career success in the  federal sector . ➤   In almost all cases, after women had entered government agencies, they relied on key personal connections and direct recommendations of mentors or  sponsors to attain subsequent positions . ➤   Women repeatedly highlighted the role of mentors in exposing them to new responsibilities, directions, and opportunities . The most frequently mentioned assistance that mentors offered women in this sector was an understanding of bureaucratic structure, processes, and players . ➤   Women did not seem to have a preference for female mentoring . In almost all cases, interviewees said that it did not matter whether mentors are male or female . ➤   Women in mid- and senior-level positions said that they mentor both men and women, and although the majority of interviewees reported that they do not focus their mentoring on women exclusively, many have made a special effort to support other women . ➤   Interviewees observed that women are better than they were in the past at mentoring, and that women are mentoring more often . ➤   At the same time, among younger women, there was no particular consensus about whether women are more or less supportive of other women . Some women described negative experiences with women supervisors and peers . ➤   Many agencies still do not have formal mentoring programs in place . Overwhelmingly, women said that the lack of formal mentoring programs is a gap in professional support offered by government agencies, and that the availability of such programs needs to be expanded . CONTINUED ON NExT PAGE
Work-Life Balance ➤   Women believe that there is a trade-off between professional and personal success . Women expressed that they face unique challenges when it comes to work-life balance . ➤   Women at all levels reflected a view that work-life balance is a very personal issue and that there is no one right way to approach it . Retired and senior-level women commonly expressed that they were unable to achieve their definition of work-life balance . ➤   Many women without children believed that they could not have achieved the same career accomplishments or succeeded in certain positions if they had chosen to have children . ➤   Many women made choices at one or more points in their careers that valued family and children’s priorities over advancement . Women who had reached senior-levels successfully and had children cited instances when they turned down career opportunities for family considerations . ➤   Some women believed it was possible to advance to the highest levels of government while balancing a family life, even though they themselves were unable to achieve it . In several cases, women who had served in extremely senior-level roles in government agencies expressed the strong belief that balance was possible even in such senior ranks . ➤   Overall, there was a recognition that work-life balance options had improved over the years . There was a sense that the institutional cultures have been shifting, and that balancing arrangements for both men and women have been developing . ➤   Flexible arrangements have not yet been institutionalized across all the departments . Information on how to set up these arrangements has not been readily available . Personnel offices have not always known how to establish these arrangements . Meaningful part-time positions, especially in the policy area, remain scarce . Women who have benefited from part-time positions perceived that the arrangements were precarious and largely dependent on the support of current leadership . ➤   Many women continue to leave government employment at the stage of their careers when child-rearing responsibilities begin to take priority at home . Upon resigning from government employment, women commonly expressed that it was nearly impossible to return to government service if they chose to leave completely (unless by political appointment) . CONTINUED ON NExT PAGE
CONTINUED FROM PREvIOUS PAGE ➤   Women repeatedly cited the outdated maternity and paternity leave policies in government agencies as a problem . The majority of women used their accrued vacation leave and/or unpaid leave period to take time off from work to have their children . ➤   There was a sense that work-life balance is no longer exclusively a “women’s issue,” as more men have also begun trying to achieve a balance with their personal lives . yet, women acknowledged that a disproportionate burden continues to fall on women regarding family and child-rearing responsibilities, and that despite institutional changes, real change will not occur until men take the same level of ownership of work-life challenges . ➤   While most women seemed to be aware of the available flexible arrangements, many emphasized that their office cultures and leadership often do not  empower them to take full advantage of these resources . ➤   Many women in this study stated that their direct leadership played the most significant role in setting the tone for whether work-life balance was accepted in their offices . ➤   The bias toward “being present” in the office in government and the perception that an employee is not contributing unless physically at the office were frequently cited as disincentives for employees to take advantage of flexible arrangements, even where the nature of the work would make such arrangements possible . ➤   Some women described the Foreign Service as a particular working environment that requires total dedication . However, Foreign Service officers indicated that overseas posts allowed them to have greater resources and opportunities to tend to their personal and family obligations . ➤   The increase in unaccompanied posts4 in the Foreign Service was highlighted repeatedly as a major problem for women with families . ➤   Of all the agencies surveyed, USAID received the most positive remarks on work-life balance . USAID women cited that the office culture did not put excessive demands on individuals to “pay their dues” by staying lengthy hours in the office . ➤   Interviewees pointed to women who have recently taken on senior-level policy positions in the government agencies as creating cultural change, especially in the DOD, where a number of women in high-level positions have children .

inTroduCTion

WiiS Goals and Objectives

The primary goal for this study is to improve the professional and leadership opportunities for women in international security in U.S. Government agencies. In pursuing this goal, WIIS established the following objectives for this project:

➤   Improve understanding of trends and patterns over time in terms of women’s representation in the federal government in international security positions.

➤   Identify obstacles for women’s advancement in key government agencies, particularly in attaining and succeeding in leadership positions. Highlight model practices developed by agencies, offices, and leaders to improve women’s  participation.

➤   Document the diverse voices, experiences, and wisdom of women who have worked in professional and senior-levels in this career sector.

➤   Examine data on women’s representation and career paths and encourage improvements in collection of data and transparency of information.

➤   Recommend policies and practices to improve recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in international security-related positions in the federal sector.

Why the Executive Branch? capitalizing on Momentum and identifying the Gaps

WIIS focused this study on women in the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government for a number of reasons, including: the increased visibility of women in high-level leadership positions in government working on international security; increased interest in federal career opportunities by women in the WIIS network; recognition of the importance of diversity in recruitment and retention efforts in the public and private sectors; and the remaining gaps in available information on women’s  representation and career paths in this particular sector.

1. Increased Visibility of Women in Leadership

In recent years, women have assumed more visible roles in leadership positions in the U.S. Government. At the Cabinet level, three women — Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice, and currently Hillary Clinton — have served as U.S. Secretary of State; Janet Napolitano is the first woman to lead the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS); and Henrietta Fore recently served as Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Women have also taken on more visible positions as Undersecretaries in various agencies, including Michèle Flournoy, the first woman appointed to the influential civilian position of Under Secretary of Policy in the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). In the U.S. military, DOD designated the first woman — Ann Dunwoody — as a four-star general in 2008. Additional female four-star generals will surely follow Dunwoody’s achievement, and a female Secretary of Defense is no longer outside the realm of possibility. Women are also increasingly populating the ranks of Assistant Secretaries, Assistant Administrators, Deputy Assistant Secretaries, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretaries, and U.S. Ambassadors overseas. As one former female Under Secretary of State observed, 

“Women are breaking new ground every day in every foreign policy institution.”

—Paula J. Dobriansky, former Under-Secretary of State for Democracy & Global Affairs5

In governments around the world, women are taking positions as heads of state,6 ministers, and other senior-level positions, including as ministers of defense and other positions that were once the exclusive domain of men. It appears that women are making significant headway into leadership positions in the U.S. Government and in other governments globally. Although gender parity has not been reached in these positions, the numbers of women have increased, and more attention has been focused — among policymakers, within agencies, and within the media — on women’s participation in high-levels of government.

How have these women leaders affected the institutions, in which they work? And what impact do these women leaders have on the next generation of women entering and building careers in these institutions? It may be too early to tell. Women’s leadership in this sector should be examined more closely, not only at the top levels, but at the important ranks below where women are making the daily decisions that are shaping U.S. diplomacy, security, and international assistance around the world.

2. Increased Interest in Federal Career Opportunities in a Time of Transition

In 2008–09, the change in the Presidential Administration presented an opportunity to bring more women into international security policymaking positions in the U.S. Government. Among the WIIS network, there has been unprecedented enthusiasm and interest in government positions as women in the network seek political appointments, civil service opportunities, and entrance into the Foreign Service.7 Similarly, this feedback from WIIS members parallels a documented growing interest among young people in the federal service. In 2009, a survey of 200 colleges and universities in the U.S. revealed that 90 percent of student respondents were interested in federal employment opportunities, and almost three-fourths of respondents became more interested in public service after the November 2008 presidential election.8

WIIS began this study in 2008 so that its findings and recommendations could be utilized by the new Administration to better recruit, retain, and advance talented women in government ranks.

3. Importance of Diversity and Recruiting/Retaining Talent

While there has been a surge of interest in careers in government, the U.S. Government has also acknowledged a growing need for diversity within the workforce at all levels. The corporate sector, in particular, has devoted increasing attention to diversity, hiring, and the retention needs for the future. Various studies have highlighted a number of problems with female retention and advancement and the linkages to corporate performance. For example, a March 2008 study by Price Waterhouse Coopers pointed to the fact that in the United States and other Western countries women and men are hired at an equal rate for entry level professional positions, but women are leaving the workforce voluntarily at a rate of two or three times more than men once they reach mid-career and management positions. This and other studies have also cited the under-representation of women in leadership roles, such as directors and CEO’s. The Price Waterhouse Coopers study made the following case for fixing what it refers to as “the leaking pipeline” of women:

“Solving this complex business issue is critical to the business case for success and growth ambitions. Organizations need a culture, worldwide, that attracts, retains, and develops top talent. To succeed in creating that culture is to succeed in creating strong business.”9

The non-profit organization Catalyst has conducted research on women in the corporate sector, including tracking women’s numbers in leadership positions, as well as their advancement opportunities and the patterns that underlie women’s decisions to “opt-out” of the workforce at various points in their careers. Catalyst provides diversity practices for corporations to benefit from the “rich talent pool” by expanding women’s opportunities.10 As a result of this business case for  diversity, corporations — including those that are heavily involved in the business of national security — have increasingly established diversity offices and programs aimed at strengthening the pipeline of talent, specifically including female talent.

In order for government employers to attract talent and prepare future leaders, much more attention needs to be devoted to improving outreach and recruitment. The U.S. Government must take critical steps to retain high-quality talent, build the necessary skills of personnel, and institute programs that develop leadership capacity, all with a strong focus on increasing and retaining diversity in government ranks at all levels.11

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reported on diversity needs of the federal workforce, especially in the senior-levels of government.12 Recently, the U.S. Congress has also focused attention on this issue. In June 2009, a bill was introduced in the Senate titled “Senior Executive Service Diversity Assurance Act of 2009.” The purpose of the legislation is “to provide greater diversity within, and to improve policy direction and oversight of, the Senior Executive Service.”13 The bill specifically focuses on tracking data, improving recruitment, and instituting professional development programs aimed at women and minorities for senior-level positions in the government. Diversity in recruitment and retention is also closely linked with the urgent need to replace a significant percentage of personnel reaching retirement age.

A 2009 study conducted by the Partnership for Public Service reported, “[n]early one-third of the full-time, permanent federal workforce is projected to leave government in the next five years.”14 In 2007, the Partnership for Public Service reported that this would produce talent shortages and increasing competition among employers. The same report included hiring projections for government agencies in sectors that are relevant to national and international security work. For example, DOD and Treasury planned to fill 3,670 intelligence analyst positions, and the Department of State (DOS) and USAID planned to expand recruitment for Foreign Service and career officers before the end of fiscal year 2009.15

In recent months, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has sought to address the well-known problems with the current government recruiting process and the need to better enable government to compete for qualified candidates and retain them in government service. In July 2009, OPM released a draft strategic plan for 2010–2015. The plan references “the President’s goal of recruiting, hiring and retaining the best and the brightest for Federal service.” Strategic Goal 3 of the plan commits the Government to promote diversity in the federal workforce in the following ways:

➤   Helping agencies create an environment that values workforce diversity and leverages diverse talent to achieve results.

➤   Promoting policies and practices to ensure all segments of society have an  opportunity for employment and advancement.

➤   Providing Federal employees and managers with educational and training opportunities aimed at creating and maintaining a culture where diversity is valued and promoted.

     Pursuing recruitment and retention efforts focused on attracting diverse talent.16

This WIIS report is intended to provide information, benchmarking, and recommendations to assist the U.S. Government in its efforts to improve policies and programs that affect women’s advancement opportunities.

4. Information on Women in Government: A General Information Gap

A number of studies have been conducted in a variety of sectors that track women’s participation in leadership positions, including information on the number of women in corporate management, women in academia, women in the military, and women in U.S. politics and the media.17 But there remains an information gap on women’s participation in leadership positions in the U.S. Government, particularly in policy positions — both an absence of research by outside organizations and a lack of available data or analysis collection inside the government to support diversity efforts. This report complements efforts by other organizations to benchmark women’s progress in a variety of fields. The WIIS research highlights data on participation and reveals insights on women’s leadership experiences in the international security arena.

While women have become more visible in the highest leadership positions in government, it is difficult to get an accurate picture of how women are represented in the upper professional levels of international security-related positions. Outside of the military ranks, the statistics on civilian women in specific government positions are not easily accessible. While government agencies track general statistics on recruitment, retention, and attrition, the numbers often do not capture enough information on how women are experiencing barriers to advancement and when they are choosing to leave government service. The available data is useful to gain a bird’s eye view of the demographics of federal employees, but the numbers that are available are generally presented by salary level and are usually not distinguished by type of professional position. This makes it impossible to determine how many women are in policymaking or related positions at any given level in any one of the relevant federal agencies. Furthermore, throughout this study, WIIS observed that the offices dedicated to tracking and analyzing employment statistics remain under-resourced.

WHERE ARE THE WOMEN? ExAMPLES OF WOMEN’S REPRESENTATION IN

GOvERNMENT AGENCIES

The following snapshot indicates that, although there has been progress in the past decade in women’s participation in this sector, women remain underrepresented in key agencies and positions.

2008 U.S. Department of State Statistics at the Senior Foreign Service (SFS)18 ➤                     Career Ambassador (Generalist and Specialist): 6 Total, 2 Women (33 .3%) ➤                        Career Minister (Generalist and Specialist): 23 Total, 5 Women (21 .7%) 2008 Promotions: 4 Total, 0 Women (0%) ➤                                                                                                                                             Minister-Counselor (Generalist and Specialist): 399 Total, 114 Women (28 .6%) 2008 Promotions: 51 Total, 17 Women (33 .3%) ➤                                                         Counselor (Generalist and Specialist): 520 Total, 130 Women (25%) 2008 Promotions: 98 Total, 29 Women (29 .6%) ➤                                             FS-01 Promotion Pool in September 2008: 36 .7% Women U.S. Department of State Statistics in the Senior Civil Service (SES)19 ➤                                 133 Total, 45 Women (33 .8%): • GS-15 Promotion Pool in September 2007: 41 .3% Women 2008 U.S. Agency for International Development20 ➤                                             Career Minister: 2 promoted, 1 woman (50%) ➤                                             Minister-Counselor: 7 promoted, 4 women (57 .1%) ➤                                             Counselor: 15 promoted, 5 women (33 .3 %)  In 2007, women made up 43% of the Foreign Service at USAID and 59% of the total USAID Civil Service . However, women only held 29% of the Senior Foreign Service positions . U.S. Department of Defense ➤         In 2007, women held 21 .7% of SES positions in DOD Civil Workforce . This percentage has not dramatically changed over the past 10 years, though it may have increased slightly . Senior-level DOD Demographics for June 2009 cite 23 .09% women . U.S. Department of Homeland Security ➤         In 2007, women made up 26 .2% of SES positions out of 325 . This was an  increase from 2003, when women made up 21 .2% of 208 SES positions . ➤         In the GS-14 and 15 SES promotion pool, women made up 32 .5% of 10,107  positions .

May 21, 2008 GaO rEPOrt  ·  hUMan caPitaL: WOrKFOrcE divErSity

GOvErnMEntWidE and at thE dEPartMEnt OF hOMELand SEcUrity

SEPtEMBEr 2003SEPtEMBEr 2007
PercentPercent
  

Percent

GovernmentwidenumberWomenMinoritiesnumberWomenMinorities
SES6,22126 .415 .26,55529 .115 .8
SES potential  developmental pool (GS-15s and G8-14s)152,12330 .418 .8149,14934 .322 .5

Source: GAO analysis of OPM’s CPDF .

Systematic tracking and analysis of the statistics is needed to determine where the gaps in women’s participation really are and what policies can be designed and implemented to address them. As a starting point to measure progress of women in this sector, WIIS has gathered available statistics and developed initial insights about the current participation of women.

In addition to the gaps in quantitative data, very little information has been gathered from women themselves in these agencies about their own perspectives, experiences, and challenges in advancement. Despite numerous government statements and policies on diversity and the importance of women’s leadership, there is little public data on how women in this sector are viewing leadership opportunities, and how they are developing and applying leadership skills in their government positions. This gap in knowledge hampers government efforts to improve recruitment and retention of women. This study aims to provide important data for policymakers and organizations that are invested in promoting women’s leadership. As mentioned above, individual women who are seeking government opportunities or charting careers in the government in international security often have little access to comprehensive information about how other women have approached their career decisions. This study is also intended to provide talented women in the U.S. who are pursuing international security careers with some lessons learned from other women.

Framework, Focus, and Methodology for this Study

The national and international security arena has expanded rapidly in the past two decades. WIIS, with its diverse network of experts working on both “hard” and “soft” security issues, reflects the changing international security paradigm. Where once international security careers were defined as those in the defense, intelligence, or related fields, now the term includes professionals working on myriad issues affecting global, regional, state, and human security. The U.S. Government has increasingly recognized that its national and global security interests are related to every facet of the federal government apparatus. While DOD and DOS continue to be the powerful and prominent governmental agencies engaged in this area, almost every agency and department now has an international affairs component and defined foreign affairs or national security professionals working within its ranks. The scope of potential work and career paths in government has broadened enormously.

Although almost every U.S. Government agency includes portfolios that relate to national security and international affairs, WIIS limited the scope of this study to an analysis of women in a select group of agencies and departments. However, this limited scope is in no way a reflection of a limited definition of international security by WIIS. It is also important to note that men were not included as interviewees in this study. While future research may incorporate men’s experiences and perspectives as a point of reference for women’s experiences, this study was designed to highlight the unique experiences and challenges faced by women in these professions.

WIIS conducted individual interviews and focus groups with more than 90 women who currently serve in government or have retired from government service in national security, foreign policy, and international assistance. All of the interviews and discussion groups were conducted on a non-attribution basis. The majority of women can be classified as mid- and senior-level professionals. For purposes of this study, WIIS defined mid-level professionals as GS 12–14 or equivalent and seniorlevel professionals as GS 15 and Senior Executive Service. Women were interviewed who serve or have served as civil servants, Foreign Service Officers (DOS and USAID), and political appointees. In addition to those currently serving in government positions, women who had previously served in government but transitioned to the corporate, non-profit, or academic arenas were included in the interviews.

Women who participated in the study represented government experience in the following agencies and departments:

                                                         U.S. Department of State

                                                                                             U.S. Department of Defense (primarily Office of the Secretary of Defense)

                                                                     U.S. Agency for International Development

                                                         National Security Council

                                                                     U.S. Department of Homeland Security

                                                         U.S. Department of Energy

                                                         Defense Intelligence Agency

                                                         Central Intelligence Agency

                                                                     Directorate of National Intelligence

                                                                     Government Accountability Office

WIIS focused on civilian women in government. Although some women were interviewed who had previous military experience, WIIS did not examine women’s participation in the U.S. military as a component of this study.21

As explained above, the statistical data that is available on women in government agencies and departments is not readily accessible to outside organizations. Often, the data provides a general picture of the federal workforce, or agency workforce, based on gender or other diversity factors. Yet, the data is rarely available in more specific areas, such as women in specific components of these agencies or in particular types of job classifications (e.g. Foreign Affairs Officer, etc.). Some agencies and departments appear to track statistics over time, but others either did not have this historical data available or chose not to provide it. Thus, the statistics that are presented in this study are a reflection of what was provided by individual agencies upon request. There are no consistent methods or presentations of statistical data on women in government among agencies. Therefore, direct comparisons across agencies are not always possible.

WIIS intended to gather as much data and input as possible from the intelligence sector, but encountered difficulties receiving responses from this sector. WIIS was able to interview some of its members and others who had retired from intelligence positions about their experiences. But the quantitative data WIIS was able to collect on women in the intelligence agencies in this study is limited to what has been reported in other studies.

WIIS focused on the following themes in discussing career experiences with participants in this study:

         How women are entering the sector and what factors motivated them to pursue careers in this field.

         The essential skills and approaches that women perceive to be essential for  career success in government agencies.

                     Specific challenges that women feel they have faced in career advancement, including overt or implicit gender discrimination, and how women have navigated particular institutional cultures and environments within government.                 The importance of mentoring and how mentoring relationships are developed in these agencies.

         How women define model leadership, and how they have developed their own approaches to leadership throughout their careers.

         How women view work-life balance and its relationship to advancement in  government.

Although this report includes important quantitative data, and offers policy relevant findings and recommendations, ultimately it is a report about historical change, cultural and institutional shifts, individual perceptions and life choices. As such, it provides an unprecedented look into the diverse opinions, experiences, and insights of women in this sector.

part one

navigaTing insTiTuTional environmenTs 

Challenges and opportunities  for Women

the historical Evolution of Women’s Participation  in diplomacy and defense

In 1933, Ambassador Ruth Bryan Owen was the first woman to be appointed as a U.S. ambassador (to Denmark). It was another 20 years (in 1953) until the next female Ambassador was appointed — Ambassador Francis Willis to Switzerland. Ambassadors Ruth Bryan Owen and Francis Willis pioneered the way for women to join the ranks of senior-level federal employees. These women, however, were rare among an exclusively white male diplomatic service. In the post-World War II period, women in the U.S. Government were generally hired into secretarial and other clerical positions. Hiring and promotion practices for policy and executive level positions were not “women-friendly.” Between 1961 and 1971, the recruitment of women into the Foreign Service remained at 7 percent with a slow promotion rate.22

Interviews with retired and senior-level women for this study indicated that women were often discouraged from applying or entering into government service in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. These experiences were highlighted by women who entered DOS during these decades. For example, one former female ambassador recalled that a recruiter on her college campus specifically discouraged women from applying to the Foreign Service. Subsequently, this particular woman not only took the exam and entered the Foreign Service, but ultimately, rose to the highest ranks of the diplomatic service.23

Barriers to entry were only the first set of challenges for women during these decades. Women who did enter the State Department or Defense Department  during the 1960s and 1970s in policy related positions were usually the only  women within their offices or units. With few, if any, female counterparts, these women had to operate in a male-dominated culture where it remained the norm for women to serve in clerical and support staff roles.

Women who served in policy positions during the 1960s and 1970s recalled that overt gender discrimination was pervasive and an accepted part of the mainstream institutional culture in these agencies. There were no significant safeguards in place during this time to protect women from sexual harassment and gender discrimination. Women in this study reported many instances of discrimination in their early careers. In many cases, discrimination took the form of being passed up for promotions, and in other cases, women felt that they were segregated into certain jobs and tasks based on gender bias. For example, some women in the Foreign Service said that they were limited to specific “cones,” such as personnel, and not allowed to rotate into more prestigious areas, such as political affairs, while their male counterparts were given these opportunities.24 In several cases, it was very clear to women that senior-level supervisors did not want women to serve in these types of positions.

In 1975, only 9 percent of 3,461 active FSOs, or 312 people, were women, even though females made up 44 percent of all college graduates that year. In 1974, 65 percent of the women who joined the Foreign Service were assigned to one of four cones: the consular cone, considered the least interesting of the four specialties, which also include political, economic and administrative work. Since only 10 percent of this cone was routinely promoted to FS-1s — the equivalent of the Senior Foreign Service today — it was seen as a dead-end specialization by many FSOs. Women […] claimed this practice had unfairly delayed their career paths. In 1974, male FSOs made up 90 percent of the FS-1s and 83 percent of FS-2s, the next highest grade, while women were concentrated at the three lowest grade levels.25

Several retired women stated that the institutional culture reflected the attitude of American culture and society during the time period. One interviewee who had served in DOD in a civilian policy position highlighted that managers and leaders did not even think about women’s career advancement. When a position at a higher level opened in her office, she asked to be considered for the position. The General who was making the decision was considering her male counterpart for the promotion. He expressed surprise at her suggestion and admitted that it had not occurred to him to consider her. She emphasized in her interview with WIIS that he was not opposed to the idea, and she was ultimately offered the promotion. But she saw this experience as an illustration of a key shift that had to occur in the perception of women’s advancement by the institutional leadership.26

Women in the federal workforce were expected to quit earlier in their careers because of marriage and children in these decades. In the State Department, women were required to quit the Foreign Service if they decided to marry, and it was common for women entering the Foreign Service to be questioned about their plans to get married. 

“Women in the Foreign Service knew that if they married they would have to resign and we accepted that discrimination without batting an eyelash.” — Phyllis

Oakley, Former Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research27

“It was the oral exam that brought the subject of married women and the FS to my attention. I told the panel that I understood the ground rule. I must say that I was greatly irritated by the question, not because I was surprised by it — I had anticipated some questions regarding my gender — but because each of the other two examiners found it necessary to ask the same question separately — in turn — even though I had given the textbook answer.” — Teresita Schaffer, former

U.S. Ambassador and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia28

This ban on married female Foreign Service officers existed until 1972, when internal protests against sexual discrimination began to change the institutional environment.

challenging discrimination: Legal action  and institutional change

While there were gradual changes within these institutions in the post-World War II era, the 1970s ushered in a pivotal period of institutional change for women’s recruitment and visibility. Women who served in government positions during this time recalled that there was a gradual evolution in thinking in these workplaces that reflected the events surrounding the U.S. civil rights and women’s rights movements. Some women who were recruited during the 1970s recognized that they entered government service during a significant time for women’s opportunities. During this period, a number of organizations began to press for equality in these agencies, and female federal employees filed lawsuits and formal complaints. These actions created controversy, as well as opportunity, for women to voice their experiences. The advocacy and legal actions ultimately resulted in dramatic policy shifts within departments, particularly in DOS.

The Women’s Action Organization (WAO)29 was founded in 1970 in reaction to the inequitable treatment and incredibly slow rate of promotion of women in the State Department. Among its goals, the WAO, along with the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), worked to abolish the regulation that prevented women who married from entering or remaining in the Foreign Service. As a result, the State Department overturned its ban on the marriage of female diplomats in 1972, and took steps to improve inequities in housing allowances and in the recruitment process.30

In addition to internal advocacy, legal action against the State Department played a significant role in publicizing and bringing about institutional change and corrective action in improving women’s treatment in the Foreign Service. Women in this study frequently referenced one particularly well-known case. Alison Palmer, a female Foreign Service officer with the State Department, filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against the State Department in the late 1960s, and was the first to successfully win such a case after a 20-year battle in the courts. The Palmer case, which eventually evolved into a class action lawsuit, had a ripple effect on  women’s advancement opportunities in the decades to follow. In some cases, the State Department issued corrective action in the form of reassigning women to positions. In the 1980s, women who were not promoted during this period were eligible for redress, which generally meant they could be assigned to senior positions.A

Women reported in WIIS interviews that this remedy caused significant discord among some women and men in the Department who felt that women who accepted redress were wrongly “leap-frogging” over others into more senior positions. While many women supported the Palmer lawsuit as a milestone for women’s career advancement at the State Department, others felt tainted by the case, in particular expressing that they feared being perceived as “token” women in seniorlevel positions.

