Rose Gottemoeller Speaks to the Future of NATO and WPS

December 6, 2019

On the other side of the pond from the NATO high level meetings in London this week, WIIS DC and the Stimson Center hosted a conversation with Rose Gottemoeller, recently returned to the United States from her post as Deputy Secretary General of NATO. Although NATO was an early adopter of the WPS agenda, Gottemoeller highlighted that there was difficulty in actually achieving tangible change within NATO. However, in recent years, NATO has been better at implementing both WPS within its operations. It has also encouraged its  partners such as the Afghan military to more stringently implement a zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse.

Part of this effort, both within NATO and more broadly in the security policy space, is creating workplace environments that support women. Gottemoeller highlighted that within the arms control establishment, the United States has achieved high levels of women's participation. However,  even when there are equal numbers of women in the room, the challenge is to ensure that these women are there in senior positions. Furthermore, as was discussed in the Q&A following the presentation, intersectionality is key. Even where women are in positions of power, women of color are often underrepresented. This more robust parity requires promoting, not just including, women "at the table, not just in the door."

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