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    A leading voice in gender training

    Queen’s researcher receives NATO grant to design gender training program

    Queen’s University defence expert Stéfanie von Hlatky (Political Studies) has received a NATO Science for Peace and Security Grant to fund a two-year multi-national project to create a gender training program for military and civilian NATO staff.

    Dr. Stéfanie von Hlatky, an assistant professor of political studies and the director of the Queen’s Centre for International and Defence Policy, has received a NATO Science for Peace and Security Grant to develop a gender awareness and sexual harassment course tailored for both civilian and military staff members at NATO. (Photo by Greg Black)

    “This project emerged from conversations I had with members of the International Military Staff’s Office of the Gender Advisor at NATO,” says Dr. von Hlatky, Director for the Centre for International and Defence Policy. “There wasn’t baseline knowledge on gender across the organization, crossing the civilian–military divide, so I decided to propose a project on this.”

    Partnering with Heidi Hardt, an assistant professor of political science at the University of California, Irvine, Dr. von Hlatky will work to develop a gender awareness and sexual harassment course tailored for both civilian and military staff members at NATO. As the grant supports collaboration with non-NATO member partner institutions, the pair will collaborate with the Australian Defence Force - which has, in recent years, been seen as a successful case study in integrating gender perspectives and training in an operational environment.

    Dr. von Hlatky says that, while the lack of an organization-wide gender training package is not surprising, NATO’s military branch has been very engaged when it comes to the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

    “The gender training course we are developing will complement rather than replace existing tools, such as those offered by NATO’s Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, Virginia,” says Dr. von Hlatky. “Moreover, there are international best practices to draw from. NATO itself is an incredibly diverse organization, where you have representation from 22 – soon to be 29 –member states. Our goal is to provide a system through which NATO staff can incorporate a gender perspective as part of their day-to-day work, from policymaking to operational planning.”

    In the meantime, Dr. von Hlatky will be hosting a high-visibility conference at the University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice. The event will draw representatives from NATO, the EU and Australia to continue the discussion on gender training.  Dr. von Hlatky is also slated to deliver a speech at the NATO Experts Conference at the 2016 Summit in Warsaw in July on nuclear assurances within the alliance. The speech draws on the theme of her latest book, The Future of Extended Deterrence: NATO and Beyond.

    The NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme provides funding, expert advice and support to security-relevant activities jointly developed by academics and researchers from both NATO members and partner countries. Over the past five years, the programme has initiated 450 collaborative activities in more than 40 partner countries, on topics ranging from cyber security in Jordan to defence against CBRN agents and energy security in Ukraine.