Mari Skåre, the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security, underlined NATO’s continued support for the worldwide struggle for gender equality in a video statement to mark International Women’s Day. "Achieving gender equality is our collective task. And NATO is doing its part," she said.
Mari Skåre, who assumed her functions on August 27, 2012, further highlighted NATO’s commitment to enforcing the United Nations Security Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security.
“We believe in the core role that women can play in building, consolidating and maintaining peace and security. And we, together with our partners, are committed to making this principle an integral part of our everyday business, - in our political, civilian and military structures, - in our missions and operations,” she underlined.
“Together, we can make a difference,” she said.
Despite the progress made to date, a number of challenges remain. At the Chicago Summit, NATO Heads of State and Government identified sexual and gender-based violence in conflicts, the lack of efficient institutions to protect women, and the under-representation of women in peace processes as the most outstanding issues in the field of Women, Peace and Security.
“There is still a long way to go,” Mari Skåre acknowledged, “and it is my responsibility, as the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security, to assist the Alliance in taking its efforts forward.”
Celebrated on March 8, International Women’s Day marks efforts around the globe to promote equality for women, and increase their role and participation at all levels of society. “This is not simply a question of what benefits women, but of what benefits the whole society – men and women, boys and girls,” Mari Skåre pointed out, “and we cannot afford not to include women.”