Civilian CSDP: empowering women in civilian CSDP missions

08.03.2022

As the Operations Head Quarters for civilian CSDP Missions, the CPCC continues to support the 11 Missions in their effort to ensure full capacity and consistency to deliver and achieve more in-depth and systematic gender mainstreaming in line with Commitment 16 of the Civilian Compact.

Since 2018, Civilians CSDP Missions have worked towards a more structured and uniformed gender mainstreaming approach through the implementation of the Operational Guidelines. A key landmark in the current strategy is to ensure a full time Gender Advisers in all civilian CSDP Missions and establishing the Gender Focal Point networks. Nine of the civilian CSDP Missions have now established Gender Focal Points structures of in total 120 women and men who are taking on a more pro-active role on gender mainstreaming in the Missions. CPCC is currently ensuring that all focal points receive a basic training with the support of the Swedish Folke Bernadotte Academy. A virtual training is ongoing this week with 22 participants from different Missions.

A particular emphasis of the Compact and a priority for CPCC is to increase the representation of women in the Missions and to achieve a better gender balance. To this end, the CPCC has developed a strategy and action plan, which has as an objective to reach 40 % of women in missions by 2024, including in management and operational positions. The current representation of women among international staff stands at 26 %.

At his current visit to EUPOL COPPS the Civilian Operations Commander commended the Mission for its achievement in reaching 40 % women thereby being one of the few civilian CSDP Missions reaching the target. EUPOL COPPS is one of the three Missions headed by women and the only Mission where also the Deputy Head of Mission is a woman.

I highly value the Mission’s dedication to promoting gender equality. A gender perspective is well reflected in the internal gender balance as well as in the Mission’s activities with the Palestinian local counter parts. This does not only promote an EU core value and a political objective, but even more importantly, it makes the mandate implementation more effective.

To promote women’s equal participation and leadership in civilian crisis management missions strive to lead by example. That is why the CPCC has set up a mentoring programme for women in CSDP Missions in close collaboration with the European Centre of Excellence for civilian crisis management. This is the second year of the programme and the kick-off event for the new 20 new pairs of mentors and mentees will take place on 10 March. While the mentees are all women, an equal number of women and men participate in the programme as mentors.