Similar formal complaints and lawsuits followed in the late 1970s and 1980s in other agencies, adding to the momentum for more equitable treatment of women in the government workforce.32 In 1977, Harritte Thompson, a female intelligence officer, filed a formal complaint against the Directorate of Operations at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). It was the first to result in a discrimination lawsuit against the CIA. The Agency’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity investigation report found practices in the Directorate of Operations that had constituted discrimination against women in the promotion process. And in the specific case of Harritte Thompson, the investigation report also stated that discrimination was a clear factor in preventing her promotion. A lawsuit was formally filed in 1979, which resulted in an out of court settlement that required the Directorate of Operations to revise its promotion criteria.33

Some women were critical of formal complaints and legal action. In interviews for this study, there was no consensus among women within agencies that formal lawsuits were the best mechanisms for effecting change, and some women reported that they purposefully stayed away from advocacy groups that were vocally arguing for equality. These women felt that they could overcome instances of  discrimination through their own merit.

The battles over gender equality during this period did play an important role in raising women’s consciousness levels about gender discrimination. Nevertheless, many women felt that this was not an issue that could be solved by rules and  regulations, but rather through societal and cultural change.

“The debate about the new regulations did raise my consciousness about gender discrimination. Some of the attitudes that I had shrugged off earlier in my career seemed more significant. I basically felt — and still do to some extent — that the key problem that women faced in the Foreign Service was not the system or the rules, but the institutional culture which had prevailed for most of the careers of our older colleagues. They had a hard time adjusting to the ‘new’ woman.” — Teresita Schaffer, former U.S. Ambassador and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia34

Women’s perceptions and experiences during the 1970s varied widely, and equal opportunity in the federal workforce had not yet been institutionalized. Still, significant changes in legal protection and personnel and management policies began during this period, and women themselves made an unprecedented impact on improving their opportunities to succeed in government service.

Women cited both formal and informal departmental policies that they felt had an impact on their personal career advancement opportunities, as well as on the greater community of female federal employees. In addition to the formal legal and legislative protection, informal policies included rhetorical commitments by presidential administrations to increase the number of women in leadership positions. Key examples of these milestones are included below:

➤     1964: Title vII of the Civil Rights Act protects women against employment discrimination on the basis of gender .

➤     1972: The Equal Employment Opportunity Act prohibits “discrimination in hiring, promotion, discharge, pay, fringe benefits, job training, classification,  referral and other aspects of employment on the basis of  .  .  . sex .”

➤     1972: The State Department overturned ban on female married Foreign Service officers .

➤     1978: With the passage of the Civil Service Reform Act, the U .S . Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) assumed responsibility for enforcing anti-discrimination laws applicable to the civilian federal workforce as well as coordinating all federal equal employment opportunity programs .

➤     1978: In addition to creating a position for a women’s rights officer within the White House, President Carter issued Executive Order (E .O .) 12050 in 1978, establishing an Interdepartmental Task Force on Women’s Rights and a National Advisory Committee on Women to promote and monitor policies in these areas .

➤     1979: President Jimmy Carter issued E .O . 12138, creating a National Women’s Business Enterprise Policy and requiring each agency to take affirmative action to support women’s business enterprises .35

➤     1994: President Clinton issued a memorandum entitled “Expanding FamilyFriendly Work Arrangements in the Executive Branch,” and directed agencies to review their practices and provide workers with flexible hours to help them manage both work and family obligations .

➤     1995: President Clinton established a White House office for Women’s Initiatives to serve as a liaison between the Administration, federal agencies, and civil society organizations to facilitate the development of policies that benefit women . In the same year, the President’s Interagency Council on Women was formed to coordinate implementation of the Platform for Action outlined at the 4th United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing, and to develop initiatives to further women’s progress through outreach and public education .

CONTINUED ON NExT PAGE

➤  2000: Near the end of President Clinton’s 2nd term in office, the U .S . Department of Labor introduced new affirmative action regulations, which marked an unprecedented effort by the agency to promote equal pay . The new policies included an Equal Opportunity Survey requiring federal contractors to report data on compensation, hiring, termination, and promotions by minority status and gender .

➤  2009: President Obama issued E .O . 13506, establishing the White House Council on Women and Girls to help ensure that federal programs and policies take into account the unique needs and interests of women and girls .

➤  2009: The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was the first bill signed into law by President Obama . Under the new law, victims of pay-based discrimination have the right to file a complaint to government within 180 days of their most recent paycheck as opposed to within 180 days of their first unfair paycheck . The latter policy which was overturned facilitated wage discrimination, as employers only had to hide discriminatory practices for a short amount of time in order to be safe from legal action .

the current Picture: Perceptions, credibility  and Biases within agencies

Junior and mid-level women who were interviewed for this study did not perceive sexual and gender-based discrimination as the singularly significant barrier to their career advancement, as it had been for previous generations. While they regarded government institutions as intolerant of discrimination, women have remained acutely aware of their minority status in many international security environments. In a few cases, women mentioned experiences working with colleagues or  individuals who exhibited outdated gender biases.

Regardless of agency, the majority of women emphasized the importance of overcoming perceived biases about women’s expertise and the challenges of establishing and maintaining credibility. They pointed to a need to establish credibility quickly, especially in the defense, intelligence, and law enforcement areas, and acknowledged that this was sometimes difficult in these communities. One seniorlevel defense official explained,

“When I walk into a room, there’s an unspoken expectation that I won’t know what I’m talking about. As a woman, I feel that I have to hold myself to a higher standard to be taken seriously” — Senior-level woman, Office of the Secretary of Defense36

Some women stated that it was more difficult to do this in defense agencies without a military background, while those with military backgrounds credited their experience with helping them “talk the talk” within the defense establishment. “Ageism” was a commonly cited challenge among mid- to senior-level women. In some cases, women who were interviewed believed that ageism was a greater barrier than gender-based discrimination. Women who had been promoted at a relatively young age believed that they had to overcome certain misperceptions about their expertise because of their relative youth. Some interviewees saw “being young and female” as a double set of barriers to overcome in gaining respect and acknowledgement of their rank or position. Women who were able to advance to the more senior ranks quickly often found themselves in situations where they were 10–15 years younger than their predominately white, male counterparts.

Separately, many women at the junior and mid-levels believed that being a woman could be an asset, as their minority status made them more visible among their peers. This visibility could be used, in turn, to help them establish credibility. In addition, some women stated that since women tend to be underestimated, they view being a woman as an opportunity to overcome biases and change viewpoints. But women acknowledged that they also experience pressure to demonstrate skills and knowledge from the outset.

“Sometimes being young and female is good, because you can catch them off guard and prove yourself. But women fall a lot harder than our male counterparts if we don’t demonstrate our expertise.” —Mid-level woman, DHS37

Women working in DOD described the agency as a meritocracy, especially those in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). Women felt that they were able to gain credibility and opportunities for advancement once they demonstrated their expertise of the subject matter. However, a number of career civil service women pointed out that many senior-level positions in OSD are political appointments, and that women in the career civil service have to manage their expectations of how far they can advance in their careers due to the structural limitations for civil servants.

Among the women interviewed, those who have worked in USAID were the most positive about the atmosphere and possibilities for women. USAID was described as a less hierarchical culture compared to the other government agencies with a real focus on diversity and gender balance. Women at all levels generally viewed USAID’s leadership as committed to diversity, and that this commitment has been reflected in the significant number of women in senior-level positions. One former senior-level woman who worked at USAID recalled her time there:

“There were unbelievably competent women in USAID in positions of authority, and there was no resistance to the idea of women in these positions.”—Former U.S. Ambassador and senior-level woman at USAID)38

Some pointed to the nature of USAID’s work and culture in facilitating more opportunities for women:

“The nature of AID’s work is very inclusive of women. Balance is more  equitable.”

—Senior-level career Foreign Service officer at USAID39

Within DHS, some mid-level women perceived that men were promoted at a greater rate than women. As one woman observed, “There was a period when I saw women coming in as support staff while men were being recruited as special assistants.”40 Some women attributed this to the law enforcement culture. However, women also pointed to a shifting institutional culture in DHS, perceiving that the increased number of women in leadership positions could create a more positive environment for  women. As one senior-level woman who had recently joined DHS commented,

“[It] makes a difference having more women at DHS. It’s a very encouraging environment. There’s openness in decision making with more women. Your voice is expected to be heard.” —Senior-level political appointee, DHS41

It is clear that the equal treatment of women and opportunities for advancement have improved enormously during the past 30 years. It took a combination of directed legal and advocacy action, consciousness-raising, and societal changes to overcome the gender-based discrimination that had been so pervasive in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. As a result of those changes, and the policies and initiatives that followed, women no longer regard gender-based discrimination as an obstacle to success in this sector today. Yet, they point to unique challenges based on gender and often on age, in establishing credibility as experts in these environments. As women continue to face these more nuanced dynamics, the increase in visible female leaders is seen as an opportunity to change perceptions and cultures for the emerging generations.

Motivating Factors for Pursuing Government careers in international Security

Women who were interviewed for this study initially entered into federal service between the 1960s and 2000s . Across the span of entry experiences, these women shared some common factors that influenced them to pursue this career path . Almost all the women had early international or multi-cultural experiences through their personal family histories and experiences living or traveling outside of the U .S . as children . Some also had educational opportunities in language studies, foreign affairs, and study abroad programs . The women were also able to attain a highlevel of education, many of them having completed a post-graduate degree before entering into federal service .

During the 1970s and 1980s, the Cold War and the vietnam War were key events in influencing their decisions to pursue international careers . They also pointed to the influence of strong female role models in their formative years who gave them a heightened sense of responsibility and confidence to pursue their goals . Some women who entered into DOD were also influenced by their experiences serving in the military .

Getting the Foot in the door: how Women in Government are Entering the Sector Women who were interviewed for this study utilized a variety of entry points to start careers in government . The most common entry points cited were structured programs, such as the competitive Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) program for the Civil Service and the examination process for the Foreign Service . Other agency-specific programs and internship opportunities also facilitated entry at the junior professional levels . Participants expressed that such structured entry programs gave them certain advantages by providing them with an existing group of peers and mentors, training, and career planning resources . Individuals were better able to learn how to navigate bureaucratic processes and dynamics, as well as find opportunities for advancement . The programs did, however, vary in the degree of organization . The PMF program received the most positive feedback in this regard . Contract employment through private contracting companies was another common entry mechanism, particularly for DOD, DHS, and USAID . While some interviewees expressed advantages to contract employment, including job flexibility and higher pay, many felt that they were disadvantaged by not being directly hired by the government . very few interviewees seemed to have entered by applying for open vacancies on USA Jobs, the formal online mechanism for applying for federal government positions . The few individuals who were placed through USA Jobs did not feel that they had the same support mechanisms or networking opportunities as those who entered through structured programs . In a few cases, women entered into administrative jobs and later transitioned into policy related positions . But this transition from the administrative track to the policy track was somewhat difficult . In one particular case, a woman was promised that she would be able to transition after a limited period of time serving in an administrative function . However, her supervisor was not supportive of her move and she had to fight hard internally to make the transition . In some cases, women entered as political appointees . Key senior-level contacts with strong political connections played a crucial role in bringing these women into political positions . Influential mentors and sponsors were necessary for these types of opportunities . One female former senior-level political appointee in DOD emphasized the importance of “being in the right networks” and “receiving the right phone call” during a presidential transition .42 Another senior-level woman who served in political positions in DOS and USAID leveraged her relationships with key individuals in the White House to highlight specific positions she was interested in and qualified for in the new administration . She was subsequently appointed into a political position . CONTINUED ON NExT PAGE
CONTINUED FROM PREvIOUS PAGE While entry experiences have varied across the agencies and generations, participants agreed on the difficulties and limitations of the existing entry mechanisms into the U .S . Government . Although a number of WIIS members have had successful government careers, many others share the frustration in their quest to pursue government careers . The most frequently cited programs and entry points included: ➤                    Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) (formerly the Presidential Management Intern program): https://www .pmf .opm .gov/ ➤                     Other Fellowships White House Fellows: http://www .whitehouse .gov/about/fellows/Boren Fellowship: http://www .borenawards .org/boren_fellowshipPickering Fellowship: http://careers .state .gov/students/programs .                      html#TRPAAAS Fellowship: http://www .aaas .org/aboutaaas/fellows/ ➤                   Foreign Service (State Department and USAID) ➤         State Department Career Entry Program: http://careers .state .gov/ civil-service/employment .html#CEP ➤                     Internships ➤                     Private Contracting Firms ➤                     Political Appointments ➤                     USA Jobs ➤         Department of DHS STEP Program: http://www .dhs .gov/xabout/careers/ gc_1220993249167 .shtm ➤                     DHS Fellows Program: http://www .orau .gov/dhsed/ ➤                  Lateral moves between government agencies

part tWo

The role models  Women and leadership in government

In 2008, Pew Research Center polled American men and women on gender and leadership. The study found that 69 percent of men and 68 percent of women viewed both men and women equally as leaders.43 Other research has confirmed that men and women are increasingly comfortable with women in leadership positions.44 Yet, challenges remain in how women view available leadership opportunities and paths in government, as well as how women define their own leadership styles. Although the interviews in this study reflected a diverse set of viewpoints, some key lessons emerged from the discussions on how women could better develop their leadership abilities, remain cognizant of common problems in leadership, and become  exceptional examples of leadership in this sector.

Experts and trainers who specialize in leadership emphasize that leadership is not based on position or rank, but rather on behavior and approaches, and that any individual can demonstrate leadership in daily life and work. However, the terms “leadership” and “management” are often conflated. This has especially been true within hierarchical institutions, such as the U.S. Government. Women who were interviewed for this study generally considered leaders as those with decision-making authority in the bureaucracies in which they worked. They did not refer to their colleagues, at comparable levels or more junior level professionals, as leaders. Instead, women focused on their experiences with managers and supervisors, as well as their own reflections about their personal leadership approaches when managing others.

Women in DOD highlighted the military as an institution that grooms leaders effectively. Women who had previously served in the military before moving into civilian government positions cited the military training and experience as a major benefit in their own ability to lead others. As one such interviewee explained, “In the military, you are responsible for people in physical time and space. You learn physical problem-solving — it is really hands-on.”45 In addition to building leadership potential, women with previous military training also emphasized that their

“Good leaders are accountable if they fail — this is a leadership responsibility because the people under you are acting under your guidance.”

— Former Deputy

Assistant Secretary of Defense

experience gave them an added advantage in working within military and defense culture when they moved to civilian positions. Women with military backgrounds pointed to the lack of attention that U.S. civilian departments and agencies have given to leadership development. Even in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where there would be some expectation of carry-over from the military model, women reported very little focus on building and improving leadership capabilities. Women from both military and non-military backgrounds also highlighted leaders who had come from the military community for their model leadership qualities. For example, women who had served under the leadership of Colin Powell in DOS frequently cited him as an effective leader. Interviewees positively attributed Colin Powell’s military leadership experience as a benefit to his tenure at the State Department.

“Good leaders are accountable if they fail — this is a leadership responsibility because the people under you are acting under your guidance.” — Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense46

crucial approaches for Leadership  Success in Government

Mid- and senior professional level women in this study identified common factors and approaches47 that they considered essential for effectively advancing into and demonstrating in leadership positions in the government. These include:                 A positive reputation in the office, department, interagency structure, and wider community of experts, and a high level of substantive knowledge in the area of work.

                                                         A broad professional network built on personal relationships.

                                                         Demonstrated hard work, reliability, and trustworthiness.

                     Ability to work within particular institutional cultures and to “talk the talk,” and willingness to share information among colleagues and agencies.                      Mentors or sponsors in positions to assist with advancement, and the ability to leverage these contacts when needed.

         Recognition of the importance of timing and willingness to seize career  opportunities when they arise, even if not planned.

         An ability to calmly and effectively deal with national security/foreign policy crisis situations.

         Knowing the limits of your knowledge and not being afraid to ask for help when needed.

         Willingness to develop teams, deputize staff, and delegate authority, allowing subordinates to make mistakes and learn from them.

         Protecting staff members and demonstrating a willingness to “take the spear if you have to.”

                                                         Willingness to admit mistakes and not place the blame on others.

         Confidence to claim credit for accomplishments (which many considered a common failure of women).

Elements of Success in Government contexts In addition to the major themes mentioned in the previous section, women interviewed for the study frequently mentioned the following personal characteristics as fundamental to good leadership: ➤                                                     Principled           ➤                   Attentiveness ➤                                                      Integrity     ➤                       Loyalty ➤         Openness and            ➤                     Creativity Transparency         ➤                     Communication ➤                                                  Helpfulness and            ➤              Multi-tasking ability         Candidness                                                            ➤                     Willingness to take risks ➤                                              Personal Commitment ➤                  Decisiveness ➤                                                  Sense of Humor     ➤                   Collaboration

how Women Lead: differences Based on Gender?

In general, women in this study did not attribute specific leadership styles to women. Many stated that they had experienced good and bad leadership by both men and women, and that leadership approaches depended on individual personality more than gender. That said, women commonly described their own leadership qualities as involving consensus, collaboration, inclusiveness, and team-based  approaches. Women also used the same terms to describe model leadership by others. Those who believed that differences exist between men’s and women‘s leadership styles pointed to these same approaches as ways in which women distinguished themselves in leadership roles. Women from all agencies expressed the common view that collaboration and teamwork improve an organization and lead to better  decision-making processes.

[Women in leadership] make the organization more holistic. Women are more likely to look at the human side of things, to draw goals more broadly, to look at diversity, to be good at inclusivity, and to have real consideration for people’s lives.” — Retired senior-level woman who served in the NSC and DOD48

“[Women in leadership] make the organization more holistic. Women are more likely to look at the human side of things, to draw goals more broadly, to look at diversity, to be good at inclusivity, and to have real consideration for people’s lives.”

— Retired senior-level woman who served in the NSC and DOD

 Some women in their 30s and 40s who had more recently achieved senior-level positions in government described their leadership approaches, not only as focused on teambuilding, but also as “non-hierarchical.” Several women at USAID highlighted the non-hierarchical leadership approach, and described USAID’s culture as supporting this type of leadership practice. Women who had more recently moved into senior-level positions in other
“Good leaders inspire more than manage.” — former female ambassador who served in DOS and USAIDagencies, such as DOD, also viewed the non-hierarchical leadership style positively. Although women acknowledged that this style was somewhat unconventional to the military culture, they expressed that they had not needed to change their approach to better fit into the traditional culture, as long as they led with direct and clear instructions. This may indicate a broader shift in terms of how the incoming and advancing generations of women are viewing and practicing leadership, even within highly hierarchical government environments. Many women emphasized the ability to build strong relationships — with staff, coworkers, colleagues, and superiors — as a fundamental element of leadership where women appear to excell. Interviewees often gave examples of taking specific steps to encourage and support staff, especially through difficult personal challenges. For example, one former diplomat described her role in helping two women who were experiencing difficulties job sharing and balancing work and family in an overseas post. Another senior-level woman in DOD spoke about a staff member who was experiencing a terminal illness in his immediate family and the steps she took as a manager to ensure that he was prioritizing his family needs at that time.

Bad Behavior: the common Pitfalls  of Poor Managers and Leaders

Every industry experiences a share of poor leadership examples. As such, women in this study frequently cited experiences with poor management and leadership in government. This finding mirrors other studies that have focused on perceptions of senior-level leaders in government. The 2008 Human Capital Survey reported that less than 51 percent of respondents throughout the U.S. Government had a highlevel of respect for senior-level leaders in their agencies. GS 14’s and 15’s viewed the major purpose of the Senior Executive Service (SES) as providing leadership, but many complained that SES personnel have often been technical experts who have not cultivated their own leadership skills.49

Some women expressed a frustration with the government’s promotion structure, which has been designed in a way that requires individuals to eventually advance into management roles. No alternative promotion track exists for those who want to continue to focus on substantive portfolios without management responsibility. Women acknowledged that the skills and approaches required for portfolio expertise differed from those needed in leadership positions. In that regard, some

women expressed that the promotion structure could be a factor contributing to poor management behavior.

In some cases, negative experiences with poor managers have yielded positive leadership behaviors in emerging managers. Women in this study derived many lessons learned from their own experiences with poor managers, and made commitments not to repeat bad behavior as they reached positions of authority. In particular, women described numerous examples of both men and women who exhibited micromanaging, disrespectful, and in some cases, abusive practices toward their staff. In contrast, women distinguished the best examples of managers as those who sought out talent; recognized, promoted, and rewarded quality work; listened to staff and communicated decision-making processes; and mentored staff members through professional and personal challenges.

“Good leaders inspire more than manage.” —Female former Ambassador who served in DOS and USAID50

Male role models also made an important impact on how women developed good leadership practices. Women generally looked to male role models more often than women when emulating good leadership strategies. Some women, particularly at the senior-levels, claimed that they were unable to find good female leadership examples. Women testified to a range of examples of female leadership from excellent to extremely negative.

Interviewees also described a generational shift in how women approach leadership and management. In their previous experiences, interviewees observed that women managers often neglected to reach down to help women in the pipeline. Younger women leaders, however, have been more collaborative in their leadership styles and have made efforts to raise new leaders. (See also discussion of mentoring above.)

“I had an ambassador who was my boss. He always explained to me his strategies and important decisions — how he arrived at them, what factors he considered. He shared a lot of information. It was a great learning experience.” — Senior female Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State51

the Great Balancing act: dealing with Persistent Gender Stereotypes

One of the strongest themes to emerge was the difficulty that women perceived in balancing “feminine” and “masculine” qualities. Although some women expressed admiration for strong female leaders as role models, women disapproved of those who were overly-aggressive in their approaches to colleagues and staff. Women in this study commented that the negativity associated with aggressive approaches by women reflected a double standard, as male counterparts were not necessarily judged in the same regard. Some senior-level women acknowledged that they had

“I had an ambassador who was my boss. He always explained to me his strategies and important decisions — how he arrived at them, what factors he considered. He shared a lot of information. It was a great learning experience.”

 — Senior female

Foreign Service

Officer, DOS

“Throwing elbows makes you a bitch. If a man does it, it’s just considered playing hard.”

— Former Ambassador who served in the

NSC and DOS

used aggressive approaches, and expressed frustration that men had not been subject to the same negative criticisms. One former senior-level woman who had served in DOD gave an example of a boss who criticized her for being too  aggressive. The interviewee remarked that if she had been a man, she would have received a different reaction. Another senior-level woman in DOD explained that women find it difficult to be balanced in such a male-dominated environment due to the strong inclination to be “one of the guys.” In retrospect, she reflected that she had been too demanding and tough in her own leadership approach.

“Throwing elbows makes you a bitch. If a man does it, it’s just considered playing hard.” — Former Ambassador who served in the NSC and DOS52

The younger cohort of women in this study viewed aggressive approaches as ineffective in their own leadership roles. Several women who had recently been appointed into senior-level positions in DOD described previous experiences with senior-level women who had “sharp elbows” — and used aggressive and abrasive tactics to demonstrate competence in male-dominated working environments. They also observed that when women lack self-confidence, they exert excessive control over staff. As one former ambassador stated, “Some women have felt that they have to be tougher than men, and they become severe bosses.”53

Women currently serving in leadership positions clearly distinguished their own leadership approaches from the negative examples. One woman described her own style as “empowerment with accountability,” explaining that her staff were more productive with a positive working environment. She also stressed the importance of creating a dynamic of accountability and willingness to receive constructive feedback. As a leader, she felt that it was more important to discuss problems with her staff, rather than berating them for mistakes. Her leadership style reflected a focus on empowerment.54 These above perspectives parallel findings from other industries, including the corporate and the academic arenas.55

“Good leaders empower their subordinates, give them sufficient guidance, and trust their decisions.” — Senior Foreign Service Officer, DOS56

Women in this study were equally wary of being considered too passive or lacking decisiveness in their leadership styles. They recognized that these traits could damage their credibility and authority in government contexts. While interviewees clearly pointed to inclusiveness and consensus-building as important attributes of good leadership, they also reflected a constant desire to balance these approaches with decisiveness. When women failed to make difficult decisions, or were uncomfortable justifying or standing by their decisions, they regarded this as a weakness in leadership.

One frequently mentioned problem was women’s tendency to want to “be liked” in the workplace, a trait not commonly associated with men. Some women admitted that they struggled with this as they learned to make corrections and direct people as leaders. As one former ambassador observed: “Women need to get over the embarrassment of being bossy. Make a decision and stand by it. Do not be embarrassed to do it. Guys don’t care if people don’t like them. Women want to be liked and need to get over that.”57 Many highlighted this as a major problem for women that could impede their ability to move from consensus-building to decision-making, especially in cases where the decisions might be controversial.

“Good management means taking input from your team, but then you still need to make a decision.” — Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense58

Women also pointed to a double standard with regard to displaying emotion in the workplace. Again, women perceived this trait as a characteristic that reflected badly on credibility and professionalism. Many women pointed to model examples of women leaders who exhibited non-emotional, calm, and professional behavior. In contrast, women in this study cited women leaders who were “overly emotional” as weak and ineffective in their leadership.

The struggle to balance between these gender stereotypes is not necessarily specific to international security or to the government sector. Significant research has been done on this issue, especially in the corporate sector. In one study completed by Catalyst, over 1,000 senior executives were interviewed about leadership styles. The Catalyst study found that women who acted in ways that appeared “feminine” were considered less competent, but those who acted with more “male” qualities were viewed as too tough.59 Many women interviewed by WIIS categorized women in leadership according to whether they were more “male” or more “female” in approach, some observing that one or the other dominant approach emerges among women in senior ranks of government. Clearly, in the government sector, the struggle for this balance continues to be a major consideration for women who are advancing through the ranks.

Overall, women have experienced both good and bad leadership examples by both men and women throughout their careers. Women, however, seemed to be particularly reflective and perhaps in some cases judgmental about how other women have behaved in decision-making positions. Women were also more sensitive to what they perceived as unsupportive behavior by women who had supervised them. Women cited common approaches of both good and bad leaders. Women learned important lessons through their negative experiences, especially with those in positions of authority who failed to develop and support their staff members’ career advancements. In all cases, women highlighted the importance of being valued in the institution and supported in their professional growth and development as leaders.

