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Grußwort für das Online-Forum „Gender and Army“am 22.11.2021

24.11.2021 - Artikel

A 1.5-day forum dedicated to the UN Women, Peace and Security agenda, focusing on the topics of gender and the army in Ukraine, initiated by the Representation of the German NGO DRA e.V. in Ukraine -„Drukarnia Civil Society Centre“ in Sloviansk (Donetsk Oblast).

Dear Yulia Laputina,

Dear Yulia Kostiunina,

Dear Kateryna Levchenko,

Dear Daria Romanenko,

Esteemed guests!

 

Twenty-one years have passed since the first United Nations Security Council resolution on Women Peace and Security was adopted. Today the debate should no longer be about whether we need women to achieve peace but about how exactly we can include them in all stages of the decision making process.

One important answer: We need to strengthen alliances between states and civil society actors to make sure we translate the Women Peace and Security Agenda into practice, and action.

Germany views the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda as a political priority. It strengthens civilian crisis prevention, drives forward the implementation of human rights and is both a product and an instrument of multilateralism. Germany has this year adopted its now third National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security, which continues to guide our strong political commitment to the WPS Agenda.

Women should be represented with equal rights at all levels of decision-making in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms that aim to prevent and resolve conflicts. Occasions like the one here in Sloviansk are very important to the German government as they keep the full, equal and meaningful involvement and participation of women in conflict resolution and peace processes on the agenda in contexts of conflict like here in the East of Ukraine. The multitude of events and discussions like the ones on the agenda today also inform our efforts on a multilateral level and provide a reality check. We keep learning to make an even stronger case for Women Peace and Security.

Germany strongly pushes for an all-encompassing approach to WPS, meaning that the WPS agenda is part of our foreign policy, but is also pushed at the national level, within our own ranks. This is why strengthening the WPS agenda and increasing both institutional integration and capacities are two of the six priority areas of Germany’s current National Action Plan (NAP).

The Federal Minister of Defense is Commander-in-chief of the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces, comprising approx. 264.000 active soldiers and civilians. Women soldiers account for around 13 percent of all military personnel.

Since 2001, women in the German armed forces are able to access all military ranks and positions.

The MoD is an integral part of the conceptualization and implementation of the NAP and actively participates in the exchange with civil society. The NAP includes several measures with regard to the MoD, such as increasing expertise on gender and WPS in military training institutes, including modules on WPS in training courses, as well as training on gender-sensitive leadership for military leaders. Furthermore, the NAP comprises measure to overcome identified structural barriers for the deployment of women in peace operations.

Germany has recently undertaken a barrier assessment of the German Armed Forces and published a summary of the results in English. You can find it on the German MoD’s Website. 12 barriers for women soldier’s increased participation to UN Peace Operations were found through the study, both institutional and sociocultural. The MoD is currently working on measures to take down the barriers and encourages other UN member states to also undertake a national assessment.

The MoD actively participates in networks that promote the WPS agenda, such as the WPS Chiefs of Defence Network, and aims to strengthen the WPS agenda in the work of NATO.

Germany voluntarily reports regularly on the implementation of the political and military aspects the WPS 1325 agenda according to the OSCE Code of Conduct, among others.

It is evident to the people of Eastern Ukraine that women are particularly affected by armed conflict. That means that they also have a key role to play on all levels of conflict resolution. Local women at all levels should participate at all stages of peace processes, as well as thereafter in post-conflict relief and recovery.

Strengthening civil society in Ukraine and supporting their efforts in being heard is of great importance to Germany’s understanding and implementation of the WPS agenda. Studies have shown, that if civil society is involved in peace negotiations, the risk of a peace treaty failing drops by 64 percent. German civil society and civil society in fragile contexts continue to constitute important partners too, both in implementation and in strategic consultations and exchanges of ideas. Drukarnia is just one of many examples of close ties between German and Ukrainian civil society.

The Minsk Peace Process also depends on support by the population and civil society. I am stating the obvious, if I say that this means half the population’s perspectives need to be considered and the participation of women, LGBTQI+  and other marginalized segments of society ensured.

I am very glad that Drukarnia provides this space for discussions on this very important topic here in Sloviansk with support from the German Federal Foreign Office.


Thank you!

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