ATA Hosts Women Security Panel - 8 March 2012
On March 8th, the Atlantic Treaty Association, in cooperation with the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association, hosted an expert panel discussion entitled "Women and Security: Leaders, Targets, and Activists".
The event was held in honor of International Women's Day and was an attempt to draw attention to the wide range of issues that affect women's security around the globe. The debate brought together four expert panelists to discuss a wide range of women's security issues. Among the topics discussed were the current status of women's rights campaigns around the world, the future role of women in international politics, sexual violence as a tool of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the role of women in determining peace processes in Afghanistan and the DRC.
The expert panel was comprised of women leaders representing governmental institutions, NGOs, academia, and civil society groups. Among them were included: Dr. Stefanie Babst, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy; Ms. Norica Nicolai, MEP and Vice-Chair of the Security and Defence Committee of the European Parliament; Ms. Donatella Rostagno, Senior Policy Officer at the European Network for Central Africa (EurAc); and Ms. Marie Godin, Research Associate at the Group for Research on Ethnic Relations, Migration, and Equality (GERME) - Universite Libre de Bruxelles and PhD Student at the University of East London. The discussion was moderated by Ms. Kristin Durant, President of the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association.
Overall, the panelists emphasized the importance of governmental institutions remaining true to the realization of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, and working to improve women's safety, particularly in the developing world. In addition, the importance of the continued efforts on the part of NGOs and civil society groups was highlighted, as well as the need for lobbying and policy suggestions as to the eradication of women's rights abuses. Above all, the panelists stressed that men must also be made to take part in the debate, and that women must continue to enter into politics and remain active participants in their local political scenes.