“Good management means taking input from your team, but then you still need to make a decision.”

— Former Deputy Assistant Secretary  of Defense

KEy rEcOMMEndatiOnS  
Promote Leadership Development for Women ➤         Demonstrate a strong commitment at the Cabinet level to creating workplaces that allow talented women to rise in level and responsibility . ➤         Highlight as role models successful female leaders and offices that support women . ➤         Reward women who exhibit excellence in leadership at all levels through  promotion and other workplace opportunities . ➤         Identify and promote women to the director level or equivalent in government offices so that they gain important management experience for higher levels . Give mid-level women increasing management responsibilities . ➤         Ensure that each department/agency has a formal policy commitment to gender diversity, that these policies are accompanied by specific objectives and strategies, and that leaders prioritize their full and timely implementation . ➤         Ensure diverse representation, including gender balance, on committees that select candidates for senior-level ranks, such as the Senior Executive Service and the Senior Foreign Service, and positions such as ambassadorships and mid-to-senior level management positions . ➤         Set target numbers of female candidates for senior leadership appointments, and regularly evaluate progress towards those targets . ➤         Encourage women in government to take on active roles in agency affinity groups and outside organizations to gain leadership experience, and consider this experience as a relevant factor when selecting candidates for positions and promotions . ➤         Establish programs that identify and recruit women with demonstrated leadership skills from the private, non-profit, and multilateral sectors into  government .

part three learning leadership 

mentoring and Training the pipeline of Women

Mentoring: the Power of Personal relationships  in career advancement

Every woman interviewed for this study, regardless of agency or level, emphasized the importance of mentoring for career success in the federal sector. Successful women pointed to mentors within the system who had supported and advocated for their career progression. Most often these relationships were built on trust and confidence in the mentees’ work ethic and capability. Not surprisingly, in the majority of cases, mentors were current or former supervisors or others in senior-level positions who worked with the mentees directly. In almost all cases, women in government considered mentors as those in more senior-level positions. However, in some interviews, women acknowledged that mentoring does not necessarily have to be based on hierarchy. A former Under Secretary of State defined her mentors as peers, bosses, people she trusted, and family members. Women expressed that they could benefit from mentor and mentee relationships at every career stage.

Mentorships and Sponsorship

Women in this study who had experience in the corporate sector60 made a distinction between the terms “mentors” and “sponsors.” Sponsors were defined as influential mentors who not only offer advice, but also advocate on behalf of their mentees, opening the doors to advancement opportunities. Women in the government sector did not necessarily use the same terminology, but did indicate a difference between a mentor who provides some general advice and a mentor who is willing to groom talent, identify opportunities, and advocate strongly with peers and colleagues to open doors for the mentee.

In almost all cases, after women had entered government agencies, they relied on key personal connections and direct recommendations of their mentors or

“As a woman, a mentor can help get opportunities for you that you may not be able to get on your own. It gives you the chance to show what you can do.”

— Former Assistant

Secretary, Department of Defense

sponsors to land subsequent positions. Although younger women in this study repeatedly cited the importance of learning from other women’s experiences, the more proactive form of sponsoring-mentoring was a vital key to identifying, competing for, and obtaining positions at higher levels in government agencies. One senior-level woman reflected on this, saying that she has utilized her connections to help her staff members find their next positions, stressing the importance of the personal networks of mentors.61

This finding also appears to parallel women’s experiences in the intelligence sector. In a 2008 study of women in the Senior Intelligence Service, women identified the primary factor for success in the intelligence community as “having an advocate who served as a mentor/sponsor, breaking down barriers and obstacles and providing opportunities for career progression.”62

“As a woman, a mentor can help get opportunities for you that you may not be able to get on your own. It gives you the chance to show what you can do.” — Former Assistant Secretary, Department of Defense63

Male and Female Mentoring

Women in this study did not show a preference for female mentoring. In almost all cases, interviewees said that it did not matter whether mentors are male or female. Women at all levels cited men who had been essential supporters throughout their careers. In fact, the majority of women who reached senior-level government leadership positions during the 1980’s and 1990’s pointed out that their mentors had been men. These women cited the absence of other women in leadership positions as the main reason for this trend, as women were few among the cohort of managers, supervisors, and peers in these agencies. But the same has been true for a younger group of women who have more recently achieved senior-level positions in male-dominated agencies and substantive areas, including the defense, intelligence, and law enforcement sectors. Women in these sectors often found that they were the only women at the table, and that few women were available for support throughout their careers. In other cases, some mid-level women reported that they have specifically sought out male mentors, because they perceive that men more often serve at the senior-levels and are better positioned to assist with career advancement. This finding was particularly highlighted at DHS, which female employees viewed as a male-dominated environment.

Senior-level women in this study have been mentoring both men and women. Although the majority of interviewees reported that they have not focused their mentoring on women exclusively, many expressed that they make a special effort to support other women. In many cases, women described their particular efforts to mentor other women, citing common experiences and challenges that women encounter in the workplace. One woman who served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary

at DOS said, “It is important to support the cultivation of women as they move up in jobs.”64 Another senior-level woman from the intelligence sector pointed to the desire to help the next generation of women coming up: “[w]e want to help them miss the potholes we stumbled in.”65 In some cases, women with children cited their experiences in helping other women navigate career paths and decisions in  consideration of family demands.

Among younger women, there was no particular consensus across agencies on whether women are more or less supportive of other women. For example, interviewees pointed out that some women in senior ranks are less supportive of women than men on their staffs. Interviewees often attributed this to these women feeling insecure, threatened, and competitive with other women. Junior and midlevel women, as well as incoming senior-level women, expressed that the constant pressures that the previous generations of women leaders experienced may have negatively affected their willingness to mentor their female subordinates. Both retired and current senior-level women acknowledged these problems. Some women who entered government in the 1970s and 1980s described a “tough,” “rough,” or “pushing hard” approach by those women who did mentor others.66 Interviewees observed that women overall have improved at mentoring from the previous generations. Some expressed the view that younger generations of women, including those now in senior positions, are more inclined to mentor other women.

In a few cases, however, mid-level women cited a “kiss up, kick down” approach to advancement by female peers. Mid-level women who had been working on high profile portfolios, especially among some in the DOS, highlighted this experience. Interviewees expressed that the approach has often been more noticeable and disappointing when done by women, especially in cases where the “kick down” behavior is directed at other women. As one mid-level woman observed, “Reputation depends on your peers too. A big part of mentoring is knowing that and becoming a mentor to those below you.”67

In contrast to these negative experiences, women in this study generally emphasized the supportive dynamic among women peers. Women in the Office of the Secretary of Defense described the collegial and supportive atmosphere among women working in the policy area. Interviewees in USAID also spoke of an  environment focused on teambuilding where “women try to help other  women.” 68

Mentoring approaches and Lessons  for Women’s Leadership

Women in this study repeatedly highlighted the role of mentors in exposing them to new responsibilities, directions, and opportunities. The most frequently  mentioned assistance that mentors offered women in this sector was an understanding of bureaucratic structures, processes, and players. The ability to navigate the inner workings of government agencies is vital for success in this profession.

“Mentors see something new in you that you don’t see in yourself.”

— Principal Deputy

Assistant Secretary,

Department of

Defense

Mentors recognized the strengths and skills of their employees, and female mentees were given responsibilities that allowed them to build their expertise and reputation. One former ambassador recalled the first paper she wrote as a young Foreign Service officer. Her supervisor/mentor gave her constructive, candid guidance on how to improve and tailor her writing for a government audience, which then enabled her to succeed in this fundamental skill. Another former ambassador gave the example of mentors in the Foreign Service who explained how the system worked, how to operate, and who to know in order to do the job effectively and advance. One former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense observed, “Mentors show you how to get things done and how to deal with adversity.”69 Mentors played an essential role in helping women survive and excel in difficult bureaucratic environments and eventually reach leadership positions themselves.

“Mentors see something new in you that you don’t see in yourself.” — Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Department of Defense70

Often, mentors took the extra time and effort to encourage their female mentees to take on challenges that they may not otherwise have pursued, and interviewees pointed to the important role of mentoring in building self-confidence. In one particular case, an interviewee described how her mentor encouraged her toward a career opportunity after she had decided to decline. She recalled that this position was helpful for her subsequent career growth, but she would have self-selected out of it without the mentor. Interviewees frequently talked about mentors leading by example and how much they learned from observing effective mentors. In particular, women paid close attention to the examples of women in more senior positions. One woman recalled female ambassadors who she considered as strong role models, highlighting that they were “generous with career opportunities” as mentors.71

Formal Mentoring Programs: Unmet needs

Given the value of mentoring in cultivating women’s careers, it is surprising to note that many government agencies have not formally established mentoring programs. The DOS has a formal mentoring program for both Foreign Service and Civil Service employees. Although some women found the matching process for the civil service program to be cumbersome and time consuming, women in this study had a positive view about both the programs and the support offered by the mentors. The Presidential Management Fellowship Program (PMF),72 one of the most  common ways that women in this study entered the federal government, has a formal  mentoring program in the agencies where PMF’s are placed. Women who participated in the PMF program pointed to the mentoring program as a valuable resource.

Despite the success of the PMF program, this study found that in many of these agencies, there are no structured programs available for those who enter the system through alternative routes. For example, in OSD, non-PMF recruits have no available mentoring program, although there are mentoring programs in other components of DOD, such as in the Defense Intelligence Agency. One woman who had entered OSD by working for a defense contracting company observed, “[t]he PMF world is great, but if you’re not in there, you’re on your own.”73 USAID has established a mentoring program. Some agencies, such as Department of Energy, have recently launched pilot mentoring programs.

Overwhelmingly, women in this study identified the lack of formal mentoring programs as a major gap in the professional support offered by government agencies. Organizations need to ensure that people are set up for success as they move into more complex positions, and women expressed that the expansion and availability of such mentoring programs would improve the cultivation of emerging women leaders in the government. Without such resources in place, the majority of interviewees have creatively sought out ways to informally build those key  mentoring relationships.

KEy rEcOMMEndatiOnS
Build a Culture of Mentorship Among Women ➤         Ensure that formal mentoring programs are established in all departments and agencies to target the different needs of entry, mid and senior level women . Ensure that every new hire is matched with a mentor, and that there are ongoing mentoring opportunities at each stage of career progression . Encourage both vertical and lateral mentoring at all levels . ➤         Create mentoring opportunities that support the needs of mid-level women by matching them with senior-level women and men who can guide them into leadership roles . ➤         Establish creative mentoring models . For example, coordinate regular fora that allow mid and senior-level women to share wisdom with younger women . Consider a short-term mentoring model which allows a mentee to call upon a mentor for advice on a particular, time-bound problem . ➤         Recognize the vital importance of informal mentoring for women, and support the development of these relationships, especially for mid-level women .
the Emergence of U.S. Government  agency affinity Groups A number of affinity groups have emerged within government agencies to support networking, mentoring, and professional development opportunities . Often, employees themselves have established these groups, perhaps in many cases to meet specific needs, such as mentoring, that are not fully provided for institutionally . Not all of these groups focus on women, but mid- to senior-level women in this study highlighted involvement in these groups as a mechanism to gain important leadership skills, increase their visibility within the departments, and advocate for more support for advancement opportunities . Department of State ExECUTIvE WOMEN AT STATE (EW@S) In 2008, this group began as an informal organization at the Department of State that brings senior executive women together to promote, support, and mentor women for senior leadership positions in the State Department . The EW@S steering committee meets regularly with the Office of Civil Rights to review the status of career women executives in the Department of State and to seek fair and equal opportunity . The group sponsors programs in the State Department with guest speakers who discuss topics of an educational nature or which highlight contributions of outstanding women . Women who are at the following levels can join the group: ➤                                             Foreign Service women with a grade of FS-01 and above ➤                                             Civil Service women with a grade of GS-15 and above ➤         When Actually Employed (WAEs)74 or contractors who previously held equivalent rank ➤                     Political appointees (equivalent to GS-15 and above) ➤             Guests of any of the above . Women in this study also mentioned their involvement in the following groups that do not focus exclusively on women but provide opportunities for building the pipeline of young leaders . yOUNG PROFESSIONALS SOCIETy (y-PRO) The State Department young Professionals Society (y-Pro) is an innovative professional and social organization for entry and mid-level employees new to the U .S . CONTINUED ON NExT PAGE
Department of State or USAID . Established in 2003, y-Pro aims to form a sense of continuity in a dynamic workforce by establishing a long-term network of tomorrow’s foreign affairs leaders . The objectives of the group are to facilitate the sharing of information about the work and activities of the Department of State, provide a cohesive and representative voice to the Department’s administration on issues that concern members, and link members with other organizations both inside and outside the Department . y-Pro has been working with Executive Women at State to establish a sub- group for mid-level career women aspiring to reach the executive level and a second group for entry-level women just starting at the department . Preparations were being made to launch these two new groups in Fall 2009 . Department of Defense WOMEN IN POLICy GROUP: Mid-senior level women working in the Office of the Secretary of Defense took the initiative to establish an informal group as a discussion forum, leadership, and networking opportunity for women working in DOD . This group organizes brown bag meetings and speakers, and is planning future mentoring and professional development activities . Although the group is not an official entity of DOD, senior level women have participated in its meetings and have indicated their support for the initiative .

Preparing Emerging Leaders:  the training Gap in Government

Training and leadership opportunities play a crucial role in preparing the next generation of leaders in government. Many other professional sectors have identified investment in professional development and leadership training as a best practice. Individuals interviewed for this study overwhelmingly emphasized the importance of such resources and training opportunities for improvements in the quality of work, behavior, and communication with peers, staff, and superiors. Regardless of agency, however, women felt that the civilian sector fell significantly short of the need and demand for investing into leadership training.

Resources on professional development and leadership training remain unevenly dispersed across federal agencies, and individual employees have found it difficult to gain access and entry to these opportunities. For the most part, employees must take the initiative to research available opportunities and eligibility. Many women in this study, particularly at the State Department, stated that training was not treated as a natural part of their career experience or highly valued.

The funding realities in these agencies have had a direct impact on the availability and development of training programs. When resources become limited, training appears to be one of the first areas to be reduced or eliminated. For example, under Secretary of State Colin Powell’s leadership, the Diplomatic Readiness Initiative (DRI) created over 1,000 new Foreign Service hires in the 2001–2004  period with opportunities for training. These positions and resources, however, were absorbed by the surges in Iraq and Afghanistan and surrounding nations. In addition, with staffing shortfalls and funding cuts, employees have been unable to take full advantage of existing training opportunities, as each training assignment would leave that position unstaffed.75

Many women in this study pointed out that they have experienced significant pressure not to take time away from the office to pursue training opportunities. For younger women in the civil service, in particular, the ability to participate in these programs has largely been dependent on the support of their supervisors and the specific office culture. The majority of the women included in this study emphasized that training for civilians should occur at an earlier stage in the career progression, as most only receive leadership training once they have already been promoted to a managerial position.76

U.S. Government Leadership and Professional development training Programs

Participants in this study cited a number of professional development training programs in the federal government. The following is a list of those programs that were mentioned in interviews and discussions for the study, but may not include all available programs.

                                ➤           THE FOREIGN SERvICE INSTITUTE (FSI)

 FSI is the Federal Government’s primary training institution for officers and support personnel of the U.S. foreign affairs community, preparing American diplomats and other professionals to advance U.S. foreign affairs interests overseas and in Washington. At the George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center, the FSI provides more than 450 courses — including some 70 foreign languages—to more than 50,000 enrollees a year from the State Department and more than 40 other government agencies and the military service branches. Webpage: http://www.state.gov/m/fsi/

 As the federal government reorganized and revised existing programs and policies in response the Clinton administration’s “Reinventing Government” initiative, the Foreign Service Institute introduced distance learning and computer-based training with a new School of Applied Information Technology to meet the growing need for staff trained in this area. It also added new ca-

reer resources and support for federal employees, such as Career Transition Center and a Leadership and Management School to train future  policymakers and managers.

➤                                                         SENIOR ExECUTIvE SERvICE (SES) ExECUTIvE DEvELOPMENT

 The Senior Executive Service (SES) includes most managerial, supervisory, and policy positions classified above General Schedule (GS) grade 15 or equivalent positions in the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. Federal agencies are required by law (Title 5, U.S. Code, Section 3396) to establish programs for the continuing development of senior executives. The Senior Executive Service is committed to developing leaders in the 21st century. One way to become an SES is to participate in a SES Candidate Development Program (SESCDP). These programs are designed to create pools of qualified candidates for SES positions. All SESCDPs address the five ECQs that embody the leadership skills needed to succeed in the SES.77 Website: http://www.opm.gov/ses/ executive_development/index.asp 

➤                                                         DOD CIvILIAN LEADERSHIP DEvELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES78

 The DOD Civilian Leader Development webpage provides information on the DoD Civilian Leader Development Framework and Continuum, which are the blueprint for the deliberate development of the next generation of civilian leaders throughout the Department. Website: http://www.cpms.osd.mil/lpdd/ cldf/Framework_and_Continuum.aspx 

➤                                             NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIvERSITy (NDU)

 The National Defense University is the premier center for Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) and is under the direction of the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. The University’s main campus is on Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D.C. The Joint Forces Staff College is located in Norfolk, VA. Website: http://www.ndu.edu/index1.cfm 

KEy rEcOMMEndatiOnS
Develop the Next Generation of Women Leaders ➤         Develop government wide lessons learned, models, and innovative programs to support women’s advancement opportunities . Call upon the private and non-profit sectors to share insights and identify best practices . Compile and circulate best practices among agencies and ensure that they are incorporated into personnel and management policies . ➤         Capitalize on current interest in government service . Expand programs that encourage women and minorities to pursue foreign policy and national security careers and to gain experience in the government . Increase the number of interns and fellows to enable more young women to gain government work experience . ➤         Expand rotation programs within departments, among agencies, and with outside organizations to enable women to build expertise and key relationships . These programs will benefit all government employees . ➤         Encourage participation in activities and groups inside and outside agencies that provide leadership, mentoring, and networking opportunities . ➤         Invest more resources in designing and providing training programs for women at all stages of their careers . Offer leadership and management training for junior women in government, well before they reach SES or take on management/supervisory roles . ➤         Call upon experienced women who have worked in foreign policy/national security positions in government to train other women . Encourage women with military experience to help develop and run leadership training for civilians . ➤         Offer training topics that incorporate issues that women have identified as important, such as building credibility and visibility, developing a leadership style and approach, overcoming gender stereotypes, balancing inclusiveness and decisiveness, building mentoring relationships and strengthening communications skills . ➤         Ensure that managers support their employees taking time away from the office to participate in training programs and that senior leadership understands the value of professional development for women’s advancement . CONTINUED ON NExT PAGE
➤         Improve information gathering on women in the government workforce to identify gaps in representation and develop strategies to improve opportunities for women . For example: Track recruitment, retention, and promotions of women in government agencies by both professional grade and type of position . Document reasons that women leave foreign policy/national security  positions and incorporate what is learned into retention efforts .Develop evaluation and monitoring mechanisms to analyze progress in  increasing women’s participation in government positions .

part Four

The lingering QuesTion 

is Work-life balance possible for Women leaders?

The expectations and definitions of work-life balance in national security government positions varied widely among the women who were interviewed for this study. Some women generally defined balance in terms of being able to successfully manage career and family responsibilities, emphasizing their own time management and available alternative work options. Other women defined balance in broader terms, pointing to office culture and acceptance of diversity in backgrounds and lifestyle choices.

Overall, women believed that a trade-off occurs between professional and personal success, and that most individuals have to make choices between the two. Women at all levels reflected a view that work-life balance remains a very personal issue and that there is no one right way to approach it. Many senior-level women said that they had made personal choices to focus on their careers. Among this group, some expressed regret at not having spent more time on family life. Women believed that they face unique challenges when it comes to work-life balance, and that women have additional responsibilities in their personal lives compared with male counterparts. As one former ambassador observed, “Women need to recognize early that it will never be a 50-50 balance with your spouse. It’s worth the effort, but it’s up to you to figure out how to do it.”79

Work-Life challenges and choices  in Leadership Positions

The majority of retired and senior-level women interviewed for this study commonly expressed that they were unable to achieve their definition of work-life balance. Interviewees emphasized that the national security field poses particular challenges for women, in part because of the often-pressing nature of the work. Women who attained senior-level positions in the 1980’s and 1990’s generally expressed skepticism that demanding policy jobs could be done while balancing family responsibilities. Some felt that it would have been impossible to be considered for senior-level positions at the Deputy Assistant Secretary level or higher without demonstrating a 24/7 commitment to the job, and remarked that certain policy jobs just cannot be done on a part-time basis. Women cited the incredible hours that are required for some of these positions, particularly at the senior levels.

Other women believed it could be possible to advance to the highest levels of government while balancing a family life, even though they themselves were unable to achieve it. One woman who served at the Under Secretary level believed that her own focus on work-life balance contributed to her ability to do her jobs well. She explained that even when she had served at the Under Secretary level, she was able to manage her schedule to prioritize family responsibilities at designated times. She acknowledged that such positions require a lot of invitations, travel, and meetings, but emphasized the importance of “preserving time for oneself.”80

Another senior-level woman at DOS commented, “[i]t is hard, but it can be done. A lot depends on the specific demands. Work can be done at home on evenings and weekends.”81 Another woman who served in a top USAID position commented, “[y]ou can have work-life balance. Absolutely.” She recognized that “in times of crisis, you definitely have to be on deck,” but that others on the team would also step in during those times in the Foreign Service environment. She asserted that a particular individual is not always needed in the office to handle every crisis.82 In addition, some women emphasized that high-level government positions, particularly political assignments, are for a designated period of time, and that when not serving in those types of positions, women may be able to achieve more balance.83

During interviews, women noted that senior-level women leaders were often single, unmarried, divorced, or did not have children. Many women without children who reached senior-level government positions believed that they could not have achieved the same career accomplishments if they had had children. There was a strong perception among some interviewees that women had to choose between career and family in many cases, and prioritizing family had real costs in terms of career progression.

A striking number of senior-level women made choices at one or more points in their careers that valued family and children’s priorities over advancement. One woman who served in the National Security Council and other agencies commented that having a child had been a turning point for her, as she could not take promotions that had been offered at that time.84 Others noted decisions made in favor of rejoining a spouse if overseas, or caring for an elderly parent. In one case, a former ambassador commented that she had been separated from her husband for eight years while overseas, and that she needed to return to Washington to be with her spouse. In another instance, a former ambassador was offered an important position in Africa, but her husband was unable to get his medical clearance, so she turned it down. Women in this study reflected a sense that these personal considerations often cause women to miss opportunities to develop their careers, or prompt them to leave government service altogether.85

Generational change, new Perspectives, and institutional improvements

Women perceived that work-life balance options have improved over the past two decades and that institutional cultures are shifting for the better. In addition, arrangements have become available to gain flexibility in work hours. Equal employment opportunity and family-friendly initiatives seemed to have played a large role in decreasing the stress on managing family time. Specifically, women pointed to part-time, flexible time, telecommuting, and on-site child-care options as crucial benefits. In addition, women referenced the importance of legal changes, such as the Family Medical Leave Act, which enables individuals to leave work without taking sick days to take care of children or dependents who are ill.86 At all departments in this study, interviewees cited examples of colleagues who benefited from these available arrangements.

Retired women pointed out that part-time options were not available to them when they were employed in these agencies. Women who worked in policy positions during the 1970s and 1980s emphasized that women who had children quickly returned to full time schedules. One interviewee gave the example of a woman who served in the NSC during the 1970s who gave birth on a Friday and returned to work on the following Monday.87 Some women stated that women feared professional repercussions for taking time off for maternity leave. Others left these positions and in many cases, government service, when they had children, due to the lack of available arrangements. For example, OSD did not allow part-time employment until the late 1980s. Similarly, some women who were appointed to senior levels more recently commented that because the senior-level women ahead of them often left policy jobs when they had children, there exists “no clear path” for charting out arrangements that accommodate family responsibilities.88

In contrast to the experiences of previous generations, senior-level women observed that today cutting back on hours or stepping out of highly demanding job environments for a period of time does not necessarily have a negative effect on career advancement. One former senior-level official in OSD spoke of the first woman to take a part-time option in policy and reflected that her choice had not hurt that woman’s career at all. In this case, she described the woman having been “three times better than everyone else,” which added to her success in that  alternative  arrangement.89

Women who work at the NSC and other agencies pointed out contemporary examples of women taking weeks or months for maternity leave in these highly  demanding positions. One interviewee in DOD spoke of a female staff member who continues to receive offers for promotions, but passes on these offers due to her current family considerations. In spite of these missed opportunities, the interviewee felt certain that the leadership in DOD would promote this woman when she was ready to accept the promotion. She observed that for the younger generation of women, these personal decisions might delay advancement but “probably do not hurt good female employees.”90

Even with institutional and cultural changes, women with children in particular continue to face huge challenges in fulfilling their responsibilities in both work environments and at home. Many struggle to juggle these responsibilities. Women who recently accepted senior-level positions in agencies, especially those with school-age children, expressed continuing anxiety over work-life balance. The women felt torn between the needs of their children and jobs that require a certain amount of time on-site, in the office. Women in these positions stated that the ongoing challenges of achieving satisfaction both at work and in the home have yet to be solved.

Parental Leave Policy for U.S.  Government Employees the Family and Medical Leave act of 1993 (FMLa) entitles most Federal employees to take up to a total of 12 work weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period to care for the following: ➤   the birth of a son or daughter of the employee and the care of such son or daughter; ➤   the placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care; ➤   the care of spouse, son, daughter, or parent of the employee who has a serious health condition; or a serious health condition of the employee that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her positions . The FMLA also allows employees to substitute annual and/or sick leave for any unpaid leave . FMLA leave is in addition to other paid time off available to an employee .91 The Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave act (h.r. 626) would entitle federal employees to substitute any available paid leave for any leave without pay available for either the: ➤        birth of a child; or ➤            placement of a child with the employee for either adoption or foster care . Specifically, it would allow employees to take four weeks of paid leave for the above purposes and any accumulated annual or sick leave . The bill was passed in the House of Representatives in June 2009 .92

the realities of Striking a Balance:  remaining institutional and cultural challenges

While the government has made progress toward promoting respect for work-life balance, these arrangements have yet to be institutionalized across all the departments. Generally, women must establish a track record of performance within their agencies and leverage their accomplishments and knowledge to “make the case” to supervisors in order to take advantage of available flexible arrangements. One woman in a job share situation93 observed that the leadership supported her parttime arrangement because they recognized that she was worth keeping on staff. This study found that in several cases, the information and procedures on how to utilize available arrangements were not readily available to women. In addition, women were unable to access information on other employees who were successfully benefiting from these arrangements. Many noted that the creation of such a network would allow information sharing on how to successfully benefit from work-life balance options.

