The Security Studies Program invites GUSVA to their Thursday lunch series featuring Dr. Robert Egnell, Visiting Professor and Director of Teaching for the Security Studies Program. RSVP Here
While the debate about women in combat has been raging in Washington DC, women have been involved in combat on daily basis in both Iraq and Afghanistan. At the same time, lessons from the field - not least the inability to engage women and to fully understand the operational context - have forced the US military to adapt by setting up different ad hoc units like Female Engagement Teams and Cultural Support Teams that could fill important gaps. Other countries have used Gender Field Advisors for the same purpose, as well as to help mainstream gender approaches to operations in order to better execute protection and stabilization tasks. Moreover, UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2001) encouraged all states to protect and empower women in conflict zones, to increase women's participation, and to apply gender perspectives in operations. All USG agencies - including the Pentagon - are now in the process of implementing this resolution through the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security and an executive order from President.
This talk will address what these processes mean for military organizations and their operational effectiveness. Do women and gender perspectives really belong on the bloody and chaotic fields of battle? If so, how can military organizations approach and implement these issues?