Challenges and opportunities for increasing women’s contribution to international peace and security explored at OSCE Chairmanship event in Vienna
Persisting challenges within and beyond the OSCE area with regard to the meaningful participation of women to international peace and security efforts were the focus of discussions at the OSCE-wide conference “Women in the Security Sector: Challenges for the OSCE Area and Beyond”, held in Vienna on 1 October 2018. The event was organized by the Italian OSCE Chairmanship in co-operation with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the OSCE Gender section.
A wide range of stakeholders from OSCE participating States, OSCE executive structures and institutions and other international organizations, as well as military personnel, peace-building and politico-military advisers, gender experts, and academics discussed how increasing women’s participation in the security sector makes it more diverse and effective.
“We strongly advocate and support the need for an increased participation of women in the security sector,” said Alessandro Azzoni, Chairperson of the OSCE Permanent Council, in his opening speech. “Women’s participation in military and peace-keeping activities is a force multiplier in operational planning and mission implementation. It also contributes to situational awareness and improves the perception of the peace operation, thus increasing its acceptance by the local population,” he added.
OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger said: “Gender equality and women’s rights are essential elements of the OSCE’s concept of comprehensive security. We need further constructive dialogue to advance women in the traditionally male-dominated security sector”.