Women in this study also revealed that personnel offices did not always know how to establish the available work-life arrangements. One woman who negotiated a job share in OSD pioneered the arrangement because the personnel office had never done the paperwork before. And while women have creatively sought out ad hoc arrangements, interviewees also highlighted that the lack of a centralized place to find job sharing positions hindered their ability to use the option. Women who are benefiting from job share, part-time, or flexible schedules perceived that the arrangements are precarious and largely dependent on the support of current leadership. Some women expressed concern that individual incoming political appointees often have the option of discontinuing particular arrangements for specific positions.

Some women also pointed out that even with part-time status, in many cases “the expectations remain the same.” Therefore, women have worked well beyond their “official” part-time employment to fulfill expectations for the work. According to an SES woman in DOD with part-time experience, “[o]ne of the problems with part-time at the SES level is that you take a pay cut but end up working a lot more than you get paid. But it does give you the ability to say you need to leave at a  certain time and not feel as if you are not carrying your own weight.”94

Part-time positions are critical to retaining women in government service who want to raise children. Yet there are still few meaningful part-time positions, especially in the policy area. Many senior-level women cited this as the primary challenge for retaining female mid-level career officers. With so few attractive part-time positions, many women have been forced to choose between raising their children and continuing with their careers in government. Women look to other related sectors for more flexibility, and many leave for employment in the nongovernmental arena, non-profit sector, or in private industry.

As one interviewee observed, “Many women dropped out from the time I was in PMI95 for family reasons. Women fall out under the pressures.”96 Some women who had moved from government to the corporate or non-profit sectors experienced a stark difference in terms of the flexibility that is available in those sectors. As one woman who is now a vice president in a major consulting firm but previously served in the intelligence community said, “In the U.S. Government, you don’t have the flexibility. If you are not in the office and visible, people don’t think you are doing your job. The corporate sector is better than government in this regard. You have more flexibility in terms of telecommuting.”97 The drain of these qualified women out of government carries lasting repercussions, as women find it nearly impossible to return to government service later in their careers (unless by political appointment).

One woman emphasized that it is necessary to “create a culture where people feel they have access to federal services and making it clear that those things are not just there on paper.”98

“Women are being handed this idea that you could get there early and work through lunch and you’ll be able to advance. But in the State Department culture staying late is what matters most. And frankly your children should be in bed by 8 or 9. So it is really difficult.” — Former female ambassador99

Mid- and senior-level women in this study repeatedly cited another major structural problem for work-life balance: the outdated maternity and paternity leave policy. Interviewees revealed that the majority of women in government used their accrued vacation leave and/or unpaid leave period to take time off from work to have their children. This finding was echoed across all the agencies within the scope of this study, and the need for an improved maternity and paternity policy was a key recommendation that emerged repeatedly from the interviews.100

There was a sense that work-life balance is no longer exclusively a “women’s issue,” as more men have also begun trying to achieve a balance with their personal lives. In several government agencies, interviewees pointed out that men were also seeking job shares and part-time arrangements. In their personal lives, senior-level women in this study attributed the contributions of a supportive husband or family structure in helping them achieve success in balancing family needs with work requirements. “Having a supportive spouse was very important,” according to one senior-level defense official.101 “Carving out time to attend to children was difficult but we managed to do it. My husband was also a FSO and was very supportive,” said one senior-level DOS Foreign Service Officer.102

Yet, women acknowledged that a disproportionate burden continues to fall on women regarding family and child-rearing responsibilities. Many women expressed that despite institutional and societal changes, real change would not occur until men as a whole took the same level of ownership regarding the challenges of work-life balance. As one senior-level career officer in DOD stated,

“The work-life balance issues are not necessarily something that men have to deal with as much as women — some of that is changing as I see with men in my office — but there is still less pressure on men. If the crunch happens, men are still more likely to blow off the family obligations.”103

Some women described the Foreign Service as a particular working environment that requires total dedication. Women in this study reported that the Foreign Service was structured for men who have stay-at-home wives. Many interviewees highlighted that many women in the Foreign Service (both State and USAID) never married or are divorced. For those who did marry, women stated that they often found it challenging to bring their spouses overseas.

Susan Crais Hovanec, a retired Foreign Service officer, wrote, “[I] am convinced that the need for spouses of Foreign Service personnel to have careers and incomes of their own…is a major factor contributing to the higher resignation rates and early retirements of female officers.”104 Ms. Hovanec, along with many women interviewed by WIIS, observed that this tension disproportionately affected female Foreign Service Officers, as male spouses seemed less willing to follow the career progression of their wives. According to one interviewee at State Department, “Accompany husbands are few and far between.”105

Another retired former ambassador observed the difficulties with dual career couples, “[i]f you have tandem careers, one person’s career always gets sacrificed. Some stayed, others left under the pressure of maintaining everything.”106 Another retired former ambassador who was married to a fellow Foreign Service Officer reflected that State Department did help to arrange tandem arrangements, but most of the work-life balance maneuvering was left to the individuals to figure out.107 Overall, women who had served in the Foreign Service emphasized that keeping couples together remains an important priority for women’s retention.

In some cases, however, Foreign Service officers indicated that overseas posts allowed them to have greater resources and opportunities to tend to their personal and family obligations. Some women with Foreign Service careers felt that it was easier to balance work and family overseas than in Washington due to the built-in  expatriate community of support and household and child care help in overseas posts.

Many Foreign Service officers at various levels cited the increase in unaccompanied posts108 as a major problem for women. Interviewees felt that the prevalence of unaccompanied posts would make it very difficult for the State Department to retain women who have or plan to have families. One former ambassador who had served in the Foreign Service her entire career said that she brought her family to all of her posts, even hardship posts and “it would have been a deal breaker” if she hadn’t been allowed to do this.109

Of all the agencies surveyed, USAID received the most positive remarks on work-life balance. USAID women cited that the office culture did not emphasize hierarchy nor put excessive demands on individuals to “pay their dues” by  staying lengthy hours in the office. USAID administrators have also supported female staff by increasing the quality of nursing stations, establishing on-site childcare services, and providing flexible arrangements. One senior-level USAID woman stated, “as long as the demands of the work were met, there was no need to spend additional hours in the office.”110 This contrasted with the experiences of women in the other agencies.

Government Work-Life Program highlights111 Workplace Flexibility ➤       Alternative Work Schedules Part-Time Work and Job SharingTelework ➤     Leave Programs Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Family ➤         Child Care and Child Care Subsidy Program ➤       Federal Child Care Centers112 ➤       Elder/Adult Dependent Care ➤       Leave for Family Purposes Source: http://opm .gov/Employment_and_Benefits/worklife/

For the Civil Service, work-life balance programs are enforced by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and usually entail such arrangements as telecommuting, flexible time, maternity and paternity leave, and on-site childcare facilities, among other options and resources. Since President Obama has taken office, he has called on employers to provide better options for establishing work-life balance programs.113

As referenced earlier in this report, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has drafted a government-wide strategic plan with four strategic goals to be implemented in 2010-2015. The draft Strategic Plan specifically commits the U.S. Government to “[p]rovide the training, benefits, and work-life balance necessary for Federal employees to succeed, prosper, and advance in their careers.”114

In addition, a 2008 survey of chief capital offers across federal agencies reported that “ninety percent agree that alternative work schedules are a useful tool to a ‘great or very great extent’ for attracting and retaining talent, and over half would add telework to that list of especially useful tools.”115

Balancing From the top: the Powerful Example  of Government Leaders

Many women in this study stated that their direct leadership played the most significant role in setting the tone for whether work-life balance was accepted in their offices. Both male and female leaders who themselves prioritized work-life balance encouraged their staff to do the same. For example, one woman reflected on her time working in the NSC for a supervisor who encouraged her to leave at a reasonable hour whenever possible.116 On the other hand, interviewees struggled to make these personal choices when office leaders did not prioritize balance in their own lives and expected the staff to work unreasonable hours.

Interviewees looked to women who have recently taken on senior-level policy positions in the government as contributing to a cultural shift toward respect for work-life balance. Many of these new leaders have had previous government experience, and have returned to influential positions after having stepped out for a time to work in think tanks or academia (with more flexibility to be with their families). For example, a woman who previously had a part-time job share arrangement at the SES level was recently appointed to a deputy assistant secretary level. Women have already begun to identify these new leaders as important role models.

Women at all levels expressed hope that having women with school-age c hildren in high profile positions would result in more support for work-life balance in the government. In at least one case, a woman with previous government service who had left to spend more time with her children had accepted a senior-level DOD policy position under the current Administration. She cited Michèle Flournoy, the current Under Secretary for Defense for Policy, as a leading model for achieving professional success with young children at home, as well as a reason for accepting the senior-level DOD position. In fact, with the recent increase in women in leadership roles in OSD, many cited Flournoy as an example of how to maintain a family life with a demanding position. As one female Deputy Assistant Secretary in OSD commented: “Michèle sets a command climate of efficiency. Part of that is forcing yourself to leave and go home. It’s about injecting balance in the life cycle.”117 This study found that senior-level women in OSD with children are setting this trend by demonstrating balance in their own schedules.

Younger women expressed optimism about the possibilities for work-life balance in their future careers, though the degree of interest in this area varied as some were facing these decisions more immediately than others. As with the previous generations, this younger cohort of women has made a commitment to prioritize their government service, and many have yet to experience family responsibilities. That said, women are clearly looking to senior-level women to observe how they balance these priorities, to ask for advice, and to see if the increase in women at the senior-levels of government will bring about changes in policy environments.

Work-life balance issues continue to present unique challenges to women who are rising through the ranks of government in international security. Women still remain conflicted about satisfying the needs of both work and family on a daily basis. There is no consensus among women about whether work-life balance is indeed possible in government positions, especially at the senior-levels. There have certainly been both institutional and cultural improvements in the way that worklife balance has been promoted and supported within government agencies, even in the demanding policy arena. With more women with young children and family obligations now assuming leadership positions, it remains to be seen whether these role models will significantly affect the continuing pressures to be visible, present in the office, and working long hours in many of these agencies.

KEy rEcOMMEndatiOnS
Support Work-life Balance and Keep Women on the Leadership Track ➤   Recognize work-life balance is not just a “women’s issue” and that it is relevant for all employees, including those with and without children, and those who are responsible for elder care of family members . ➤ Ensure that formal mechanisms exist to support the increasing demand for flexible work options . For example: Institutionalize alternative working arrangements in departments, including flex time and telecommuting .Develop a roster of employees who are currently utilizing flex options or have in the past to be available for those who are setting up these arrangements .Ensure that all agencies and offices, down to the lowest management level, have information available on how to establish flexible work arrangements, within the U .S . and overseas . Specify the availability of part-time or job share options in job postings .Respond to demand for part-time positions and job shares for foreign policy/national security portfolios . Develop creative models that provide full coverage for these portfolios but maintain a manageable work schedule for employees . Establish a lessons-learned website or blog where employees can compare their experiences with flexible work options, discuss challenges, and share successful strategies . ➤   Recognize and support family needs by providing paid maternity and paternity leave for the full period allowed under the Family Medical Leave Act, and ensure access to childcare facilities on-site or proximate to the workplace . CONTINUED ON NExT PAGE
➤     Establish an office culture that supports work-life balance . Highlight those leaders who set a positive work-life example, and provide opportunities for leaders to share strategies with younger women, especially at the mid-level . Incorporate accountability and incentive mechanisms for managers to support work-life balance needs of all employees .
➤     Recognize the importance of flexible career paths for women . Create mechanisms that allow government employees to leave federal service for a fixed period of time and readily return into the system at an equal or higher level .
➤     Devote adequate resources for agencies to provide flexible work arrangements, and to create work environments that allow women in leadership roles to do their jobs and care for their families .

ConClusion

The expansion of the international security field over the past several decades has created new career opportunities in the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government. At the same time, there has been increasing recognition that the U.S. Government benefits from a diverse workforce, including women, at all levels. Recruiting and retaining talent in government service has become even more vital in the face of large numbers of retirements. Yet, information on women’s participation in government remains limited in the specific sector of international security, and data and women’s perspectives have not previously been systematically analyzed to determine the realities of women’s experiences and opportunities in this area.

This study is intended to present an initial picture of women’s participation in international security in the U.S. Executive Branch. The findings indicate that progress has been made in the numbers of women who have pursued careers and risen to senior levels in these agencies. Gender-based discrimination, which was pervasive in previous decades, is not the common experience that it once was for women in this sector. Laws, regulations, and policies have not only prohibited discrimination, but have established commitments to increase opportunities for women and other underrepresented groups. More resources and options are available for work-life balance, which has been identified as a key area of concern for women. These institutional improvements reflect wider societal shifts over time in how women and men are viewing working environments and career choices.

Despite these positive achievements, women continue to grapple with challenges to career advancement within this sector. The numbers indicate that women remain well below 50 percent in decision-making positions. Although the overall participation of women in the federal sector has gradually been moving toward 50 percent, the percentages of women in senior level positions average below 30 percent. Women are keenly aware that they remain in the minority in many offices, departments, and sub-fields of international security, and women at all levels feel pressure to prove competence and credibility. Mentoring is a significant factor that influences advancement opportunities for women, and what matters most for women is not whether mentors are male or female, but whether mentors are willing to truly advocate for their mentees. Influential mentors open doors to new positions and promotions — key steps to attaining leadership roles.

The societal and institutional shifts over time have paved the way for more women taking on decision-making positions in government agencies responsible for international security. But women often have no assistance in developing needed leadership skills, and they often have few positive examples of other leaders to draw upon in formulating their own leadership styles. Women view consensus building, inclusiveness and transparency as key attributes of good leadership and areas where women excel. Women are also very aware of the pitfalls of being either too  aggressive or too passive in their leadership approaches.

There is no consensus among women about how to define work-life balance or whether it is possible to achieve it in international security positions in the government, especially at senior levels. However, women do agree that they face unique challenges in balancing the demands of these jobs with family responsibilities, although the gender dimension is beginning to break down as more men are also prioritizing family. Although there are now many more flexible work options and benefits available for federal employees to support work-life balance, there are real disincentives to taking full advantage of these options. Leadership plays a key role in whether women feel that work-life balance considerations are supported. Women are hopeful that those in senior level positions in the current Administration, especially newly appointed women who have children, will set a positive example for work-life balance.

Although many of the challenges identified in this study cannot be solved by institutional changes alone, there is much more the U.S. Government can do to support women’s opportunities in this sector. The recommendations in this report highlight some of these areas. Strengthening mentoring programs, expanding the availability and the value that is placed on leadership training, and closing some of the remaining gaps in work-life balance benefits, such as maternity leave, can have a significant impact on the morale and retention of women in these agencies. But perhaps most important is the role of government leaders — both women and men—in recognizing the remaining barriers to women’s advancement opportunities and setting positive examples for women in the pipeline to follow in their own paths to leadership.

Organizations like WIIS and government agencies must partner together, as we seek the way ahead for improving women’s participation and leadership in international security professions. This report represents a new starting point to reinvigorate the dialogue on examining and solving this critical issue. It is hoped that this study will contribute to understanding and addressing the nuanced and multifaceted challenges that professional women face today.

reCommendaTions 

for government leaders and foreign policy/national security agencies

The following recommendations are based principally on ideas from interviewees and from the key findings that emerged in the course of this study. The purpose of these recommendations is to provide general guidance to U.S. Government actors as they seek to build a talented, dedicated, and diverse workforce in international security.

For positive and lasting improvements in women’s participation to be possible, there are four prerequisites:

  1. LEadErShiP that values recruitment, retention, and promotion of talented and capable women and takes proactive steps to address the obstacles and expand the professional opportunities for women.
  2. FLExiBiLity in workplace arrangements, to retain talented women in government who otherwise move on to new opportunities.
  3. SUPPOrt for the continuing professional development of talented and capable women throughout their careers.
  4. MandatES and rESOUrcES for agencies to develop new, creative, and more effective ways to groom future female leaders in government.

WIIS proposes the following:

Promote Leadership Development for Women

➤ Demonstrate a strong commitment at the Cabinet level to creating workplaces that allow talented women to rise in level and responsibility.

➤ Highlight as role models successful female leaders and offices that support women.

Reward women who exhibit excellence in leadership at all levels through  promotion and other workplace opportunities.
Identify and promote women to the director level or equivalent in government offices so that they gain important management experience for higher levels. Give mid-level women increasing management responsibilities.
Ensure that each department/agency has a formal policy commitment to gender diversity, that these policies are accompanied by specific objectives and strategies, and that leaders prioritize their full and timely implementation.
Ensure diverse representation, including gender balance, on committees that select candidates for senior-level ranks, such as the Senior Executive Service and the Senior Foreign Service, and positions such as ambassadorships and mid-to-senior level management positions.
Set target numbers of female candidates for senior leadership appointments, and regularly evaluate progress towards those targets.
Encourage women in government to take on active roles in agency affinity groups and outside organizations to gain leadership experience, and consider this experience as a relevant factor when selecting candidates for positions and promotions.
Establish programs that identify and recruit women with demonstrated leadership skills from the private, non-profit, and multilateral sectors into government.

Support Work-life Balance and Keep Women on the Leadership Track

Recognize work-life balance is not just a “women’s issue” and that it is relevant for all employees, including those with and without children, and those who are responsible for elder care of family members.
Ensure that formal mechanisms exist to support the increasing demand for flexible work options. For example:
  • Institutionalize alternative working arrangements in departments, including flex time and telecommuting.
  • Develop a roster of employees who are currently utilizing flex options or have in the past to be available for those who are setting up these arrangements.
  • Ensure that all agencies and offices, down to the lowest management level, have information available on how to establish flexible work arrangements, within the U.S. and overseas.
  • Specify the availability of part-time or job share options in job postings.
  • Respond to demand for part-time positions and job shares for foreign policy/national security portfolios. Develop creative models that provide full coverage for these portfolios but maintain a manageable work schedule for employees.
  • Establish a lessons-learned website or blog where employees can compare their experiences with flexible work options, discuss challenges, and share successful strategies.
Recognize and support family needs by providing paid maternity and paternity leave for the full period allowed under the Family Medical Leave Act, and  ensure access to childcare facilities on-site or proximate to the workplace.
Establish an office culture that supports work-life balance. Highlight those leaders who set a positive work-life example, and provide opportunities for leaders to share strategies with younger women, especially at the mid-level. Incorporate accountability and incentive mechanisms for managers to support work-life balance needs of all employees.
Recognize the importance of flexible career paths for women. Create mechanisms that allow government employees to leave federal service for a fixed period of time and readily return into the system at an equal or higher level.
Devote adequate resources for agencies to provide flexible work arrangements, and to create work environments that allow women in leadership roles to do their jobs and care for their families.

Build a Culture of Mentorship Among Women

Ensure that formal mentoring programs are established in all departments and agencies that target the different needs of entry, mid and senior level women. Ensure that every new hire is matched with a mentor, and that there are ongoing mentoring opportunities at each stage of career progression. Encourage both vertical and lateral mentoring at all levels.
Create mentoring opportunities that support the needs of mid-level women by matching them with senior-level women and men who can guide them into leadership roles.
Establish creative mentoring models. For example, coordinate regular fora that allow mid and senior level women to share wisdom with younger women. Consider a short-term mentoring model which allows a mentee to call upon a mentor for advice on a particular, time-bound problem.
Recognize the vital importance of informal mentoring for women, and support the development of these relationships, especially for mid-level women.

Develop the Next Generation of Women Leaders

Develop government wide lessons learned, models, and innovative programs to support women’s advancement opportunities. Call upon the private and non-profit sectors to share insights and identify best practices. Compile and circulate best practices among agencies and ensure that they are incorporated into personnel and management policies.
Capitalize on current interest in government service. Expand programs that encourage women and minorities to pursue foreign policy and national security careers and to gain experience in the government. Increase the number of interns and fellows to enable more young women to gain government work experience.
Expand rotation programs within departments, among agencies, and with outside organizations to enable women to build expertise and key relationships. These programs will benefit all government employees.
Encourage participation in activities and groups inside and outside agencies that provide leadership, mentoring, and networking opportunities.
Invest more resources in designing and providing training programs for women at all stages of their careers. Offer leadership and management training for junior women in government, well before they reach SES.
Call upon experienced women who have worked in foreign policy/national security positions in government to train other women. Encourage women with military experience to help develop and run leadership training for civilians.
Offer training topics that incorporate issues that women have identified as important, such as building credibility and visibility, developing a leadership style and approach, overcoming gender stereotypes, balancing inclusiveness and decisiveness, building mentoring relationships and strengthening communications skills.
Ensure that managers are accountable for supporting their employees taking time away from the office to participate in training programs and that senior leadership understands the value of professional development for women’s  advancement.
Improve information gathering on women in the government workforce to identify gaps in representation and develop strategies to improve opportunities

for women. For example:

  • Track recruitment, retention, and promotions of women in government agencies by both professional grade and type of position.
  • Document reasons that women leave foreign policy/national security  positions and incorporate what is learned into retention efforts.
  • Develop evaluation and monitoring mechanisms to analyze progress in  increasing women’s participation in government positions.

Authors: Camille Pampell Conaway and Jolynn Shoemaker Editors: Jolynn Shoemaker, Allison Adams-Alwine, and Jennifer Park

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

United Nations (UN) peacekeeping is in high demand.  With a 400 percent increase in the number of peacekeeping missions in the past two decades, the pressure to quickly launch, staff, and coordinate the military and civilian components of multi-dimensional peace operations has never been greater.  Despite the urgent need, UN missions have failed to attract, retain, and advance the most qualified talent in leadership positions, threatening the implementation of demanding peace operations.  Women, especially those from non-Western countries, are an untapped and potentially powerful resource to staff and lead these missions.  Women remain underrepresented in management positions and are rarely appointed at the highest levels of leadership.

Since the historic adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), the recognition of the important and beneficial role that women play in building sustainable peace has steadily increased.  Civil society arguments for women’s inclusion in the formal processes of peacemaking and peacebuilding are bolstered by growing evidence of women’s impact on the ground in unstable and conflict-affected countries.  Numerous policymakers and practitioners within the UN and other multi-lateral organizations are publicly acknowledging the value of women in leadership roles.  

Yet the lack of women in senior positions in the UN, particularly in peacekeeping missions, reflects the reality that significant cultural and institutional impediments remain to women’s entry and advancement within the UN.  As a result, there is frustration with the slow pace of progress both inside and outside the system.  There are few mechanisms in place to facilitate regular information sharing between the UN and civil society on this issue.  Civil society organizations lack understanding about the skills and requirements for high-level positions, the process for selecting candidates, and the best means to nominate qualified experts.  Within the UN, there are traditionally few resources and little attention devoted to outreach and communication with organizations that can access qualified female candidates, or to marketing these positions in a way that will attract the best talent.

Few Women Lead UN Peacekeeping Missions

In 60 years of UN peacekeeping—from 1948 to 2008—only seven women have ever held the post of Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG).  Why is it so difficult to identify and appoint women to leadership positions in peace operations?  This study revealed multiple factors that impede the selection of women at the highest levels of leadership.  First, a non-transparent process and the political considerations inherent in the recruitment of SRSG’s and Deputy SRSG’s (DSRSG) result in the appointment of candidates who tend to be wellknown in the UN system, such as ambassadors and permanent representatives. Women, who are underrepresented in these circles, have a distinct disadvantage when inner-circle, high-level diplomats compose the primary selection pool.  Candidates without political backing, familiarity with the UN actors, and fluency in the UN “lingo” are at a distinct disadvantage.  For those potential leaders outside the UN system, this bias and the inability to tap into external networks presents enormous hurdles.  

Second, the bias against candidates from the “outside” may have an impact on the interview process for the recruitment for posts in peace operations.  This may have particular implications for women, and especially for women from under-represented regions of the world, who may approach and describe peace and security issues differently.  The way the questions are asked, the way the process is conducted, and the way that female candidates answer the questions, may perpetuate this insider bias.  

Third, key qualifications for SRSG and DSRSG positions, such as military experience, may eliminate many female candidates.  Some policymakers and practitioners reportedly continue to believe that women may not have the necessary political skills and diplomatic gravitas to head large-scale civil-military missions.  A widespread belief persists that women with development and humanitarian backgrounds are passed over for SRSG positions, despite the fact that there have been a number of DSRSG’s with these qualifications.  Even when women candidates for SRSG positions “make it on the short list” in the decision-making process, the pursuit of geographic balance, favoritism toward certain nationalities under-represented in the UN system, and the “silent imposition” of member states on behalf of their nominees often work against women in the appointment process.i  When women are finally tapped for leadership, according to interviewees, decision-makers may choose them for particular positions deemed “safer,” “less visible,” or less “serious.” 

A distinct challenge to women’s leadership in peace operations is self-elimination.  Beginning with the application process, some women are reluctant to accept positions unless they are extremely confident that their qualifications and experience exactly match the needs of the position. Many point to the fact that their male counterparts do not exhibit the same reservations.  Even when offered senior posts in peacekeeping, well qualified women often decline these opportunities. While some interviewees assert that women are dissuaded from field posts due to arduous conditions, women who have served in peacekeeping missions categorically reject such assumptions.  In fact, a primary reason for self-elimination from senior level positions in the field is the non-family duty status of peacekeeping missions.  This constraint was repeatedly cited in interviews as a disincentive for qualified women candidates.   Many women are only willing to go to non-family duty stations once their children are grown.  Others reported they did not extend their tours due to spousal or other family considerations.  

Few Women Rise Through the Ranks

Many of the same impediments to recruiting women are common at the professional levels.  The low numbers of professional female applicants—both internal and external—may directly relate to the layers of obstacles in the peacekeeping recruitment system for civilians.  Applicants put little faith in the ability of the UN’s online application system to distinguish and recognize talent.  Furthermore, the actual vacancy announcements may be biased.  While a commitment to the principles of gender equality was recently added to UN vacancy announcements, a military emphasis persists in the qualifications for peacekeeping posts. In addition, the online system utilizes generic language in many vacancy announcements in order to populate a database of civilian experts.  At the other professional levels—just as with senior women—candidates tend to pursue jobs that are specifically matched to their qualifications.  Thus, the way the position is described and marketed can determine whether or not a woman even applies.  

