NATO Leader Backs HeForShe

March 19, 2015 – Brussels, Belgium

"We can only achieve lasting peace and security when women and men contribute equally," says Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

The general secretary is the latest leader of an international organization to join the HeForShe movement for gender equality.

In doing so, Stoltenberg reconfirmed his longstanding commitment to making gender equality a reality: “Too often, we overlook the critical and rightful role women have to play in resolving crises and in rebuilding societies after conflict. Gender equality isn’t optional. It is fundamental. It allows us to respond better and smarter to the many complex security challenges we face today.”

Last year, NATO together with 55 Allied and partner countries adopted an action plan to reduce barriers for the active and meaningful participation of women in their institutions and operations, and to integrate a gender perspective in their everyday security business. They committed to improve the gender balance at all levels of their security institutions and national armies, and in the troops deployed in NATO-led operations.

NATO has developed diversity scorecards for all headquarter divisions as a tool to guide recruitment decisions.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day this year, NATO launched its Professional Women Network and Mentoring Programming to increase the pool of women available for senior positions.

“I strongly believe in leading by example,” explains Secretary General Stoltenberg. “A safer world starts at home. And gender equality is a fundamental part of that.”

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