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CAF integrates gender perspectives into military planning and operations

Acknowledging that conflict, natural disasters and humanitarian crises effect men, women and children differently, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Jonathan Vance, has issued a formal directive to greater include gender perspectives into the planning and execution of all CAF operations. The new directive and approved documents call for the integration of an analytical tool, GBA+, and also establish three advisory positions.

The CDS’ new guidelines outline the next steps the CAF will take to further integrate gender perspectives in policy and procedures. A critical tool to ensure this measure is the Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+). Following in the government’s footsteps, the CAF hopes to integrate GBA+ into the framework of CAF operations. The tool not only considers gender but also adds education, language, culture and more into the equation. GBA+ will analyze the potential impact of policies, programs and services on this diverse group.

The new directive also establishes three gender advisor positions in 2016. One advisor will be assigned to support the Chief of the Defence Staff, Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command and the Commander Canadian Special Operations Command. The role of these advisors is to ensure that senior leadership continues to integrate GBA+ and gender perspective into their planning, execution and evaluation of operations. The advisors will also work with other CAF organizations, so they also continue to consider gender perspective into their policies and doctrine.

The aim is that this new directive will improve operational effectiveness by enhancing the CAF’s understanding of operating environments and carry out missions in the most effective manner.

“The CAF is constantly evolving, learning from past operations, and adapting to changes in the security environment.  These efforts will enhance the way we operate. When you think about military operations—tanks moving, aircraft flying, shooting at targets—these operations may change in quality or characteristic when we formally account for gender perspectives and issues related to vulnerable populations at the outset. It’s an important part of real military planning that will help make the CAF a more effective institution,” said Gen. Johnathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff.

These new steps build on previous policies of the CAF, but policies have never been organized the way they are under this new directive. Measures the CAF was already taking include pre-deployment and cultural awareness training for deploying CAF members, Defence Ethics training, recruiting and retention strategies and the delivery of Military Training and Cooperation Program courses related to women, peace and security initiatives.

Efforts to include women into the narrative stem from resolutions made on an international level by NATO and the UN on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Initiatives. Namely, the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on WPS, adopted in Oct. 2000. The resolution calls for full and equal participation of women at all levels from conflict prevention, post-conflict reconstruction. Recognizing the role women can play in the peace and security of their communities, UN urges women to take part in their peace and security efforts.

**Feature picture courtesy of http://natoassociation.ca , Marie Deschamps, Resolution 1325**

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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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