European Union External Action

Do the smart thing: gender mainstreaming in civilian CSDP Missions

12/07/2018 - 14:58
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Gender mainstreaming ensures that boys/men, girls/women are not discriminated against.

"Human rights including gender equality are among the core values of the European Union. These values drive our policies and action. We live EU core values when we implement our Mission mandates in the field." explains Bert Versmessen, acting Commander of the currently ten civilian CSDP Missions in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. "We know that integrating the gender perspective makes crisis-management and peace-building more efficient. We have developed guidelines on gender mainstreaming in civilian CSDP Missions to move from a general understanding to a daily practice."

Gender mainstreaming makes peace-building more efficient

The Guidelines on Gender Mainstreaming in civilian CSDP Missions have now been officially approved by the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability, the EEAS Directorate serving as the Operational Headquarter of the civilian CSDP Missions.

"The civilian CSDP Missions mainstream gender because it is the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do financially and operationally; and, last but not least, because it contributes to greater security, peace and development. ", tells Daphne Lodder, who as Gender Focal Point at the CPCC acted as the main coordinator of the drafting process of the Guidelines.

CSDP human rights and gender advisers discussed best practices in brussels, July 2018
CSDP human rights and gender advisers discussed best practices in Brussels, July 2018

Giving more clout to an important topic

"The guidelines give more clout to this important topic", says Christine Burrell, Human Rights Advisor for the EU Advisory Mission in Baghdad." Gender mainstreaming becomes now a standard operational procedure."

Policy documents on gender mainstreaming exist already – the most prominent being UN Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and the EU policies adopted to translate the WPS framework into all EU external action, including CSDP.  The guidelines – a joint product of the CPCC and the Missions – aim now to fill the gap between policy and practice by providing concrete guidance how to concretely live gender equality both in Mission mandate delivery and in the way in which the civilian CSDP Missions function internally.

The immediate purpose of gender mainstreaming is to ensure that boys/men, girls/women are not discriminated against and will both benefit from policies and actions. Humans, irrespective of their gender, have the right to live in dignity, and in freedom from want or fear, and should be equally empowered.