Once women enter the UN system, they do not stay long.  Women’s numbers drop dramatically between entry-level and mid- and senior management.  While women make up nearly 30 percent of international staff in peacekeeping operations, they are highly concentrated in the most junior positions.  The UN experiences faster turnover of women than men, and it is reportedly difficult to keep even female managers in field positions for more than one year.  Interviewees point to the lack of a career track and professional development in the UN system, noting that the organization is not structured to groom staff at the mid-level.  Several interviewees said that women are regularly placed in positions where they are neither visible nor likely to reach decision-making positions.  

Another major factor that negatively influences retention and morale are the relatively low compensation packages in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) than other UN agencies.  Perhaps even more importantly for female staff, the vast majority of DPKO missions are designed as non-family duty posts, despite the fact that staff from other UN agencies are permitted to bring spouses and children to the very same locations.  The General Assembly is considering recommendations of the Secretary-General with regard to human resources reform in the UN, including harmonization of service conditions so that DPKO staff will be treated equally with regard to families in the field.  The approval of this reform package will be extremely important for future efforts to recruit and retain qualified personnel for these missions.  

The UN lacks a support structure to facilitate mentoring and promote career development of women in junior and mid-level positions.  Those women leaders who joined the UN later in their careers were often recruited individually by a colleague or influential mentor already in the UN system.  For women who have advanced up the ranks, influential mentors and supporters—nearly always men—played a key role in their career development.  Numerous interviewees described a system that is far from a meritocracy, and unable or unwilling to accommodate dual career spouses or family priorities.  As summarized by one interviewee: “To be successful in the UN, one must be single, widowed, or divorced.”  

Gender Influences the System—Negatively and Positively

Gender-based discrimination is common in the UN system.  Many types of biases, including double standards applied to women in senior level positions, are prevalent.  Many interviewees point to the fact that the few women who occupy leadership positions are under tremendous pressure to succeed.  Failure can be perceived as a reflection on the capacity of all women to do these jobs, even in those cases where the failures were not their own.  

Senior level women with years of experience in multicultural environments report that many UN staff remain entrenched in outdated mentalities, particularly with regard to gender and women.  In missions, women encountered biases in daily interactions with colleagues and national officials.  However, women demonstrated an ability to creatively work around these obstacles.  Some cited the initial difficulties they encountered when dealing with military and intelligence officials, but acknowledged they could quickly win respect after demonstrating their expertise. Despite these challenges, women who have served in UN peace operations were extremely positive about their experiences in the field and have expressed a willingness to serve in the field again.  In field missions, where women often assume a higher-grade position than at headquarters, they feel there is more flexibility, freedom, and the potential to make an impact.   

Senior level women interviewed for this report frequently discussed their participatory approach and conflict resolution skills, but all were reluctant to attribute these qualities to gender.  Women who have served in leadership positions in UN peace operations describe their styles with the words “consultative,” “open” and “inclusive”— attributes that are generally considered feminine.  They describe different approaches to managing divergent interests in conflict situations.  They tend to view these positions as making a positive contribution, rather than selfpromotion or ego.  Women in field missions demonstrate a willingness to tackle difficult issues, such as rape and sexual violence, in part, out of concern for the victims.  This is particularly relevant in the wake of widespread reports of sexual violence and misconduct by peacekeepers in 2005.  

Intentionally or otherwise, women in leadership positions in field missions are seen as role models for women within peace operations—both within the mission and to the host country.  Many women managers in field missions hire other women, purposefully recruiting them, supporting those in junior positions, and demonstrating a commitment to mentor their careers.  Furthermore, when women are visible in the mission, particularly in senior positions, an example is set for women’s post-war participation in the host country in political, economic, and even military roles.  

While UN peacekeeping clearly remains male-dominated, particularly at the leadership levels, there has been significant forward movement in recent years at UN headquarters and in the field as a result of the ever-growing and dire need for talent in peacekeeping.  A number of reforms are increasing women’s representation in senior peacekeeping positions.  In 2007 alone, the number of women in senior posts increased by 37 percent.  Several new components within DPKO—namely the Senior Appointments Section and the Department of Field Support’s (DFS) Recruitment and Outreach Unit, are incorporating gender sensitivity and prioritizing the identification of qualified women.  Other planned mechanisms and activities could further improve recruitment for peacekeeping posts, such as greater collaboration in the recruitment of political and development/humanitarian DSRSG’s, the creation of a new Enterprise Resource Planning system that will replace the online peacekeeping application system, the development of a new talent search system, and better outreach to civil society.  Some senior managers at headquarters and in the field—both men and women—have demonstrated a personal commitment to increasing women’s participation.  In DFS, in just the past two years, women now occupy key senior level human resource and outreach positions.  All have made vocal, public commitments to fulfilling the mandates of Security Council Resolution 1325 and are working on a daily basis to make this a practical reality.

What remains to be seen is whether the UN will implement the long-term and difficult institutional, procedural, and cultural changes necessary to create more opportunities for qualified female leaders in UN peace operations.  If the recent reforms and efforts are to succeed, the UN will need to devote much more attention and resources to solving the persistent impediments to attracting, grooming, and promoting the best talent for leadership positions in peacekeeping. 

KEY FINDINGS

Recruitment

  1. Potential partnerships and creative strategies to identify and select the best talent for leadership positions are inhibited by a lack of effective communication between the UN and civil society, which contributes to inaccurate assumptions of the recruitment process, the qualifications for peacekeeping, and the incentives or disincentives for qualified women to apply. 
  • A UN bias toward well-known candidates inside the system combined with an inability to tap into external networks presents enormous hurdles for those potential candidates outside the UN.  Without a powerful champion within the system, it is less likely a qualified woman will obtain a senior leadership position. 
  • While many interviewees point to bias against SRSG candidates with a humanitarian and development background—as opposed to military experience—approximately half of current SRSG’s have a humanitarian or development background.
  • Even when women candidates for SRSG positions “make it on the short list” in the decision-making process, the pursuit of geographic balance, favoritism toward certain nationalities underrepresented in the UN system, and the “silent imposition” of member states on behalf of their nominees can work against women in the appointment process.
  • In some cases, qualified senior level women may not promote themselves as effectively as men.  Women tend to self-eliminate from consideration for senior positions and leadership roles.  Even at the most senior level, women may decline to pursue or accept positions unless they are extremely confident that they are the right match for the qualifications and the needs of the host country.  In the field, the focus of women on the job at hand, rather than self-promotion, was cited as a benefit to the mission.  However, this can be a disadvantage at headquarters, where visibility and powerful allies are key factors in selection for senior leadership positions.

Retention and Advancement

  • Although approximately 40 percent of entry-level professional posts are occupied by women, these numbers drop dramatically in the mid- and senior level management posts.   
  • Especially at senior levels, informal entry points into the system are the most common ways to join the UN.  Almost universally, senior women learned of their posts through colleagues and networks, not through formal ads or the UN online application system.  
  • Influential mentors and contacts inside the UN play a key role in supporting the advancement of women leaders.  Many experienced women from outside the UN are identified and recruited for senior roles after making extensive contacts within the system as consultants.  
  • Mentors for senior women tend to be senior male colleagues who helped guide women’s UN careers and recommend them for promotions.  
  1. The majority of female managers in peacekeeping, and in the UN generally, are unmarried, divorced, and/or without children.  Senior women in peacekeeping who are married tend to have spouses who are also within the UN system or who they met on the job.  Nearly all married women note that there is little support for dual-career couples in the UN, particularly with regard to field missions.  
  1. Women actually feel they may have more flexibility, freedom, and the potential to make an impact in field missions, where they often assume a higher-grade position than at headquarters.  However, women and men also report difficulties leaving their New York jobs for a higher classification only to return to their previous jobs in the Secretariat at the lower level.  

Biases and Behaviors

  1. Women in senior leadership positions, SRSG’s in particular, are frequently held to higher standards than men, who tend to circulate from mission to mission regardless of job performance.  Failure on the part of one woman in a leadership role can have repercussions on the general perception of all women to successfully lead UN missions.
  1. Women in the UN—both in headquarters and in the field—experience implicit and explicit genderbased discrimination.  Although some women experience sexual harassment, biases and stereotypes were more common than blatant discrimination in field missions.  Implicit discrimination is cited frequently by senior women at headquarters.  Women find creative ways to overcome negative biases and behaviors and gain credibility, especially in dealing with military and intelligence officials in the host country.  
  1. Women who have served in senior positions and those who have worked with them describe their leadership styles similarly—as “collaborative, consultative,” and “inclusive.”  Interviewees highlight the negotiation skills and solutions-based approaches of female leaders in peace operations.  However, many of these women resist attributing these qualities to gender or a feminine approach.
  1. Women in senior management positions demonstrate a strong commitment to increasing women’s participation.  Within the Department of Field Support, in just the past two years, key senior level human resources and outreach positions are now occupied by women who have taken intentional action to fulfill the mandates of Security Council Resolution 1325.  Many women managers in field missions hire other women, purposefully bringing them onto their teams and supporting those in more junior positions.  Women in these positions are seen as role models—both within the mission and to the host country.  

RECOMMENDATIONS

Recruitment and Selection

For the UN Secretariat:

  1. Re-examine and re-formulate the assessment process for candidates for senior level positions.  
  1. Evaluate the process and make recommendations to ensure fairness to all candidates, including those working outside the UN system, those from non-Western countries, and female applicants. 
    1. Examine and integrate successful strategies utilized by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to select female Resident Coordinators (RCs).  
    1. Select the highest quality applicants while working toward gender balance goals.
    1. Emphasize the relevance of humanitarian and development competencies for peacekeeping missions.
  • Improve gender balance on candidate lists for leadership positions.  
  1. Ensure that one woman and one individual from a developing country are included on every short list of candidates sent to the Secretary-General and the appointments panel to consider for SRSG posts.
    1. Make every effort to ensure women are on the appointment panels that make SRSG selections.
  • Strengthen the Senior Leadership Appointments Section. 
  1. The Secretary-General should capitalize on the work of the Section, openly promote its mission, and encourage member states not to bypass the process behind closed doors, but channel their recommendations through this office.   
    1. Immediately increase outreach by the Section to member states to advertise their mandate and existence.  Similarly, the staff could benefit from greater collaboration with other UN agencies with rosters as well as regular contact with civil society.  
    1. Continue creating Terms of Reference (TOR) for SRSG’s that are specific to each mission and assignment, and widely circulate these profiles to gather qualified candidates for a vetted roster.  As the list develops, establish a target for at least 50 percent representation of women.
  • Appoint and promote women to mid- and senior positions where they can gain the experience to become SRSG’s.  The Secretary-General should immediately seek to increase the number of female Special Envoys, which are generally shorter assignments with fewer obstacles for women.  As of 2007, not a single UN Special Envoy was a woman.
  • Address the problem of self-elimination by women.  
  1. Increase transparency regarding what senior leadership positions entail and the requisite qualifications.
    1. Move decisively towards an “ensemble approach” to staff missions, rather than seeking one individual who embodies all desirable characteristics of an SRSG or DSRSG.  
    1. Correct the misperception that a military background is a prerequisite for senior leadership positions in peacekeeping operations.  Widely advertise positions internally and externally— beyond the usual circles—to ensure that women with development and humanitarian backgrounds are aware of opportunities in these missions.
    1. Call upon women who have served in senior leadership positions in peacekeeping to help raise awareness of opportunities and improve outreach and recruitment of women.
  • “Re-brand” peacekeeping to improve job marketing.  Individuals who work at the UN are frequently value-driven, and jobs should be framed this way.  The range of opportunities must be better advertised in order to attract qualified people, particularly in hard-to-fill positions. Above all, the perception that the Galaxy online application system for the UN is a “black hole” must change through faster turn-around times and more frequent communication with applicants.  Improvement in marketing will also help attract those with relevant field experience from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to peacekeeping opportunities.
  • Review and improve vacancy announcements.  
  1. Be more specific when describing job qualifications.  Although generic postings are useful for the UN recruitment database, women may be more likely to apply for mission-specific and expertisespecific vacancy announcements.
    1. Immediately add a field to Galaxy online applications to determine where candidates learned of the vacancy in order to target resources appropriately.
    1. Do not over-emphasize military expertise in vacancy announcements.
    1. Include more specificity about gender expertise and experience and how this is assessed when evaluating candidates.
  • Dramatically expand outreach, both internally and externally, to identify and attract the best talent.  DPKO frequently laments the loss of personnel to other UN funds and agencies.  In turn, peacekeeping staff must actively recruit from these same sources.  
  1. Cast a wider net outside the UN system.  DFS must be more creative and proactive to refresh and broaden networks where the UN recruits.
    1. Ensure that personnel from other UN agencies and departments are aware of and recruited for civilian opportunities in peacekeeping missions.
    1. Per UNDP’s example, conduct recruitment missions to key countries where women hold leadership posts and in stable post-conflict countries where women may be familiar with peace operations, have the requisite experience from their military service, or be advancing rapidly in the ranks of newly formed armed forces and police services. 
    1. Communicate needs to key national and international rosters to facilitate the identification of qualified candidates.  
    1. Establish a standing mechanism for communications between DFS and civil society groups with access to talent, such as a working group or task force.  The forum should facilitate regular opportunities for dialogue and information sharing in order to bring forth qualified candidates, especially women, at the senior levels.  Focus specifically on outreach and partnership with national women’s machineries and international networks with access to women.
  • Gather data to determine what forms of outreach are most effective for women.  
  1. Conduct interviews with successful applicants to learn more about their recruitment, and develop a way to track how applicants to the Galaxy online application system discovered vacancy announcements.   
    1. Explore creative ways to track the effectiveness of outreach, particularly to women’s groups. 
    1. Utilize this data to support requests for additional funding to expand outreach and target recruitment efforts that will attract qualified women.  
  1. Encourage member states to be more proactive in recommending women for senior leadership positions.  
  1. The Secretary-General should provide incentives for member states to go beyond lip service to the idea of gender equality, and encourage them to regularly submit the names of well-qualified female candidates.
    1. Inform under-represented member states that recommending women for these posts could help them achieve greater representation in the UN.
11. Maintain a dedicated capacity to find and recruit women in traditionally male-

dominated fields, such as logistics.  Extend the mandate of the temporary Gender Outreach Officer in the Logistics Support Division, and increase resources for advertising and outreach for positions where women are poorly represented.   

Retention and Advancement

For the UN Secretariat:

  1. Prioritize DPKO’s human resources.  Develop talent in the UN system by rewarding staff in dangerous posts, creating an enabling working environment at headquarters and in the field, and placing a premium on staff morale and job satisfaction.  Invest in staff through increased compensation, improved benefits and entitlements, and the ability to travel and live with family as often as possible.  Spending billions on peacekeeping without investing in people is counterproductive.  
  1. Harmonize the conditions of service for peacekeeping staff. 
  1. Raise awareness among member states of the importance of harmonizing service conditions.  The Secretary-General should report on the failure to attract needed talent and the negative implications for missions without incentives for personnel to serve in peacekeeping positions.
    1. Highlight ways that member state contributions could be used to alter dysfunctional human resource rules and the difference this would make in terms of recruitment and retention.
    1. Create a forum for staff and managers to discuss and recommend intermediate steps that can be taken within current institutional constraints to improve morale and better accommodate family considerations.
  1. Enact human resource reforms tailored to women and families.  
  1. Design career tracks that meet the needs of women, allowing them to enter and exit the system over a certain time period.  
    1. Establish focal points for women in human resource offices in peace missions to recognize and address their specific needs.  
    1. Implement alternative work arrangements at headquarters, such as job share programs and flex time.  
  1. Become “dual-career” friendly.  The Secretariat must do more to accommodate spouses in field missions.  
  1. When there is no direct conflict or oversight, the mission should seek to employ the staff member and his/her spouse.  
    1. Relax family restrictions in every mission that other UN agencies deem secure enough for dependents.  
    1. Enable personnel in peace missions to visit family regularly.  Leave policies should account for travel time to visit family in other countries. 
  1. Groom existing talent.  Targeted career and professional development can help attract and retain staff.  The UN should recognize talent inside the system, and focus on providing potential leaders with opportunities to advance.  
  1. Establish programs to groom young leaders to offer training, mentoring, and special assignments, emphasizing participation from women and the global South.  
    1. Management training should be standard and mandatory for UN senior staff.  
    1. Focus on grooming mid-level staff, at which point many women leave the system.
    1. Create career tracks to allow personnel to rotate in and out of the system easily, complementing UN experience with opportunities in national governments, NGOs, and other relevant sectors.    
    1. Relax the Galaxy online application rules for former staff.  No one should have to re-apply through Galaxy once they are in the system.  
    1. Given the cross-cutting nature and expertise of gender advisors in the field, consider personnel who demonstrate high competency in these posts for more senior positions in missions.
  1. Promote greater consistency between opportunities in the field and advancement in headquarters.  
  1. Consider promotions for staff returning from senior positions in the field when they return to headquarters.  
    1. Develop online courses and training lectures to promote skills development among all staff.  
    1. Establish career support centers in duty stations to help staff continue to enhance their skills.
  1. Recognize and reward UN personnel who serve in peace operations.  
  1. The Secretary-General should highlight the contributions of personnel who work in peacekeeping and demonstrate appreciation for those who have taken on leadership roles in difficult conditions.
    1. Generously reward the staff for their commitment and willingness to re-locate to difficult missions under harsh conditions.
  1. Assess and address retention problems at headquarters.
  1. Conduct research on gender sensitivity within DPKO and DFS.  Explore specific institutional or cultural environments that may contribute to poor retention of women and staff with families.  Develop and implement improvements based on the findings.
    1. Conduct mandatory exit interviews to gather and apply lessons learned.   
    1. Develop systematic retention strategies based on the reasons staff leave the UN system.  
  • Hold senior managers accountable to the UN’s commitment to gender balance.  
  1. As a first step, DPKO should enact a gender score card for managers similar to UNDP’s mechanism, which is available to all agency staff.  
    1. In addition, assess SRSG’s on their knowledge of gender issues in annual performance and end-ofmission evaluations.  
    1. Integrate gender perspectives in the orientation, training, and learning programs available for senior staff, including courses and resources offered by the UN System Staff College.

For Member States:

  • Identify and promote women nationally for SRSG and DSRSG posts.  Gather the names of prominent women in national governments, military, and police to maintain at-the-ready when an appointment arises.  Reach out to the Senior Leadership Appointments Section to ensure these candidates are included on the UN’s internal roster.
  • Dedicate resources to increasing the recruitment of women in the military, police, logistics, and other sectors where they are severely under-represented.  The major Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) and Police Contributing Countries (PCCs) should dedicate a staff person in Permanent Missions with the specific responsibility to liaise with the national military and police in order to recruit women and feed them into the UN system.   
  • Continue sharing “best practices” on the recruitment of women for peace operations.  The recent conferences and exchange of ideas among TCCs, PCCs, UN agencies, and other stakeholders are notable.  The findings from Pretoria and subsequent regional workshops on this topic should be disseminated to other member states.
  • Provide gender training for all leadership positions in the national military, police, diplomatic, and development sectors of the government to begin to overcome long-held stereotypes and biases.
  • Re-energize the “Friends of 1325” group of member states.  The Friends of 1325 was formed to track progress and to press for implementation of Resolution 1325.  The Friends of 1325 should encourage other governments to take action in increasing the representation of women in leadership roles in peacekeeping. 
  • Establish accountability measures in national agencies and departments to gauge success in the implementation of Resolution 1325 at the country level.

For Civil Society:

  • Connect the various networks and rosters to approach the UN with a unified strategy.  Establish coalitions and working partnerships to strengthen advocacy efforts.  Build on existing programs and initiatives that identify and support female candidates for senior leadership positions. 
28. Develop a bona fide training academy for women leaders.  Draw on former SRSG’s and

UN leaders as guest trainers to coach senior women and help them prepare as candidates.  Train them in the use of the Galaxy online application system, testing techniques, and interview skills.  Raise the visibility of this issue and of the individual women participants.

  • Re-evaluate the effectiveness of external rosters and develop other mechanisms and strategies to bring qualified women forward.  
  1. Examine existing rosters at the professional level and identify and put forth female candidates rather than creating new, women-only rosters.
    1. At the senior level, develop new ways to advocate for women leaders more effectively.  Respond to requests for candidates from the Senior Leadership Appointments Section with the names of qualified women from inside and outside the UN.  Tap into informal networks to promote specific women candidates among decision-makers.
  • Develop a small, concrete list of women’s groups with solid networks. 
  1. Ensure the Recruitment and Outreach Unit can access this list to circulate vacancy announcements and other information.
    1. Conduct training-of-trainers and tutorials for women in these organizations to share with their constituents so that they are aware of the Galaxy online application process, can access and use the system, and are encouraged to apply for peacekeeping positions.
  • Reach out to current and former senior level women for support and strategy.   High-ranking women inside and outside the UN system have demonstrated a commitment to increasing women’s leadership opportunities.  Some women in senior level positions in peace operations have been at the forefront of advocacy on this issue.  Civil society groups should convene current and former women leaders to discuss common challenges and to develop strategies for women’s advancement in peacekeeping.
  • Conduct additional research.  Focus on pragmatic elements to promote implementation.
  1. Conduct a full-scale gender analysis of vacancy announcements with practical recommendations to improve language.  
    1. Explore incentives from other sectors that are specifically designed to recruit and retain women.  
    1. Continue to build a broad body of evidence to examine and document women’s leadership styles and women’s approach and impact on peace operations, in civilian, military and policing capacities.
    1. Document career paths of men and women who have served in senior leadership positions to assess experiences and qualifications that lead to advancement.
  • Maintain a strong advocacy presence before the UN and national governments.  
  1. Target ministers and director generals in charge of appointments.
    1. Demand accountability for the low number of women in high-level national and international posts.

INTRODUCTION

“The difficulty in getting women in peace operations is a microcosm of the difficulty in getting women engaged in peace and security.”

–Female senior manager in the United Nations

In November 2006, over 75 experts gathered in New York and Washington to discuss “United Nations Reform: Improving Peace Operations by Advancing the Role of Women.”  Convened by the Stanley Foundation and Women in International Security, practitioners and policymakers from United Nations (UN) agencies, national governments and militaries, academia, and civil society groups identified barriers to women’s advancement and elaborated concrete ways to improve the recruitment and selection of women for peace operations—as heads of mission, military personnel, civilian police, and international and national staff.  

Their discussions revealed several trends.  Primarily, there is increased awareness of the mandates for gender balance in UN staffing.  Similarly, there is growing recognition of the operational effectiveness of women, particularly in military and police roles in peace operations.  However, the willingness to act among key policymakers and practitioners is off-set by questions surrounding how to act, given the need for rapid decisionmaking, the presence of competing priorities, and the hazardous environment of peacekeeping missions.  The findings and recommendations of the consultations are summarized in the policy analysis brief, United Nations Reform: Improving Peace Operations by Advancing the Role of Women.[1]

To further the WIIS mission to promote gender balance in peace and security—and implement one of the recommendations from the November 2006 consultations—WIIS has undertaken additional research on these issues.  Supported by the Compton Foundation, the second phase of the WIIS Women in Peace Operations Project was launched to improve understanding of the qualities and skills required to lead UN peace operations, promote the development of more transparent procedures for the recruitment of senior managers for peacekeeping missions, and encourage reform to provide expanded opportunities for women’s leadership in senior, civilian positions in peace operations.   

WIIS chose to focus this report specifically on women’s civilian leadership opportunities.  While women’s numbers and role in the military and police are the subject of recent reports and action, less attention has been paid to civilian women in peace operations, particularly in leadership positions.  Arguably, change among the ranks will not occur until women form a “critical mass” of senior managers in peace operations.   While the pace of change on the military and policing side will depend largely on more women entering the ranks inside the contributing countries and subsequently deploying to the field, on the civilian side, there are immediate steps that the UN itself, member states, and NGO’s can take in identifying qualified women who are ready to lead peace operations.  The pool of female candidates for such positions is wider and deeper than the military due to the larger number of women working on peace and security as civilians.  In addition, more women in highly visible civilian roles may have a multiplying effect — encouraging younger women to enter and advance in both civilian and military roles in their countries and in the UN system.   Thus, although this report focuses specifically on senior level, civilian professional and leadership positions, it has implications for advancing women in the military and policing sides of peacekeeping, as well as those women, on both the civilian andmilitary side, who are just entering the UN as young professionals.  It is hoped that this report will contribute to a better understanding of the challenges that are obstructing the advancement of women in the UN, provide a critical assessment of past and current strategies to increase women’s leadership opportunities, and lead to positive and effective action by the UN, member states, and NGO’s.  

Methodology

To build upon the 2007 policy analysis brief, WIIS Executive Director Jolynn Shoemaker and consultant Camille Pampell Conaway conducted over 50 interviews from October 2007 to January 2008 at UN headquarters and by phone.  Interviewees included women formerly or currently in high-level positions, UN staff with various agencies in New York and in peacekeeping missions, representatives of key national governments—host countries and those dispatching police and military personnel to peace operations—as well as practitioners and experts in nongovernmental organizations and women’s groups.[2]

Key research questions included:

  1. How many women have served in senior level positions in UN peace operations?  In which posts?  What career paths led to these positions?  
  • What are the qualities, experiences, and skills required to lead UN peace operations?   What are the standard procedures for identifying and selecting the leadership of UN peace operations?  Are women specifically recruited to fulfill UN goals of gender parity?  How?  By whom?  Can rosters be effective in recruitment of qualified candidates, including women?  Or should other mechanisms be created and tested?  
  • Are Gender Advisors formally part of the senior leadership team of UN peace operations?  Are they given an equally strong mandate, resources, access, and authority as other senior managers?    
  • Are professional and senior level women satisfied with the work environment in UN peace operations?  Are opportunities for women influenced by family-duty designation or other factors?  Is gender-based discrimination a problem?  Are women leaders on equal footing with male counterparts—in policy and practice?  
  • Does women’s presence in leadership positions affect the management and overall operation of the mission?  Of the outcomes and realization of the goals of the peace operation?  In relations with the host country?  In the recruitment of local staff?  In the visibility of gender and women’s issues?  If so, why and how?  
  • What are the obstacles and entry points to women’s recruitment, retention, and promotion to management positions in peace operations?  With regard to the role of national governments, what are the domestic procedures of key troop and police-contributing countries for identifying, recruiting, deploying, and supporting women as leaders in peace operations?
  • How can the UN, member states, and civil society encourage reform of bureaucratic and institutional structures to provide expanded opportunities for women?  To increase the visibility of existing qualified female candidates and support their advancement?   To promote transparency in the appointment, recruitment, and promotion process?  

