By introducing quotas in conflict resolution negotiations, including more women in peace-building operations and funding the military recruitment of females, women could finally experience the equality that was promised 11 years ago (Cohen). All contributors to this memo participated in the competition "Women on Transatlantic Security" sponsored by the United States Mission to NATO and the NATO Public Diplomacy Division.
1. Enact a quota system for conflict resolution negotiations.
Prior to proceeding with negotiations, representatives from organizations charged with brokering peace such as NATO and the UN should demand the participation of qualified women on all sides (Lamoreux).
This would stop mere seat-filling and would encourage the representation of all members of society in a true gender-based quota system as envisioned in UNSCR 1325 (Cohen).
2. Support inclusive participation in conflict and post-conflict situations.
The effective implementation of the global women's rights treaty (CEDAW) would underline government's commitment to women's rights at home and abroad. It would put pressure on countries which have as yet not ratified the treaty to include gender equality in their domestic legislation (Post).
National Action Plans need to be developed for the successful implementation of UNSCR 1325. They should focus on transforming societies by targeting problems of exclusion, gender role constructions, socio-economic and power relations.
Interact with all members of conflict and post-conflict societies fostered through women's organizations which work on grass-roots levels with religious groups and have the capacity to interact with all reaches of a community (Maras and Salich).
Women's leadership capacities need to be strengthened because women are better-placed to carry out tasks such as interviewing victims of sexual violence, working in women's prisons, helping female ex-combatants during the process of demobilization and reintegration into domestic life (Zpevakova).
3. Fund the recruitment of women to military positions in NATO.
NATO must further women's inclusion in fields that lack female representation through workshops and internships that provide relevant technical expertise and guidance. These should focus on training female officers in peacekeeping, conflict management and strategies of deterrence (Sandal).
Female officers are needed to effectively protect and serve people in gender separated societies. By introducing competitive salaries for women in the police and military forces it will allow them to provide for their families (Crawford).
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Written by Laura Craine. Photo credit: cc 2.0 The U.S. Army.