The Pressing Need to Increase Women’s Participation

Several converging trends make this an ideal time to gather information and advocate for women’s participation in UN peace operations.  First, the need for qualified peace operations personnel has never been more urgent.  Since the end of the Cold War, the number of UN peacekeeping missions has increased by more than 400 percent.ii  From 2006 to 2007 alone, the number of deployed personnel increased by 18 percentiii As of November 2007, 100,554personnel were serving in 17 peacekeeping operations at an estimated annual cost of $7 billion.iv Furthermore, the UN is preparing to embark on one of the largest peacekeeping missions in its history in

Darfur in partnership with the African Union—a first for UN peacekeeping.  The African Union/United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) will enlist another 31,042 personnel, including 19,555 troops, 6,432 police, and 5,105 civilians.v   This represents a 30 percent increase from current deployment levels and contributes to an ever-growing demand for resources to fulfill the financial and personnel requirements of new missions. To respond appropriately to the growing need for stabilization operations, the UN and member states must draw upon a wide variety of personnel with diverse skills and expertise, including women—who can provide critical leadership in peace operations and post-conflict reconstruction.

Second, the need for qualified personnel is compounded by a chronic vacancy problem in UN peacekeeping missions.  According to the Assistant Secretary-General of the newly formed Department of Field Support (DFS), about 40 percent of positions remain unfilled in field operations, and the turnover rate in peacekeeping missions is nearly one-third.vi  Approximately 25 percent of DPKO offers for field assignments were declined in 2006.vii  Meanwhile, the entire UN system is expected to turn over 30-40 percent in the next five years due to retirement, which will necessitate more diverse and extensive outreach.viii 

Third, a wide range of expertise and perspectives is needed in missions, as the nature of engagement has evolved to include peace-building and reconstruction assistance.  As reported by the Secretary-General in 2006, peacekeeping has moved “from traditional peacekeeping observer operations to larger, multidimensional mandates incorporating responsibilities in the areas of civil affairs, rule of law, governance, human rights, child protection, disarmament, demobilization and integration of ex-combatants and security sector reform.”ix  Addressing the multiple challenges requires leaders who bring many skills, experiences, and perspectives to these missions.   This is why it is so important to include women in leadership positions.  Clearly, there is no single strategy for securing and sustaining peace in conflict zones.  By failing to include women in key roles in peacekeeping missions, the UN is missing the diversity of thought that can bring new approaches and solutions to the table.    In addition, women could play a crucial role in addressing specific issues such as gender based violence and helping to ensure that missions prevent and punish sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers.   Even though women bring their own distinct perspectives to the challenges of peacekeeping, they often share similar experiences as women.  

Fourth, the Secretary-General is continuing efforts to reform the way the UN addresses peacekeeping challenges.  The UN is undergoing an overarching reform effort to better address global security issues, including fragile and failed states, which provides a critical entry point for action in this area.  The Office of the Secretary-General has commissioned a number of high level panels and released various reports in recent years attempting to address needed structural reforms regarding the new and emerging peace and security environment.  These include the Report of the Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, the Report of the Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on System-Wide Coherence, and other specialized reports on peacekeeping best practices, and human resources reform.  In 2007, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations was re-structured, the Department of Field Support was established, and integrated teams were created to improve coordination in field missions.  The recognition and prioritization of reform within the system, and the specific focus on the need to “invest in people” presents a unique opportunity to implement new measures to increase the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in peacekeeping, and the UN system in general.

Finally, there is increasing recognition of the important role that women play in peacebuilding and commitments by the UN to include women in peace processes.  The UN has committed itself to achieving 50/50 gender balance throughout the organization.x Various international commitments and declarations have been adopted that recognize the importance of women’s participation in all aspects of peace processes.  Chief among them is UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which calls upon member states and all parties to take action in four areas: 1) to promote the participation of women in decision-making and peace processes, 2) to integrate gender perspectives and training in peacekeeping, 3) to protect women in armed conflict, and 4) to mainstream gender issues in UN reporting systems and programs related to conflict and peacebuilding.xi  

In the six years since the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, various advancements have been made by DPKO and other UN agencies to implement its mandates.  In October 2004, a gender resource package was created for all staff in peace operations—both men and women, including military personnel and police.xii  Within DPKO, a gender advisor was appointed at headquarters in 2003, and the number of gender advisors and gender units in field missions has also increased.  As of November 2007 there were gender components in 9 peacekeeping operations, and gender focal points in the 7 traditional missions.  These numbers have continued to rise, and as of May 2008, 13 peacekeeping operations included gender components.xiii 

In 2006, DPKO began convening meetings of Troop Contributing (TCCs) and Police Contributing Countries (PCCs) to discuss the issue of gender and peacekeeping.xiv This led to fruitful discussions and concrete recommendations, including some that have already been implemented.  For example, note verbales calling for troops were revised to define actual requirements, including explicit references when combat experience is not required—a step designed to encourage countries to deploy women.xv  In 2007, TCCs and PCCs gathered specifically to meet with national women’s machineries to discuss and make recommendations on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325.xvi  Governments in attendance specifically committed to the development of “a national policy” on the recruitment and deployment of women as well as the “nomination of women for senior civilian peacekeeping positions, for example as Special Representatives of the Secretary-General (SRSG)…”xvii This was followed by regional meetings in four countries where high-level representatives reportedly engaged in strong presentations of lessons learned and successful strategies.xviii  

In late 2006, DPKO disseminated a Policy Directive on Gender Equality in UN Peacekeeping Operations that reiterates the necessity of increasing women’s civilian and military roles in field missions; these guidelines led to a standard approach for gender mainstreaming at headquarters and in field operations.xix  DPKO also released a Global Action Plan on 1325 that includes the increased participation of women in peacekeeping as a priority for the agency.xx  At the same time, UN member states are developing national action plans for the implementation of Resolution 1325, which include increased recruitment of women for peace operations.xxi

Indeed, there is growing understanding of the added value of women’s knowledge and experiences within the UN system and beyond, yet critics point out the slow and ad hoc nature of these efforts.  While the UN system overall has approached gender parity in lower-level positions—women make up 60.6 percent of General Service postsxxii— the numbers decrease at higher levels.  Women make up 38.3 percent of professional posts (49.7 percent of P-2 positions but only 30.8 percent of P-5s), 27.7 percent of management roles, and only 17.7 percent of Assistant Secretary-Generals and Under Secretary-Generals.xxiii  Despite repeated mandates and policy commitments, little progress has been made to actually increase the numbers of women, particularly in peace operations.  Statistics illustrate the severe implementation gap in field missions.  

Overview of Women’s Representation in UN Peace Operations

As of April 2008: xxiv 

  • There is one female head of mission (Liberia) and four women deputies (Burundi, Chad, Liberia, and Sudan). xxv
  • Only 1.9 percent of military personnel are women (1,408 of 73,348 total troops, military observers, and staff officers), and no forces are led by a woman. xxvi
  • Women constitute 7.3% of UN police (865 of 11,182 total police), including two female Senior Police Advisers. In professional posts, 6 women are in the Standing Police Capacity, 5 women are in the Police Division, and 5 women are in field missions. xxvii
  • Approximately 29.8 percent of international civilian staff is composed of women (of 4,857 total)—a number that decreases to ten percent in management positions at the D-1 level or above.xxviii 
  • Women make up 19.6 percent of nationally recruited civilian staff (of 11,501 total), of which many are relegated to service and clerical posts at the lowest grades.xxix

 xxiv xxv xxvi xxvii xxviii xxix

The UN and Civil Society:  Misperceptions and Missed Opportunities

The slow pace in increasing women’s numbers at senior levels has led to frustration among supporters of Resolution 1325 inside and outside the UN system.  Various non-governmental networks have memberships and access to talented women leaders around the world and point out the UN’s apparent inability to tap into their candidate pools.  UN agencies, on the other hand, regularly cite the difficulty in identifying female candidates with the requisite experience to take on senior positions in multi-dimensional peace operations with military and civilian components, a multitude of languages and cultures, and frequently volatile security situations.  

At the same time, it is clear that a variety of perceptions play into how actors both inside and outside the UN system approach this issue.   Unfortunately, in many cases these perceptions are overly simplistic and obstruct creative steps that could be taken to bring more women into these positions and ultimately achieve gender balance.  Some examples of assumptions that were frequently heard in interviews include the following:

  • It is difficult to find women with the appropriate qualifications for these positions.
  • Qualified women don’t want to go to these missions.
  • It is a bad idea to risk putting the wrong woman in one of these jobs.
  • Candidates with development and humanitarian backgrounds are not strong candidates for senior peacekeeping positions.

Advocates contend that these perceptions lead to women not being approached for these positions, inhibit recruitment strategies that would appeal to women, and create strong disincentives to identifying leaders who have not been “tried and tested.”  The result, they say, is the selection of men who are “known” within the old boys’ network and have served in these positions before (regardless of whether they have done a good job).  

Overall, the lack of transparency about the process for selecting senior leadership positions, lack of outreach to civil society partners about the specific qualifications that the UN is looking for, and lack of channels for NGO’s to effectively communicate recommended candidates to decision-makers at the UN, have inhibited the search for the best talent available to fill leadership positions.  

Report Structure

This report begins by outlining the recruitment process for senior positions and the ongoing obstacles to women’s recruitment and advancement.  This section also includes data and analysis on the number of women who have served in senior level positions in UN peace operations and a snapshot of the qualifications of current Special Representatives of the Secretary-General in peacekeeping missions.  

Part Two describes the experience of women leaders in peace operations: their career paths, working conditions, and the potential impact of women’s presence at senior levels on the operations and outcomes of peace operations for the UN and the host country.  

Part Three highlights recent UN institutional reforms to assist in identifying qualified leaders, reaching out to female candidates, and increasing women’s representation in components of peacekeeping missions where they are underrepresented.  The section also describes personal commitments and actions on the part of senior managers to implement the mandate of UN Security Council Resolution 1325. 

PART ONE: THE RECRUITMENT OF WOMEN LEADERS FOR PEACE OPERATIONS

“If the job is well done, it doesn’t matter if it’s a man or a woman.  But a woman in this job is the ideal manifestation of the UN.” –Assistant Secretary-General in the United Nations

There are two distinct processes involved in identifying and selecting personnel to lead and serve in UN peace operations.  Both have something in common – the way that recruitment is structured has largely failed to attract and select qualified women.  At the senior leadership level (which includes the Special Representative of the SecretaryGeneral, and Deputy Special Representatives of the Secretary-General), the recruitment process is opaque, highly political, and has proven virtually impossible for “outsiders” to understand or influence.  At the professional levels, recruitment occurs through a mechanism that both those within and outside the UN criticize as confusing, inefficient, and unable to accommodate the flexibility and speed that is necessary to identify and attract the talent that is needed in field operations.  At both the professional and senior leadership levels, those who have successfully entered the system have overwhelmingly been supported by managers and higher level decision makers on the inside.     

Special Representatives of the Secretary-General 

The Closed Door, Closed Circle Process

In the case of UN peace operations, the heads of mission are Special Representatives of the Secretary-General and their deputies (DSRSG’s).  SRSG’s are appointed positions—decided within the UN Secretariat in a closed selection process.  In some cases, DPKO will ask member states for recommendations for a specific position, or the SecretaryGeneral’s office may reach out directly to national governments.  Because of the difficulty in finding appropriate candidates, internal appointments by the Secretary-General are common.  “Inside” heads of mission candidates may have been in other UN leadership positions, such as DSRSG, or have the support of a particular political base.  Without exception, successful nominees for SRSG positions have demonstrated two very important characteristics:  established relationships with powerful individuals within the UN system and support of their national governments.  

An appointments panel works with the Secretary-General to hone the list of candidates.  This group includes the Secretary-General’s Chef de Cabinet and representatives from the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), DPKO, and DFS.  The host country is also consulted before a final decision is made.

When seeking SRSG’s, “the UN asks: ‘Who is comfortable taking the guns away from the men?’ Instead, they should be asking: ‘Who knows longterm development? Who can address the refugee crisis?  Who can get people back to their homes?’” –Ambassador Donald Steinberg, Vice President for Multilateral Affairs, Crisis Groupxxx
Criteria for SRSG Positions

Many SRSG’s are appointed without a Terms of Reference (TOR) and demonstrate both quantifiable characteristics, such as linguistic abilities, and non-quantifiable characteristics, such as personal gravitas.  The new Senior Appointments Section (described below) has begun to draft TOR’s for SRSG and DSRSG positions to assist in recruiting the best qualified candidates.  A TOR was developed for the Deputy SRSG position for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and required the candidate to “have strong diplomatic and mediation skills and proven management experience, preferably including experience in the management of complex organizations and operations.  He/she will have more than 15 years of progressively responsible experience in political affairs, rule of law or human rights at the national and international level.”xxxi  Many successful candidates are former ambassadors with diplomatic skills as well as some knowledge and experience within the UN system.  Former SRSG’s, representatives from the Secretary-General’s appointments panel, and third-party experts who were interviewed cited the following features most important for SRSG’s:xxxii

  • A substantive background in peace and security, humanitarian work, or development along with credible knowledge of the mission’s components;
  • Significant management experience and an ability to lead a large functioning team;
  • Political smarts and sensibility—a “nose for politics”;xxxiii 
  • Strong negotiating skills and an ability to hear both sides and bring parties to compromise;
  • Leadership qualities and a sense of comfort interacting with high-level individuals, including the SecretaryGeneral and heads of state;
  • Credibility with the military;
  • Linguistic skills;
  • Excellent inter-personal skills and good judgment of character in order to put together a solid team;
  • Patience and a high tolerance for frustration;  •         Good physical health and high energy levels; and •    Ambitious and value-driven.

There is growing recognition that all of these qualities cannot possibly be found in a single candidate.  For this reason, DPKO is moving toward an “ensemble approach” to recruitment, seeking out candidates that complement each other on a mission team.xxxiv  This “core” senior leadership team includes the SRSG, DSRSG(s), chief of staff, head of administration, force commander, and police commissioner.  The UN has also begun an orientation program for SRSG’s known as the Senior Leadership Induction Program (SLIP) to be conducted by all staff at the D-2 level or above for four days within the first six months of an appointment.

     Development/Humanitarian Deputy SRSG Selection Process

  There are usually two DSRSG’s in development/humanitarian side.  The process for selecting the DSRSG for the development/humanitarian a peacekeeping mission—one for the political side and one for the

            component was recently revised.  The selection process involves UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, UNDP,             OCHA, DPKO, and DPA.  

  1. First, all of these departments are advised of the vacancy.  The departments jointly look at the
    1. profile and give input on the terms of refereThe announcement is circulated within the Inter-Agency Advisory Panel (IAAP) for nominations.   nce, considerations, and specific criteria.  

            IAAP agencies generally offer nominations from the pre-approved list of DSRSG candidates—     taken from the top Resident Coordinator candidates list or the agencies can nominate another       candidate who has passed the UNDP Resident Coordinator competency test.  

  • Six critical agencies (those focused on development and humanitarian issues that are most active  in the country) are consulted for the level of inter-agency support for each candidate.   comments.  These comments are presented in a matrix, showing
    • The matrix is then sent to OCHA and UNDP for input.  The candidates with high levels of            support are interviewed, then OCHA and UNDP present DPA/DPKO with recommendations and        finalists.  The candidates are interviewed again by DPKO and DPA, then the candidates undergo              security checks.  
    • The Heads of DPA/DPKO, UN Development Group (UNDG) and OCHA discuss further and agree on final recommendations.
    • The top finalist and two alternate names are recommended to the Secretary-General. xxxv

            There are currently two women serving as DSRSG’s in peacekeeping missions, one in the UN mission in    Liberia (UNMIL) and the other in the UN mission in Sudan (UNMIS).  In addition, a woman was recently

  designated as the DSRSG for the and is due to deploy in May 2008, and a woman servUN Mission in the Central Africanes as the Deputy Execu Republic and Chad (MINURCAT), tive Representative of the

     Secretary-General (ERSG) in the United Nations Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB).

xxxv

Women SRSG’s: Few and Far Between

In 60 years of UN peacekeeping—from 1948 to 2008—only seven women have ever held the post of SRSG (See Box: Snapshot of Current Special Representatives of the Secretary-General).  Recent months have seen slight progress in female appointments to these positions.  In 2006, no peace operation was led by a woman, and only one woman served as a DSRSG (Afghanistan).  In October 2007, Ellen Margrethe Løj of Denmark was appointed SRSG of the UN Mission in Liberia, and soon thereafter, three women agreed to serve as Deputy SRSG’s (Burundi, Darfur, Liberia, and Sudan).  According to one former SRSG, Ambassador Løj is a “fantastic choice.”xxxvi  She assumed her new post in January 2008.  She meets the standard criteria of similar appointees; namely, she has significant diplomatic experience and relationships at the UN.  Løj served as Denmark’s former Permanent Representative to the UN.

The Insider/Outsider Dilemma

SRSG’s are frequently a product of “political bargaining”,xxxvii and there is a “tendency to pick politicians or ministers… [It’s] difficult to show the value of other skill sets.”xxxviii  Ambassadors, permanent representatives, and those who have served in other high-ranking roles for the UN are commonly chosen for these positions.  The backgrounds of current SRSG’s bear this out.  Out of 15 appointed SRSG’s, 11 are former ambassadors, former permanent representatives to the UN, or former elected officials.  In addition, 9 of the 15 have past experience as special envoys or mediators.  Women, who are underrepresented in these circles, have a distinct disadvantage when this is the primary selection pool.  The vast majority of Permanent Representatives and ambassadors are men.  Of the 192 member states, for example, less than two dozen have female Permanent Representatives to the United Nations as of November 2007.xxxix  

Potential SRSG’s are often identified based on personal relationships with senior level officials on the inside of the UN.  According to one interviewee, candidates are selected from a “good old men’s club” comprised of “people who are or have been insiders.”  For those potential candidates on the outside, this bias towards those who are wellknown in the system and the inability to tap into existing networks on the outside, presents enormous hurdles.  Without a powerful champion within the system, it is virtually impossible to be selected.  

In addition, this bias may also inform the way that candidates from the “outside” are evaluated during the recruitment process and in the interviews for these positions.  This may have particular implications for women, and especially for women from underrepresented regions of the world, who may approach and describe peace and security issues differently.  Some interviewees pointed to cases where female candidates from Africa, for example, were not successful in the interview process due to the way they presented themselves and answered the questions.  Thus, the way the questions are asked, the way the process is conducted, and the way that female candidates answer the questions, may perpetuate this insider bias.  These factors require more study but point to a perhaps overlooked reason for women not being selected for these positions.

The Hard versus Soft Security Bias

Many interviewees emphasized that the male-dominated Secretariat maintains inherent biases against appointing women to “serious” missions.xl  Some men still believe that women will not be taken seriously in negotiations.  Even in 2007, there is “underlying resistance” to women’s leadership in military and diplomatic circles.xli  They are still seen as not having the political skills and the diplomatic gravitas to head large-scale civil-military missions.  And when women are tapped for leadership, there is a perception that decision-makers choose them for particular positions that are judged “safer,” “less visible”, or less “serious.”  Some DPKO leaders and member states retain a pervasive skepticism of bringing in SRSG’s with humanitarian and development backgrounds, where women’s experiences are common.  One woman manager notes this is “the least best common denominator” across member states, as women’s contributions to the mission remain under-recognized.xlii  Some inside the system note that there is a “divide of 1st Avenue” between the Secretariat and UN agencies.  Although there are more women working at senior levels in these agencies, especially in development and humanitarian capacities, they are not being tapped for peacekeeping missions.  Interestingly, of the currently serving SRSG’s, approximately half of them have development and/or humanitarian experience.  As such, the skill set that that type of experience brings to leading peace operations is clearly relevant.  

Among those interviewed for this study, there was a common perception that substantial weight is placed on military and political experience as a key qualification.  Because there is a lack of gender balance in those areas, there are not as many female candidates who are considered or chosen.  In fact, one female candidate was told that her lack of experience managing a military campaign was a reason she was not selected for an SRSG position.  However, the current list of SRSG’s indicates that only 3 out of 15 have military backgrounds.  This leads to the question, are female candidates being held to a different standard than men when it comes to military experience?

Snapshot of Current Special Representatives of the Secretary-General

According to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, SRSG’s are “responsible for coordinating a holistic response to provide the ‘time and space’ for the necessary political process, establish or re-establish the rule of law and good governance and undertake the post-conflict reconstruction and development activities critical to building a sustainable peace.”xliii  The following provides a snapshot of the background and qualifications of the SRSG’s leading the Department of Peacekeeping Operations’s 17 peacekeeping missions as of November 2007:

*Former ambassadors/Former permanent representatives: 5

*Former elected officials:  3

*Former military:  3

*Humanitarian or development background:  8

*Former professors:  3

*At least three university degrees:  6

*Multi-lingual (4 or more languages):  4

*Married:  10

*Children:  10

*Note that only those 15 missions with permanent heads were assessed; the 2 missions with acting heads at the time of publication were not included.xliv  

The National Factor

“Politics is always going to play a role, but the more established and serious and transparent the process is, the better women will do.” –Former senior manager in the United Nations Secretariat

Even when women candidates for SRSG positions “make it on the short list” in the decision-making process, the pursuit of geographic balance, favoritism toward certain nationalities that are less represented in the UN system, and the “silent imposition” of member states on behalf of their nominees often work against women in the appointment process.xlv  Member states continue to recommend men for vacancies, and cultural and institutional impediments persist despite mandates for gender balance.  Even those countries that are vocally supporting the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 at home and within the system may not be “putting their money where their mouth is” in this regard.xlvi  DPKO continues to state that member states are not putting forward women for these positions.  Some member states point to the difficulty of finding qualified women in the first place, which others criticize as a common excuse.  Some member states, especially those that are developing or transitioning countries, point out that qualified women at the senior political level are often needed in national positions or tend to have a variety of competing opportunities.  

While some point to the difficulty in identifying women who are qualified for leadership roles in peacekeeping as a problem, others within and outside the system say that it is just a matter of being more proactive in recruiting. 

Advocates for women’s inclusion inside and outside the UN say that despite lists of highly qualified women candidates and the mandate for gender balance in leadership, there is still lack of political will in the Secretariat to appoint women.  Officials in the Secretariat note the lack of time and incentives to engage in lengthy searches for suitable female candidates given pressures of work and rigid personnel rules and procedures, along with the need for the Secretary-General to balance both gender and geographical diversity.  Those inside the system also say that although women have been offered these positions, many of them are turning them down.  At the very top level of management positions, such as DSRSG and SRSG, there is no available information on how many women have turned down positions.

Some interviewees inside and outside the UN have suggested that some form of affirmative action be implemented.  However, these types of mechanisms are not without controversy.   “Reserving” certain senior positions for female candidates is one option, but not without perils.  When it is perceived that high level positions are “held” for women, some male colleagues become infuriated.  Staff reportedly spent six months to one year to find a qualified woman for SRSG and DSRSG posts in African missions in 2007.   The danger with reserving posts for women is that they can appear as tokens and face additional layers of scrutiny that men do not encounter.

Women Special Representatives of the Secretary-General in Peace Operations
Name & NationalityMissionDates
Ellen Margrethe LØJ DenmarkLiberia (UNMIL)2008-present
Carolyn MCASKIE CanadaBurundi (ONUB)2004-2006
Heidi TAGLIAVINI SwitzerlandGeorgia (UNOMIG)2002-2006
Ann HERCUS New ZealandCyprus (UNFICYP)1998-1999
Elisabeth REHN FinlandBosnia (UNMIBH)1995-2001
Angela KING JamaicaSouth Africa (UNOMSA)1992-1994
Margaret Joan ANSTEE United KingdomAngola (UNAVEM II)1992-1993

Qualified Women:  A Problem of Self-Elimination?

Almost all interviewers agreed that qualified women may not be in a position (personally or professionally) to accept SRSG or other senior level positions when they are offered.   This has been the case in East Timor, where five women were offered and passed up senior level positions; and in Sudan, where numerous senior level positions have been declined by women.  Although this has led some to believe that women are dissuaded from taking such positions due the arduous conditions on the ground, women who have served in peacekeeping missions categorically reject such assumptions.  They acknowledge that work in the field is not easy, but they do not believe that these realities are a major disincentive to qualified women, especially those at the very senior level who have years of experience in the field and understand the nature of the work.  

 “Attracting women to these jobs has everything to do with the way the jobs are described.” —Assistant Secretary- General Margareta Wahlstrom, OCHAxlvii

However, the problems that working in a non-family duty station can create for families was cited repeatedly as a major factor for women rejecting positions in peacekeeping.  Several women at DSRSG levels said that they were only willing to go on missions after their children were grown and had rejected offers when their children were younger.  Even some senior women who had served in the field at later points in their careers noted that they did not extend their tours due to spousal or other family considerations.  

Many women actually remove themselves from consideration for leadership positions for another reason.  Women seem hesitant to accept positions unless they are extremely confident that they are the right match for the position and the country needs.  One senior woman questioned whether she was the right candidate for an SRSG role in a mission because she did not have experience working in the country where the position was located.  One other female SRSG said that the only reason she accepted the position was because she had prior experience dealing with the country at hand.  At least one former SRSG stated openly that women can be “their own worst enemy,” citing this as one reason she felt compelled to accept the SRSG post when offered:  “If I didn’t go, they would say I didn’t act according to my principles.  They could say they offered the SRSG position to a woman, but she didn’t have the guts to take it.”xlviii  Some women who achieved these positions had to put themselves forward in a very proactive way for the job – they did this when they felt they were uniquely qualified.  On other occasions, someone inside the system at a powerful level, including in some cases, the Secretary-General himself, convinced the candidate to take the position despite her initial reservations. Do women need to aggressively lobby for these positions?

The Pipeline: International Civilian Staff

SRSG’s oversee the thousands of international civilian staff who serve in UN missions.  Professional posts in the UN range from P-1 (entry level) through P-5 (senior level), and beyond that, director posts include D-1 and D-2.  More senior positions, such as SRSG’s, are appointed through the Secretariat’s closed process discussed above.  

Professional staff is largely recruited through one-month publicized vacancy announcements and apply to an online system called Galaxy.xlix  There are an outstanding number of applicants for peacekeeping positions.  In one year, DPKO receives approximately 350,000 applications for civilian peace operations staff.l  Despite this plethora of candidates, only 4,857 international staff (1,448 women) were deployed to peacekeeping missions as of October 2007.li 

Every applicant to peacekeeping positions in Galaxy is automatically sent to a database known as Nucleus.  At this point, DFS human resource staff conducts an initial, administrative clearance for eligibility.  Relevant candidates are forwarded to substantive staff in thematic areas, and they follow up with a technical clearance.  For example, the DPKO Gender Affairs Officer is responsible for reviewing the applications for gender advisers and gender affairs officers in field missions.  

DPKO has begun using Nucleus as a roster of civilian experts, encompassing 24 occupational groups with 400 job titles, because the candidates can be contacted directly when a specific need arises without necessarily advertising a new vacancy.lii  Generic vacancy announcements are increasingly used as a means to populate Nucleus with qualified, at-the-ready candidates.  This is due, in part, to the enormous, lengthy task of candidate screening.  In 2006, the Secretary-General acknowledged the problems with Galaxy and UN recruitment as “reactive and slow.  On average, 174 days elapse from the time a vacancy announcement is issued to the time a head of office selects a candidate.”liii  Nucleus is an attempt by DPKO to speed up this process.

Gender Specific Barriers?

The overall lack of a critical mass of professional female applicants—both internal and external—may directly relate to the layers of obstacles in current peacekeeping recruitment system for civilians.  The first barrier is Galaxy itself, ironically designed to be the door into peacekeeping. Some have noted problems with the Galaxy online system and the lack of access to this mechanism for potential candidates from rural areas or developing countries.  The system has a reputation internationally as a “black hole,” and many qualified women—even those with experience in regional peace operations—still believe “you have to know somebody to get UN jobs.”liv  The latter statement was, in fact, confirmed by some interviews with senior women managers, several who entered the system at the specific request or urging of a male mentor or colleague already in the UN system.lv  Only one woman interviewed was recruited into the UN through Galaxy without a contact inside the UN to support her application.  

The “UN-speak” of Galaxy can be a barrier to women candidates.  While recent criteria requiring applicants to commit to the principles of gender equality has been added to vacancy announcements, these advertisements continue to have a military emphasis.  This inherently male bias exists despite the fact that socio-economic factors— where women’s experience is more common—can be equally important to the success of a multi-dimensional peace operation.  The generic language of many vacancy announcements, which is a deliberate strategy to populate the Nucleus database of civilian experts, may also challenge women applicants.  At the other professional levels, women appear to have the same tendency as at the very senior level women to pursue only jobs that are specifically matched to their qualifications.  Thus, the way the position is described and marketed has an impact on the likelihood that women will apply.  According to one qualified candidate: “Women often want to see every line of a job description and read through it to see if they can do it.  Women worry about not being able to fulfill expectations.  Many men wouldn’t be concerned about this.  Generic posts tend to intimidate women who don’t know what they’re facing really and may be a disincentive.  The better informed we can make these descriptions, the more likely people, especially women, would be to sign up.”lvi

The In(Effectiveness) of Rosters

There are several types of rosters that have been developed both inside and outside the UN to identify qualified candidates for positions.  

UN Rosters

Within the UN, DPKO has begun to use the Nucleus system as a roster of pre-cleared, civilian professionals (described previously).  UNDP has developed a roster, mainly for D-1 and D-2 level positions, that incorporates gender, diversity, and representation across UN agencies.  More recently, the UNDP Surge Project has been created in order to manage recruitment and deployment specifically for crisis and disaster response.  It includes a 100person roster organized under 12 profiles.  Any applicant can submit their names electronically; short listing is done on an electronic system, which is regularly updated.   Approximately 40 percent of the candidates on this roster are women.lvii  There are also a number of UN rosters that focus on personnel with specific types of qualifications.  For example, the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights maintains a roster to provide candidates for its 240 human rights officer positions in peacekeeping missions.  In addition to internal UN personnel, roster candidates are drawn from national rosters, civil society, and the nationality of the host government.lviii   The Senior Appointments Section is developing a roster of qualified candidates for SRSG, DSRSG and other senior leadership positions in peace operations.

External Rosters

Several external rosters, including the successful CANADEM roster, have been funded by national governments to serve UN personnel needs.  CANADEM has expanded to include experts from a variety of countries available to serve in various professional and management positions.  Thirty five percent of the CANADEM roster is composed of women.  Most of them are concentrated in areas such as human rights and rule of law, with fewer in security positions, such as policing and disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration specializations.  CANADEM primarily focuses on P-3 to P-5 professional posts for UN operations, although it has also placed candidates in D-1 level positions. The success of the CANADEM roster and others that are working successfully is in part due to the fact that candidates on the roster are pre-cleared through an advanced screening process.  Almost all interviewees cited the problem of keeping rosters current as a major impediment to making them useful.  CANADEM has addressed this potential problem in two ways.  First, position searches for UN and other organizations go out on a daily basis which means they regularly receive updates from people on the roster.  The CANADEM database is also designed to search for resumes that are 3 to 4 months old and then automatically notify candidates if resumes need to be updated.lix

Women-Only Rosters

In reaction to the paucity of women selected for senior positions, women-only rosters have been generated by UN departments responsible for gender issues, and by civil society organizations with access to women’s networks.  Advocates for women’s inclusion have turned to this mechanism in reaction to the frequently cited problem of not being able to find qualified women for senior positions.  Although providing lists of women may serve to remind decision-makers that there are indeed qualified women, these types of rosters have a poor track record.  The majority of interviewees were convinced that rosters of female candidates do not work as a mechanism to increase the numbers of women in senior leadership positions.  Indeed, rosters of high level female candidates have never been successfully embraced within the system as a source for candidates.  

A few high level women said that they would not want their names on one of these lists, as they would not want to advertise the fact that they were looking for possible positions.lx  Those who have been selected for SRSG’s and other top positions were approached and offered the positions through much more informal networks and processes.  There are many reasons why lists of female candidates at high levels provided by civil society have usually failed to influence the decision making process, including the fact that the candidates on these lists are usually not “known” within the system, that they are not pre-cleared, and that they often do not match the mission and position needs.  

It appears that the most successful rosters have been those that focus on specific types of expertise, such as rule of law, humanitarian relief, etc., not those based on gender.  Both external and internal rosters, such as CANADEM and UNDP, demonstrate that rosters can be developed to reflect diversity and gender balance goals.  Overall, rosters have been much more utilized at the professional levels, while those that focus on the very senior levels, in which selection occurs based on a more political process, have not been utilized.  The new roster that is being developed by the Senior Appointments Section will be a test case of whether such a roster, comprised of male and female candidates, for the highest positions in peace operations, can in fact be effective in improving the recruitment of talented leaders.

Improving the current system is difficult, as there is no tracking mechanism to understand what outreach is effective.  Interviews are not conducted of successful candidates to evaluate their recruitment and experience, and there is no indicator on Galaxy applications of how an individual learned of a particular vacancy announcement.  For those offices tasked with improving recruitment and increasing women’s numbers, the lack of data proves to be a real inhibitor to requests for additional funding.  In turn, without a budgetary allocation for advertising or travel for outreach, overworked staff members are laboring to fulfill an unfunded or under-funded mandate. 

Retention and Advancement Problems:  The Truncated Career Ladder for Women

“To develop senior managers, we need to start now with younger people and groom them for these roles.”  

–UN Member State Representative

The women who overcome these obstacles and join the UN peacekeeping system do not tend to stay.  Women’s numbers drop dramatically between entry-level professionals and mid- and senior management.  While women make up nearly 30 percent of international staff in peacekeeping operations, they are highly concentrated in the most junior positions.lxi  For example, at the P-2 level, which is generally administrative, the system is approaching gender parity as women make up 42.8 percent of staff.lxii  However, women fill only 24.4 percent of P-5 positions and only 7.7 percent of D-2 positions in peacekeeping missions.lxiii  Junior professional women may be leaving the system before they have the opportunity to advance to more senior management positions.  

“It’s extraordinarily challenging to staff missions.  The conditions of service must change, and job security must improve, and we need to develop staff.”   –Donna Maxfield, Chief, Personnel Management and Support Services, DFS

The UN experiences faster turnover of women than men, and it is reportedly difficult to keep even women managers in field positions for more than one year.lxiv  Some point to poor management in missions, arduous working conditions, and fatigue.  Others note a desire for work-life balance or the variety of available professional opportunities.  There are also structural problems that contribute to women’s departure.  Interviewees point to the lack of a career track and professional development in the UN system, noting that the organization is not structured to groom staff at the mid-level.  One woman who entered the UN later in her career and has served in several peacekeeping missions said that if she had entered the UN when she was younger, she would have found the system challenging and disheartening.  “In the UN, if you are a woman and can get your foot in the door, great.  But then you are on your own.”lxv  Several women, even senior managers, feel as if they are “stuck” in certain classifications, particularly in “soft” sectors such as human resources.lxvi  One woman who had served in many senior leadership capacities for the UN pointed to the fact that women in the system are not given the positions and roles that will give them the visibility and the skills for future leadership positions.  “Women end up in front offices, as special assistants – they run the shop,” while men get the assignments that lead to powerful positions.lxvii

Conditions of Service:  The Giant Roadblock in the Road

According to the Secretary-General, “some 51 percent of the professional staff serving in United Nations peace operations have two years experience or less with the organization…”in part because of the conditions of service in field missions.lxviii  DPKO staff reportedly receive lower compensation packages than other UN agencies—up to 40 percent lower for senior field positions.lxix  Perhaps even more importantly for female staff, the vast majority of DPKO missions are designed as non-family duty posts even in locations where the staff of other UN agencies and funds are permitted to bring spouses and children.  DFS human resources staff report that problems are becoming exacerbated by the fact that men under 40 increasingly refuse to spend months or years away from their family either.lxx   

The Secretary-General sums up the peacekeeping conditions of service problems as follows:  “If the United Nations is to become an employer of choice in today’s highly competitive global market and maintain a workforce capable of meeting the challenges of increasingly complex work in the field, it needs to offer conditions of service which will attract and retain high-quality personnel.  At present, the conditions of service offered by the Secretariat are not conducive to this vision…”lxxi  Even for staff accustomed to rotating between headquarters and the field, a variety of challenges inhibit their mobility.  Release agreements can be difficult to obtain and are not always honored.  Upon return to headquarters, demotions are frequent.  

Strong, qualified women who are willing to go to the field are in high demand and have choices. DPKO is not a competitor.”lxxii  

According to Assistant Secretary-General Jane Lute, “peacekeeping relies on the peak-contributing professional years” of men and women, and the agency must be able to attract these individuals. Overall, the rigidity of UN rules for human resources in peacekeeping is a challenge to reform.   DPKO’s budget is based on member state contributions, leaving little room for flexibility or response to mission needs, including personnel.  Dysfunctional human resource rules that inhibit recruitment, such as unequal service conditions and low compensation, can only be altered with direction from member states.  

Lute described ongoing efforts by the peacekeeping agency to elevate women’s role in field missions and at headquarters, noting that “a bureaucratic approach is by no means trivial.”lxxiii  At the time of publication, for example, the General Assembly was preparing to address the recommendations of the SecretaryGeneral with regard to human resources reform in the UN, including harmonization of service conditions.  At a cost of at least $200 million, it may

take time for member states to recognize the critical importance of this issue, despite the persistent recommendations of the Secretary-General and DPKO leadership.  Aside from the cost, part of the problem with moving this forward is the disagreement among member states about specific recommendations on harmonization.  

It is precisely this human resources framework that proves nearly impossible to change, and the enormity of it seems to have created a sense of disempowerment to make other, smaller, but still significant changes in recruitment and retention approaches.  In fact, throughout the interview process for this report, it was apparent that the size and significance of these obstacles are used as a crutch, a distraction, and even an excuse not to move forward at all.  Several senior managers noted:  “If harmonization doesn’t happen, then we can’t do anything at all” or “[this is] the political environment [and] how the SG operates; [it’s] just how it is.”lxxiv  Leaders tend to defer to the structure with a “we are not in control; the system controls us” approach.  There seems to be little willingness to go beyond the rhetorical commitments and recommendations and be creative in practice. Although the unequal conditions of service for peacekeeping personnel is a major challenge to attracting talent – perhaps one of the most fundamental challenges –some action can certainly be taken while awaiting fundamental changes and paradigm shifts in the UN system.

The UNDP Resident Coordinator (RC) Recruitment Process   The Resident Coordinator system brings together various UN agencies working in a country to improve the efficiency and positive impact of operational activities in a country.  An RC is in charge of leading UN country teams, and is designated representatives of the Secretary-General for development operations.  They work closely with national governments, civil society, and the international community, and work to build partnerships between a variety of actors within the business community, intergovernmental agencies, academia, and other groups in society.lxxv    Although UNDP has had difficulty recruiting and retaining women, it is improving the selection of women for RC positions.  Those involved in selecting and hiring RC’s acknowledge the difficulty in increasing the numbers of female candidates.  However, UNDP has set a target of 40 percent women at this level, and currently, approximately 29 percent of Resident Coordinators are women (compared to 26 percent one year ago). lxxvi     Two segments of the UNDP process may serve as a process model for bringing in more women into high level civilian positions.  First, candidates for RC positions undergo an elaborate competency testing system and assessment process.  There is a commitment that 7 out of 10 of the candidates who go through the assessment process are women.  Second, UNDP uses an extensive system to match vacancies with candidates. lxxvii   The UNDP process for selecting RC’s can take as long as 6 months to complete.  The timeline is as follows:   The vacancy announcement goes to all 16 field agencies.  The agencies put forward names of candidates. Names and CVs then go back to all 16 agencies for references.  This is real-time data, including performance appraisal results.   The inter-agency panel then reviews the names.  They can either a) support the person, b) support with verbal reservation, c) support with written reservation, d) group consensus, or e) doesn’t support.   The names then go to the UNDP head.  In his capacity as chair of the UN Development Group (UNDG), he examines the recommendations, considering gender, geography, and agency balance.   The names go to the Secretary-General who sees the nomination and all the finalists.  The SecretaryGeneral accepts the UNDG chair’s recommendations or if appropriate, requests additional candidates. The UNDG chair sends out a letter to all Chief Executive Board (CEB) members with a list of the successful candidates.  CEB members are invited to respond with additional input. The host government of the mission is consulted, and must agree to the nomination. The approval process can be lengthy if the government requires cabinet or parliamentary confirmation. The UN Development Group keeps three rosters:  Pool A (unassigned and available); Pool B (not available); and Pool C (assigned). lxxviii

lxxv lxxvi lxxvii lxxviii

PART TWO:  THE VIEW FROM WITHIN – WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP ROLES

Interviews with women who have taken senior level positions in the UN portray a system that is male-dominated and unaccommodating to those with spouses and families. It is a system that is largely based on personal relationships for advancement.  Not surprisingly, women encountered discrimination – both blatant and implicit – and in some cases were targets of sexual harassment.  However, the double standards and negative attitudes that women inside the UN encountered did not appear to dissuade them from taking on challenging positions in peace operations.  Women were overwhelmingly positive about their experiences contributing to field operations.  And it is clear that women in senior positions in these missions also have a positive impact on the missions themselves – both in terms of mentoring and supporting younger professional women – and in highlighting the opportunities for women to make contributions to peace and security among the local populations in which these missions operate.

The Career Paths of Senior Level Women

Overwhelmingly, female managers in peacekeeping at headquarters and in the field are career UN staff members who rose through the ranks.  Many female leaders in peacekeeping spent time in field missions early in their careers, and returned to headquarters with this knowledge and experience.  Many felt they had “earned their spot” with regional or substantive knowledge or strong connections after years of service.  “Being male or female didn’t matter” in their selection; what mattered “was whether or not [she] met the qualifications.”lxxix  However, nearly all senior women interviewed for this report described experiences of being passed over for jobs they felt qualified for; in most cases, men were granted the posts due to political considerations or geographical background of the individual.  Some women reported that advancement in the system is based more on who you know than merit:  “You have to learn to make the right friends and position yourself.”

Mentors and contacts with influential positions within the system play a key role in supporting women’s advancement.  Often, women managers had a male mentor in the UN system who offered both informal advice as well as formal training.  Some women described receiving a “hand up” from a particular male mentor who was “open minded and willing to invest.”lxxx  

Those women leaders who joined the UN later in their careers were often recruited individually by a colleague or influential mentor already in the UN system.  These often more senior male colleagues helped guide women’s UN careers and recommended them for promotions.  Many experienced women who came in from the outside were identified and recruited for senior roles after making extensive contacts within the system as consultants.  Almost universally, senior women learned of their posts through their colleagues and networks, not through formal ads or the Galaxy application system.  This reflects the reality that, especially at the senior levels, informal entry points into the system are the most common.

The Demographics

Senior women are disproportionately Western.  The majority of female managers are unmarried, divorced, and/or without children.  This is borne out in statistics.  According to a UNDP official, approximately 80 percent of women at the D-2 level in UNDP are single compared with only 40 percent of men at the D-2 level.lxxxi  Several women explicitly tied their divorce to their dedication to their career, and others even cited stress-related miscarriages.  According to one male senior manager in the UN system: “To be successful in the UN, one must be single, widowed, or divorced… [which is] an indictment on the system.”lxxxii  However, most women simply noted:  “This is the price women pay… We must be very aware of our choices.”lxxxiii  

 “Unequal treatment between staff from the Secretariat and staff of the funds and programmes working in the field generates a sense of unfairness and creates obstacles for the Secretariat to attract and retain staff members to perform essential functions in the field… This failure to offer job security and conditions of service that enable the organization to sustain and develop the stable and expert workforce required to work in the uptempo, complex operational environment of United Nations field missions places our organization at financial and managerial risk.” —Secretary-General Kofi Annan, 2006lxxxiv 

Senior women in peacekeeping who are married tend to have spouses who are also within the UN system or who they met on the job.  These women universally described their husbands as “supportive” and themselves as “lucky” or “fortunate.”  One woman concludes:  “A supportive spouse has been key to my success.”lxxxv  Still, these women must make trade-offs.  Some agree not to return to field missions even though, for example, “it was the best time in their lives.”lxxxvi  Others agree to go to the field only if “reentry” to a position in New York was guaranteed after the tour.lxxxvii  Nearly all married women note that there is little support for dual career couples in the UN, particularly with regard to field missions.  This is a system that was built for professional men with stay-at-home wives.

Working Conditions for Senior Level Women:  Attitudes, Biases, and Behaviors

The low numbers of women in senior level positions is not unique to peacekeeping within the UN system.  Many women at headquarters find that the Secretariat, in particular, is still a tight network dominated by men, that many obstacles exist to women’s promotion, and that the processes for advancement remain opaque.  Despite assistance by male mentors, some senior women have “never felt really accepted” and believe they are still somewhat seen as “outsiders.”lxxxviii  Senior women pointed to insidious discrimination within the system, whereby women who do attain senior management positions are marginalized from the important meetings and decisions.  When the women interviewed for this report had not experienced blatant discrimination or sexism within the UN system, they were quick to note this is “a rarefied experience.”lxxxix

The Double Standard for Women

When women do assume high-level positions in peace operations, various interviewees discussed the higher standard they are judged by: “If a woman in one of these positions is not doing a great job, she is judged more harshly than a man in her position.”xc Another senior manager summarizes the situation as follows: “Men are given the benefit of the doubt to transfer from one job to another.  There have been some disasters with male SRSG’s, but it doesn’t seem to dissuade anyone from selecting other men.  Women are held to a different standard.”xci  Outside experts concur that male SRSG’s are frequently recycled to other missions without real regard to their performance: 

“The UN accepts mediocrity because it is safe… He is a nice, safe choice.”xcii  None of the seven women SRSG’s in UN history has led more than one mission.

“An ineffective woman in a post does more damage than an ineffective man.  If a woman fails, then ‘gender’ fails.  Failing men don’t seem to hurt [their advancement].”xciii

The spotlight shines brightly on women in leadership positions.  Several interviewees observed that when a high-profile woman fails, the agenda for women’s participation and leadership experiences an overall setback.  According to the Secretary-General’s Senior Adviser on Gender Issues and Women’s Empowerment, “Regrettably, if one woman is not the right one, then it is thought that women cannot do the job.”xciv  In all positions in a peace operation, “Women must prove their worth.  Mistakes are very visible.  They become ostracized on the team as a result—even though men make mistakes that go less noticed.”xcv  The pressure is very high for women to succeed, as subsequent appointments may depend on it.  

Unfortunately, the first peacekeeping mission headed by woman was set up for failure, which had negative implications on the way women’s abilities to lead

peacekeeping missions was viewed.  Angola was not a political mission, but a military mission with inherent problems from the outset.  Several sources reported that Dame Margaret Anstee, who served as the first female SRSG, was perceived as “soft,” and wasn’t taken seriously by the military men in the mission. When the mission failed, it led to the perception that a woman had failed.xcvi  

Several senior managers expressed concern regarding the high expectations for the combination of a woman president, woman SRSG, and woman DSRSG in Liberia:  “[There is] the potential for disaster for the women’s argument if they fail.”xcvii  Only when women reach leadership positions in higher numbers will this spotlight dim. 

Gender-Based Discrimination and Sexual Harassment
Dame Margaret Joan Anstee, the first female SRSG, described vocal attacks by the public and the media in Angola as “laden with sexual innuendo…UNITA’s Vorgan radio launched another vicious tirade, not only repeating all the old allegations but calling me a prostitute and threatening that a stray bullet would find me if I stayed in Angola.xcviii  

Several women interviewed experienced open gender-based discrimination during their time in the field.  In most instances, the events had occurred in peace operations in the early or mid-1990s.  Dame Margaret Joan Anstee, details her experience in Never Learn to Type: A Woman at the United Nations.  She describes vocal attacks by the public and the media in Angola as “laden with sexual innuendo…UNITA’s Vorgan radio launched another vicious tirade, not only repeating all the old allegations but calling me a prostitute and threatening that a stray bullet would find me if I stayed in Angola.”xcix  Thus, not only were female heads of mission subject to the usual threats of warring parties, but these attacks were frequently tinged with a sexual component.  

A few women interviewed for this report were the targets of sexual discrimination by their own colleagues.  Some filed formal complaints as a result and reported that the system responded well.  For others, when they complained or resisted the attention and flirtations, they were labeled a “feminist” and further harassed.c There were also reports of blatant discrimination, such as deliberately firing women in a peace mission who became pregnant.  “Women must be constantly aware of themselves and their situations” while on peace operations.ci For some women, this felt like “reality…I was on their turf,” only becoming angry after leaving the mission.cii  

Others reported that they were viewed as a sexual object by their colleagues, which led to difficult relationships and hindered their job performance.  They attempted to work within these constraints and even respond to flirtation when it was the only way possible to get the job done.   Women in the lower ranks continue to note implicit discrimination based on cultural and traditional assumptions of male-dominated missions and the local population— biases and stereotypes more common than blatant discrimination.  Many interviewees noted that the SRSG sets the tone.  When he/she promotes a working environment friendly toward women, then others in the mission tend to follow suit.

Negative Attitudes and Creative Responses

Implicit negative attitudes and biases are common.  Such attitudes, particularly in the military and diplomatic communities, continue to surprise senior women.  If the world of diplomacy is male-dominated, peacekeeping is even more so.ciii  Senior women who had worked for many years in multicultural environments reported that many people in the UN are entrenched in outdated mentalities, especially concerning gender and women.  Some senior women note that, even today, they are occasionally thought to be secretaries or administrative assistants when they enter a room, especially in military situations.  

Often this is compounded by misunderstandings about the meaning of gender considerations.  Eyes still “glaze over” when senior women raise gender issues, creating a sense that they must carefully “calibrate their words” and measure how and when to say things to have the most effectciv  One interviewee noted that when gender “is only referred to with regard to women, it creates a backlash, but if gender is shown to relate to women and men, there is more receptiveness to the specific challenges that each faces.”cv

Women who regularly work with all-male military units have found creative ways to address this issue, such as immediately introducing themselves and even giving their “military rank equivalent,” which has effectively dispelled any potential problems for her.cvi  Other women concur, noting they needed to “earn the trust and respect” of male colleagues inside and outside of the UN system in the peace and security field.cvii  For example, some women cited the initial difficulties they encountered when dealing with military and intelligence officials in the field but acknowledged that they were able to win respect almost immediately.  “Once you prove yourself, they get over” any biases they may have had.cviii  

Positive Experiences, Bureaucratic Challenges

It appears that women feel they may have more flexibility, freedom, and potential to make an impact in field missions, where they often assume higher-grade positions than at UN headquarters.  However, the non-family duty status of DPKO missions has prevented some women from taking advantage of this opportunity as often as they would have liked.  Others have gone to the field with their families, assuming responsibility on their own. Women and men also report difficulties leaving their headquarters jobs for higher classifications and having to return to their previous jobs in the Secretariat at lower classifications.  In other cases, despite a release agreement, women and men are replaced.  One female manager notes:  While in the field, “you are forgotten in headquarters where the politics is happening.”cix

Women in high-level positions within the UN system tend to stick together, which is important because they often report being far too overworked to go outside the system for support.cx  Many senior women point to changes in the system and culture in just the past two years as a result of the heightened awareness of women’s role and a more concerted effort to recruit women for senior posts in peace missions.  

For many women, their experiences in peace operations were “very positive.”cxi  Other senior managers said they “really enjoyed it and would do it again.”cxii  Although various peacekeeping leaders continue to suggest that women do not want to go to the field, this assumption was disputed by the majority of female interviewees.  One female manager said:  “Don’t assume that women’s won’t come [to the field].  It can be done if the framework allows you to do it.  It is possible.”cxiii  

The Impact of Senior Level Women 

According to the evidence obtained in interviews, the presence of senior women influences the process and outcomes of peace operations in four key ways.

Approach and Style as Leaders
Soft-spoken women SRSG’s can put men off. Soft-spoken men SRSG’s do not put men off.”cxiv

Senior level women interviewed for this report frequently discussed their participatory approach and their conflict resolution skills, but all were reluctant to attribute that to their gender.  They described the source of their style as personality, temperament, or how they were trained.  “Leadership style is more about personal style than about being male or female.”cxv Still, most women defined their approach in terms that are often considered feminine: “peoplecentered”,cxvi “collaborative”,cxvii “consultative, open, and inclusive.”cxviii  Regardless of nationality, women interviewed for this study repeatedly used the same words to describe their leadership styles.

Specific differences were cited by interviewees in the way women view leadership and power.  One interviewee described that many women in these positions view leadership as a contribution-based, rather than a power-based role.  In fact, many women who entered the UN at senior levels said that one of the reasons for accepting positions in the field was that they were attracted to the opportunity to make a difference.  

In the field, in particular, “it wasn’t about dictating” to the host population.cxix  One female manager noted that “women show leadership in a quiet way.”cxx  Another noted that “human directed leadership” was more effective in these situations, while recognizing that this style is not exclusively utilized by women.  Many pointed to the fact that women bring contacts, communications, and trust building to the community.  There is a sense that women leaders can bring creative approaches to difficult conflict situations.  A female former SRSG believes that she “did many things differently in terms of managing, even within DPKO standard operating procedures.”cxxi  This same woman described her approach as neither confrontational nor did she back down or run away from a problem.  Within the political environment, she worked with the parties to prove that she was acting in their interest, while allowing them the public space to claim progress.  Some interviewees believe that women SRSG’s actually negotiate differently, not wanting to impose a solution but create a system that works for everyone, that brings “the greatest good to the greatest number.”cxxii  

Cultural awareness is key, and interviewees noted that women tend to be more careful in this regard, and are often viewed as bridge builders both inside and outside the mission.  In some local and cultural contexts, a feminine leadership style may be more acceptable than other approaches.  At the outset of operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there were numerous female section chiefs, including a woman DSRSG, which reportedly “made an impact at the working level.”cxxiii  A former female SRSG even noted on the effect women can have on working relationships in New York: “it would make such a difference even between DPA and DPKO at headquarters if women were there.  They discuss real issues and see how they can solve them.”cxxiv Women who have worked in situations where there has been a critical mass of woman note that there is a difference in the conversation and the way decisions are made.  Some noted that when there is not a critical mass, women in leadership tend to behave like men, but when there are more women, the dynamic moves to a more multidimensional decision-making process.

Interviewees believe this is related to the tendency for women managers to be “less self-involved and selfconcerned” than some men.cxxv  Women typically spend less time on self-promotion, which can actually be beneficial to the action-oriented setting of a peace mission.  The fact that many women “still have to wash and iron shirts” despite their high-level UN positions leads some interviewees to believe that women have a stronger sense of modesty and an ability to connect with staff and the host community.cxxvi However, this same tendency can be detrimental in terms of women gaining visibility in leadership roles. One female manager notes that “women don’t push themselves forward enough,” and are more comfortable in less visible roles, including herself among them.cxxvii  She described her tendency to defer to others to lead inter-departmental meetings as an example of a daily leadership act that men would likely seize.  

DFS human resource managers note that it takes both a traditional and a collaborative approach to be an effective leader.  Some women admit they have been accused of being consultative to the point of not making a decision.  The Chief of Personnel Management and Support Services deliberately tries to strike a balance between a male and female approach: “We need to be consultative and discuss things, but there is also a time to make a decision.  The Division is becoming healthier in this way…We must pull the best from both approaches.”cxxviii 

Operational Impact

Many of those interviewed for this study pointed out that the participation of women in peace operations improves the effectiveness of the missions.cxxix  DPKO missions operate in fragile communities.  The ability of women to reach half of the local population—women and girls—that male peacekeepers may not be able to reach has led TCCs and PCCs to declare women’s participation in missions as an “operational imperative.”cxxx  Research and anecdotal evidence increasingly highlights women’s ability in peace operations to obtain information that might otherwise not be shared, reduce tensions with the local population, improve crowd control, increase trust and confidence of the host community, and improve women’s participation in traditionally male-dominated fields.cxxxi  Other research has shown how including women in negotiating peace agreements and in post-conflict governance can decrease the likelihood of returning to conflict.cxxxii  Various cases also demonstrate that women are perceived as less threatening to parties in conflict situations, which allow them to more easily access information and negotiate with combatants or political factions.  

Women in high-level positions in field missions tend to demonstrate a willingness to tackle difficult issues, such as rape and sexual violence, in part, out of concern for the victims and identification with other women.  This is particularly relevant in the wake of reports of sexual violence and misconduct by peacekeepers in 2005.  In fact, Assistant Secretary-General Lute acknowledges:  “My operating assumption is that this is either a problem or a potential problem in every single one of our missions,”cxxxiii leading the UN to create conduct and discipline teams at headquarters and in 10 missions.cxxxiv  Women in senior positions at the UN expressed particular concern about this problem,cxxxv and although both men and women in the UN and in the mission need to address these issues, it is expected that women in leadership roles will take action.  

Recognition of the Importance of Women’s Participation

Who the decision-makers are—men or women—affect the decisions that are made.  One senior level woman manager said that a key motivation for taking a role in the process was to “make a small dent” on this issue from the inside—to bring women in.cxxxvi  

Even those women managers who are not in human resource positions frequently make the search for women candidates a personal mission.  In fact, they are often approached for names of other women when an opening becomes available for an appointment.  Some senior level women have taken a more proactive role:  One female Assistant Secretary-General identifies senior level women and examines them in action.  If she is impressed, she asks for their CVs.  She then approaches DPKO and the Executive Office of the Secretary-General with specific candidates who she thinks would be a good fit for senior jobs in peace operations.”cxxxvii 

Many women managers in field missions tend to hire other women, purposefully bringing them on to their teams and supporting those in more junior positions.  Women often demonstrate a commitment to mentor other women and support their careers.  Senior level women who were interviewed expressed deep respect for the work ethic and abilities of women who had served on their staffs or as colleagues. 

Building the Leadership Pipeline: 

Women Supporting Women in the Humanitarian Field

Several former and current senior level women at the UN mentioned their participation in a new initiative called The Women’s Humanitarian Network (WHN).   WHN was created in 2007 by a group of female graduate students at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) as a forum to foster knowledge sharing, support, and career growth for women in humanitarian affairs.   WHN defines “humanitarian affairs” broadly to encompass inter alia peacekeeping, relief, development, human rights, and other work that involves spending substantial time in the field.

The students who founded WHN recognized that many young women aspire to work in the field and then transition to senior level decision-making positions in international and non-governmental organizations.  WHN is identifying women role models who have negotiated these challenges successfully. Students are able to tap into the knowledge of these women by participating in the network. A significant component of WHN is the mentorship program, which pairs a recent Columbia graduate student with a senior level woman in the humanitarian field, and has successfully involved accomplished women from the UN and other organizations.cxxxviii

 cxxxviii

This influence extends beyond their colleagues.  In Chile, when Michele Bachelet became the defense minister, the door was opened for women’s participation in military schools.  A recruitment campaign was targeted to women, which generated 2,000 applications from women for 200 student openings at the naval academy.cxxxix  Women’s numbers have improved as a result of now President Bachelet’s efforts, including in Chile’s contingents for peace operations.  In Burundi, then SRSG Carolyn McAskie openly advocated for women’s participation during both the 1999 peace talks and in the elections.  In her words, “during the elections in 2005, we were trying to get the parties to include women candidates to meet the constitutional requirement that parliament have 30% women.   Now they have achieved 30% of women in the parliament and there are key women ministers in the cabinet.”cxl  While female leaders do not always represent women’s concerns or advocate for women, this trend surfaced throughout the interviews for this report.

Senior level officials, both men and women, are beginning to advocate more vocally for expanding the ranks of women in international peacemaking and peacekeeping efforts.  For example, the Oslo Forum of Mediators initiated an effort to promote more women to senior international mediation and special envoy positions.  Following the June 2007 Forum, former SRSG Dame Margaret Anstee, independent expert Elizabeth Rehn, and Ambassador Carey Cavanaugh sent a letter to the leadership of the UN, European Union, and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which called for action on this issue.  In November 2007, Anstee, Rehn, and Cavanaugh met with top UN officials to discuss how to increase female appointments.  This will be a central theme at the June 2008 Oslo Mediators Forum.cxli  

Role Models
Women within the mission are key if you’re going to send a message to the local population.  It’s critical that contributing countries are representative.
—Former female police officer in a regional peace operationcxlii

In many countries, peacekeeping missions are the most visible reflection of the UN and its values.  When women are visible in the mission, particularly in senior roles, an example is set for women’s post-war participation post-conflict in political, economic, and even military roles.  A former female police officer in a regional peace operation found this to be especially important in her work:  “Women within the mission are key if you’re going to send a message to the local population.  It’s critical that contributing countries are representative.”cxliii  While that statement was a reflection on her experience in a specific mission, the sentiment is increasingly being echoed in other places.  The 2006 meeting of TCCs and PCCs also noted explicitly that “women in the host community value the presence of female peacekeepers as role models.”cxliv  Role modeling of

women in security positions proved effective in post-war South Africa when the                                                  

first female deputy defense minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge reportedly

“broke stereotypes and helped in terms of changing people’s perspectives of women in this role.”cxlv 

Intentionally or otherwise, women in leadership positions in field missions are seen as role models for women within peace operations—both within the mission and to the host country.  One woman manager notes:  “There’s a symbolic role model aspect to having women in these positions.”cxlvi Junior women find that it is helpful to have a woman above them in a leadership role, in part, simply because it sends a message that “things have changed” and that this mission is “different” than others.cxlvii   Often, women do not realize that they were such powerful role models to younger women in the system.  Several women managers in field missions noted their surprise when national and international female staff approached them to express appreciation for their leadership.  Women who served in these positions acknowledge how important it was to provide reassurance, and confidence-building for women in more junior stages of their careers.  All of the women who were interviewed discussed the positive effects that they could have on younger female staff.  Some women managers in peace operations are self-described caretakers.cxlviii   Female senior managers mentioned their desire to “protect” women on their staff and in the host country; “it was second nature for me.” cxlix   One former SRSG said, “It was important for women to know that I was fighting for them.”  Senior women who were perceived to have juggled the dual roles of career and family, reported that they were approached often by younger women who were struggling with these choices in their own lives.

Women in Senior Leadership in Military and Police

Peace operations are managed by a team of senior leaders that goes beyond SRSG’s and their deputies.  Force commanders and police commissioners lead the military and police operations of the mission.  At the time of this report, zero women held senior appointments in military units—force commanders, deputy force commanders, or force chiefs of staffcl—and three women held senior positions in police components of  peacekeeping missions (Senior Police Advisor in Burundi, Senior Police Advisor in Cyprus, and Deputy Police Commissioner in Darfur).cli  The dearth of senior women in these areas is primarily attributed to the fact that very few member states have women in colonel-level posts or above.  Thus, increasing the gender balance at the senior levels of military and policing forces in peacekeeping will be long process, as women will need to rise up the ranks at the national level in many of these countries first.  In countries where women are in senior military positions—the US has three women three-star generals, for example, and 22 percent of the US Senior Executive Service posts are filled by womenclii—then they are needed in their current posts, are not available for peacekeeping missions, or have their choice of overseas deployment locations.cliii  

Nevertheless, DPKO and DFS actively encourage member states to put women’s names forward for these positions.  Force commanding directives now cite UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and obligate Force Commanders to consider this mandate when assigning duties and making operational plans.  Force Commanders are explicitly required to maintain equal conditions for men and women under his/her command and are asked to include the issue of gender equality and the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in quarterly and final reports, including sex-disaggregated data and information on relevant quick-impact projects. 

DFS/DPKO is considering the development of performance evaluation criteria to track the progress of Force Commanders on the directive’s requirements.cliv  

PART THREE:  RECENT PROGRESS AND THE WAY FORWARD

From the statistics in the previous sections, it is clear that UN peacekeeping remains male-dominated, particularly at the leadership levels.  Even in New York, there is only one woman Assistant Secretary-General in peacekeeping and two women at the D-2 level in DPKO and DFS combined.  In addition, a woman was recently appointed as Under Secretary-General for DFS. There has been significant forward movement at headquarters and in the field over the past two years as a result of the growing recognition of the need for talent in peacekeeping.  High vacancy and turnover rates have created an incentive for institutional and cultural changes in order to find qualified candidates, which in turn, have opened opportunities for women’s participation.  At the same time, there has been increasing recognition of the importance of women’s participation in peace and security at the highest levels.  Sources inside the UN say that the current Secretary-General is committed to this issue.  

Recent reforms and pro-active initiatives within DFS and DPKO have led to almost immediate progress.  In 2007 alone, women’s numbers in senior peacekeeping positions in the field increased from 27 to 37—a 37 percent increase in a matter of months.clv  

Senior Leadership Appointments 

Tokenism or placing women simply for the sake of placing women, is not helpful to anybody.  It’s not good for the Organization, for the particular mission, or for the woman herself.” –Ariel Morvan, Chief, Senior Leadership Appointments Section, DFSclvi

The first of these major initiatives was the creation of a Senior Leadership Appointments Section inside the Office of the DFS Under Secretary-General in October 2006.  This four-person team is attempting to bring more clarity and transparency to the selection process for senior peacekeeping appointments, primarily SRSG’s and DSRSG’s.  The Section has a roster of 400 qualified men and women, which is mined to provide the SecretaryGeneral with three or four candidates to consider for each available post.  Out of personal commitment—not a formal mandate—the Chief aims to include at least one woman on every short list of candidates received by the SecretaryGeneral.clvii 

The Section’s roster was created by identifying open senior posts in peacekeeping, determining qualifications and establishing an appropriate profile for each mission assignment, and seeking out individuals that meet these requirements.  In this short time, in addition to compiling an initial

roster, the Senior Leadership Appointments Section has created a candidate profile and template for the SecretaryGeneral and the appointments panel to evaluate all candidates.  In its second year, the Section will develop standard operating procedures, clarify its role, get the roster “to a healthy place,” and conduct more outreach inside and outside the UN, particularly to non-Western member states.clviii  

Despite being understaffed, the Senior Leadership Appointments Section is “making the difference,” according to gender experts within the UN.clix  Human resource managers agree, noting that the Section has coordinated particularly well with desk officers.clx  Still, the Section’s planned outreach will be critical.  Several representatives of member states on the Security Council who were interviewed for this report were either not aware of the office’s existence or had not yet been approached by the Section to provide candidates for the roster or for recent appointments.clxi  Similarly, at least one woman senior manager recently hired for a peacekeeping mission had no contact with the Section and only learned of its existence after assuming her position.clxii

Recruitment and Outreach 

A woman is also heading the new DFS Recruitment and Outreach Unit, created in May 2006.  With only seven officers, the Unit’s mandate covers applicants for 22 occupational groups and 512 position titles. Staff review each application for peacekeeping field positions in Galaxy, conduct preliminary interviews with those who have no field experience, clear a list of at least three candidates for each position, and send these names to the mission level or substantive experts for the technical clearance process.  When the Unit was formed, there was a backlog of 200,000 applications, which is now steadily being addressed.  The Unit is also reviewing current applications and informing new candidates of where they stand in the process.clxiii

The Recruitment and Outreach Unit is also reviewing vacancy announcements to ensure they are attracting candidates with the appropriate background and experience.  “Gender sensitivity is now incorporated in all vacancy announcements.”clxiv  A random scan of vacancy announcements reveals that, in fact, one of the competency requirements for environmental engineers in peacekeeping missions is: “commitment to implementing the goal of gender equality by ensuring the equal participation and full involvement of women and men in all aspects of peace operations.”clxv  Similar language is in place in vacancy announcements for Legal Officers, Associate Human Rights Officers, Finance Officers, Police Training Officers, Administrative Officers, and senior Civil Affairs Officers, among others.  Furthermore, the Recruitment and Outreach Unit has declared women to be the first “filter” for every position.clxvi  That is, women candidates are prioritized for the DFS review and clearance process.  

To fulfill the growing number of open positions in peacekeeping missions, this Unit has begun more targeted outreach inside and outside the UN system, visiting universities, professional conferences, and thematic events around the world.  Given limited staff resources, the office focuses outreach to areas of the greatest need, such as Arabic speakers, logistics, and procurement.  In many cases, however, the professional women’s organizations in engineering or logistics, for example, remain heavily US and Canadian-centric.  In addition to outreach, the Unit uses a standard list of partners to distribute vacancy announcements, including women’s organizations.  Some women’s groups have approached the Unit directly and were added to the circulation list for vacancies.  Otherwise, staff members have dedicated time to web searches, seeking out women’s networks and other groups to post the vacancies.

Logistics

At headquarters, as of 2006, the Logistics Support Division made up 40 percent of DPKO staffing, but only 17.4 percent of these professionals were women.clxvii  This compares to 37.43 percent professional women throughout the Secretariat, clearly demonstrating the challenge of identifying and attracting women to a traditionally maledominated field that includes positions such as engineering, fuel management, and aviation and air safety.clxviii  In response, the UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) partnered with DPKO to conduct research and make recommendations on the recruitment of women for logistics positions at headquarters.  Several action items from this report are being addressed, including targeted outreach to women candidates.  A temporary Gender Outreach Officer was tasked in 2007 to initiate outreach to women in logistics positions primarily through the development of a database and print and online advertising.  However, there are little funds dedicated to this effort.  The Gender Outreach post expired early in 2008, and currently there is no gender capacity in the Logistics Support Division.clxix  Dedicated capacity to recruit women for logistics positions at headquarters is seen as critical, a “real necessity” according to DPKO’s Gender Affairs Officer, a means for practical implementation of the mandates of UN Security Council Resolution 1325.clxx

Other mechanisms and activities to improve recruitment for peacekeeping posts include the following:

  • Greater collaboration in the recruitment of “joint DSRSG’s”—In most peacekeeping missions, there are two DSRSG’s: one for political affairs and one for development.  The recruitment process for the DSRSG for development was revised in 2007 to increase collaboration and decision-making between DPA, DPKO, UNDP, and OCHA.  The process now includes joint development of job qualifications and vacancy announcements; nominations by 16 UN agencies from a pre-approved list of UNDP’s Resident Coordinator candidates or outside suggestions (see Box: The UNDP Resident Coordinator Recruitment Process); selection of a short list for interviews with OCHA, UNDP, DPA, and DPKO; and a final joint recommendation to the Secretary-General along with two alternate candidates.  For all other DSRSG’s, DPKO alone nominates the candidates.  The large pool of pre-screened Resident Coordinators, of which half are women, leads to a greater number of women candidates on the short list than the selection process for other DSRSG’s.clxxi  
  • A new Enterprise Resource Planning system—The UN is in the process of building an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that will replace Galaxy in two or three years.clxxii  According to the Secretary-General: “The ERP system will facilitate the integration of currently fragmented process aspects of human resources management…”  A major component of the ERP will be an e-staffing software package that “conforms to best practices in the use of technology for recruitment.”clxxiii
  • A new talent search system—The Secretariat is currently seeking vendors to develop a talent search system, which DFS will share so that outreach is centralized for both headquarters and field positions.
  • Increased outreach to civil society—DFS and DPKO have begun to regularly discuss the issue of peacekeeping recruitment with non-governmental organizations outside the UN system.  For example, in October 2007, the Project on Justice in Times of Transition in partnership with the International Crisis Group, the German Mission to the United Nations, and DLA Piper facilitated a meeting bringing together senior DFS staff with a variety of external actors for an all-day dialogue on “Broadening the UN’s Access to Qualified Candidates for the Field.”  The meeting generated recommendations for increased collaboration.clxxiv  

Institutional Culture:  Changing for the Better?

Beyond these new structures are changes in attitudes, behavior, and institutional culture at headquarters and in the field.  Some senior managers at headquarters and in the field—both men and women—have expressed and demonstrated a personal commitment to increasing women’s participation.  At least three male SRSG’s have specifically requested women candidates when seeking to fill their deputy positions and other senior management posts, as well as their own replacements upon transfer or retirement.clxxv  In some cases, the hiring process was delayed until qualified women candidates were at least included in the applicant pool and interview process.  

Within DFS, in just the past two years, key senior level human resources and outreach positions are now occupied by women.  All have made vocal commitments to fulfilling the mandates of Security Council Resolution 1325 and are working on a daily basis to make this a practical reality:

  • Advocating for harmonization of conditions of service in peace operations, to remove a primary obstacle to women’s ability and decision to deploy to the field.clxxvi  
  • Pressing for allocation of resources for sufficient gender expertise within DPKO.  
  • Encouraging transfers for women to male-dominated departments and vice versa.  Because Human Resources is 85 percent women and logistics is nearly 100 percent men, two staff agreed to transfer between departments.clxxvii  
  • Incorporating gender sensitivity in vacancy announcements and making women candidates a priority in the clearance process.
  • Including a female candidate on every short list of three candidates reviewed by the appointments panel and the Secretary-General.

While there is no concrete reason to believe men in these positions would have not taken the same action, one can argue that having women in these important personnel positions has had—and will continue to have—an impact on the recruitment of women.  

Conclusion

“It makes a difference having women in personnel.  If you have gotten here, then you know how it is… There is demonstrated commitment on a personal level.   If I can do something [to advance women] I will.” —Donna Maxfield, Chief, Personnel Management and Support Services, DFSclxxviii

As the number and complexity of UN peacekeeping operations continues to increase, so does the need for experienced professionals to lead and manage these missions.  Since the end of the Cold War, the number of UN peacekeeping missions has risen by more than 400 percent.  The critical need for personnel is compounded by a chronic vacancy problem and high turnover in peacekeeping missions.  In addition, as the mandates of peacekeeping missions have expanded to include peacebuilding and reconstruction, it has also become clear that a multitude of skills, experiences, and perspectives are necessary to staff these missions.  Unfortunately, the UN is missing opportunities to tap into a rich source of talent for leadership roles in peacekeeping operations:  women.  The UN needs qualified women, but it also has the obligation to ensure their participation.    

The UN has committed itself to 50-50 gender balance throughout the organization, and to the equal participation of women in all aspects of peace processes, including peacekeeping.  In addition, in recent years, there has been increasing recognition of women’s efforts to build sustainable peace, and the positive impact women’s participation can have on peacekeeping and peacebuilding processes.  However, commitments and public pronouncements about the importance of women’s participation have not resulted in significant improvement in women’s numbers.  Only seven women have ever held the post of Special Representative of the Secretary-General, and only one woman serves in this position currently.

The UN is failing to market peacekeeping opportunities to women effectively, to recruit women for senior level roles, and to promote and support the advancement of women within the UN system.  There are clear problems with non-transparency, lack of marketing and outreach, and a system in which promotion and advancement is often biased in favor of those with powerful allies and supporters.  At the senior leadership level, the recruitment process is opaque, highly political, and has proven virtually impossible for those outside the system to understand or influence.  Even when women candidates for SRSG positions “make it on the short list” in the decision-making process, various factors such as the pursuit of geographic balance and favoritism toward certain candidates often work against women, especially those who are less well-known.  At the professional levels, the recruitment process is confusing, inefficient, and unable to accommodate the flexibility and speed that is necessary to identify and attract the talent that is needed in field operations.  The majority of female UN staff members interviewed for this study were recruited through informal networks and contacts already inside the UN.

The UN is not retaining female staff, as reflected by the fact that the organization experiences higher turnover of women than men.  One of the major problems is the unequal conditions for DPKO personnel as compared to other UN components.  The vast majority of DPKO missions are designated as non-family duty posts even in locations where the staff of other UN agencies and funds are permitted to bring spouses and children.  The non-family duty issue was repeatedly cited as a disincentive to accepting peacekeeping positions.  

Women inside the UN are highly concentrated in the most junior positions, and the numbers of women decline sharply at the upper management levels.  Women point to lack of career development opportunities and a failure to groom staff at the mid-level for more senior positions.  They also experience both blatant and implicit discrimination in headquarters and in the field.  However, the double standards and negative attitudes do not dissuade women from taking positions in peace operations; the vast majority of women interviewed for this study were extremely positive about their experiences in the field.

Senior level women described their approaches in field missions similarly, as collaborative, consultative, and inclusive.  They often emphasized a personal commitment to women’s participation – inside the missions and in the host country – and to addressing problems that disproportionately affect women, such as sexual abuse and exploitation.  Women in leadership positions serve as important role models for younger women in the mission, and as a symbol of women’s participation for the host country.

Recent efforts inside DPKO and DFS to reform the way that human resources are managed, are encouraging.  However, the commitment of a few key individuals throughout the UN will only go so far in bringing more women into the system.  The UN Secretariat, with adequate support and resources provided by the member states, must prioritize staffing these crucial peacekeeping positions with the best talent available and ensuring that those who serve in difficult and challenging situations are rewarded for their efforts.  Increasing the leadership opportunities for women in peace operations will require significant efforts by the UN, member states, and civil society.  Each of these relevant actors has an important role to play in moving this issue forward.  

The non-transparent processes within the UN, lack of access to data, and the difficulty in finding entry points from the outside, have limited the ability of civil society to formulate strategies to advocate effectively for women’s leadership opportunities.  Inside the UN, those who are committed to increasing women’s opportunities are constrained by significant political and bureaucratic realities, as well as the competing priorities, needs, and interests of the member states and the host countries in which the UN operates.  Member states have not approved the harmonization reforms that are needed to staff and retain qualified personnel, and recommending female candidates for peacekeeping positions does not appear to be a priority, even in countries that are supportive of Security Council Resolution 1325.  Lack of dialogue and partnership among the UN Secretariat, member states, and civil society continues to obstruct the development of new strategies and actions that could ultimately increase women’s advancement and leadership opportunities.  

One of the goals of this study is to improve the understanding of the barriers that exist for women while highlighting the perceptions, experiences, and contributions of women who have served in peacekeeping and throughout the larger UN system.  Ultimately, WIIS hopes that the data gathered in this report will create an impetus among all relevant actors – inside and outside the UN — to establish new initiatives and policies to increase women’s participation in senior leadership roles.  The recommendations that are included in this report emerged from the insights of those who have served in peacekeeping missions, as well as those who seek to improve the effectiveness of future missions.    Interviewees from inside and outside the UN system emphasized the need to improve:

  • Communication and dialogue among the UN Secretariat, member states, and civil society organizations; 
  • Marketing and outreach to women and women’s networks about peacekeeping opportunities; 
  • Resources and personnel to implement needed human resources reforms;
  • Incentives and rewards to attract qualified women from outside the UN and retain/promote talent already inside the system;
  • Mechanisms to ensure accountability of senior managers on gender balance goals; •        Research, documentation, and sustained advocacy from civil society.

This study is the first project of a multi-phased effort by WIIS to examine women’s leadership opportunities in the peace and security field.  WIIS plans to conduct future studies on women in civilian, senior level positions in regional organizations’ peace operations, including the European Union and NATO.  WIIS is also launching an inaugural project on the status of women in decision-making positions in the US national security community, including the US Government, the military, academia, and the private sector.  The purpose of these projects is to gain a deeper understanding of the status of women in international peace and security careers, at both the national level and within multilateral institutions, to identify challenges to women’s advancement, and to provide recommendations to all relevant actors to more effectively support women’s opportunities to enter, advance, and lead in peace and security.

[1] United Nations Reform: Improving Peace Operations by Advancing the Role of Women. Muscatine, IA, and Washington, DC: The Stanley Foundation and Women in International Security, 2007. Available at: http://wiis.georgetown.edu/documents/UN_Reform_Women1_07.pdf. With permission from the Stanley Foundation and WIIS, portions of the 2007 policy analysis brief were extracted and adapted as background information for this follow-up report.

[2] In order to encourage frank conversations and open discussions, many interviewees preferred to remain anonymous and are cited as such in the endnotes of this report.