The role of gender in the field of security and defence

December 12, 2016

WIIS Brussels is delighted to invite you to a discussion on the role of gender in the field of security and defence with Stefanie Von Hlatky, Director of the Centre for International and Defence Policy at Queens University in Canada, and Eva Gross, Head of the EU Political Mission in Afghanistan.  Stefanie will examine the different ways in which gender matters in a security and defence context, with a focus on NATO, while Eva will provide an EU perspective and share her experience from the field in Afghanistan.


Light refreshments will be served afterwards.


The event is open to members, and to non-members for a 10€ entry fee. Please register online.


We look forward to seeing you on the day!

Women leaders in security

November 21, 2016

WIIS Brussels, YPFP Brussels, YPFP San Francisco Hub, NATO and SAAB joined forces to welcome Charlotte Isaksson, Advisor on Gender at the EEAS, Dr Corinna Horst, President of WIIS Brussels and Deputy Director of the German Marshall Foundation's Brussels office and Shoshana Hatfield, Deputy U.S. Military Representative to the NATO Military Committee. Kelsey Suemnicht, Director, Community & Membership, YPFP San Francisco hub, moderated the discussion.

Gender equality and women's empowerment are key to global security. Gender balance brings a variety of perspectives and experiences to national and international diplomatic, security and defence structures and forces. However, the number of women ambassadors in the Security Council has fallen from its peak of six women in 2014, to four in 2015, to just one this year - and that is just one example. Moreover, according to UNIFEM, the United Nations has never officially appointed a woman to be chief mediator in a peace process.

So what is the big picture in terms of women's empowerment in security and defence?

What could we expect from an increased presence of women in leadership positions in this field?

How can we ensure diversity within structures promoting international security?

A conversation with Cristina Gallach

November 07, 2016

WIIS Brussels and the United Nations Regional Information Center for Western Europe (UNRIC) were delighted to welcome Cristina Gallach, UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information and former President of WIIS Brussels for a conversation on the security-development-gender nexus and its impact on global security.

Happy Hour, October 2016

October 24, 2016

WIIS Brussels invited its members to warm up around a drink while hearing from Isabelle François, from NATO's Strategic Analysis Capability team, on feminine leadership.

Read Isabelle's follow up piece for WIIS.

A conversation with Rula Ghani

October 04, 2016

WIIS Brussels welcome H.E. Rula Ghani, First Lady of Afghanistan. In town for the EU's Conference on Afghanistan, the First Lady shared her thoughts with the WIIS audience on the crucial role of women in building a stable, secure and prosperous Afghanistan.

The conversation was moderated by WIIS Brussels Vice President Marta Martinelli, 

Cybersecurity and foreign policy – a new role for Europe?

September 13, 2016

WIIS Brussels joined forces with Friends of Europe, and SWP, the German Institute for international and Security Affairs to host a debate "Cybersecurity and foreign policy – a new role for Europe?"

Cyber-threats continue to increase in numbers and complexity, threatening business, citizens, governments and critical infrastructure globally. But as civilian and military branches of governments develop their cyber-strategies and adapt their defensive and sometimes offensive capabilities, the need for norms becomes ever more urgent. The German Institute for international and Security Affairs’ recent research paper "Due Diligence in Cyberspace. Guidelines for International and European Cyber Policy and Cybersecurity Policy” argues that only concerted common norms, binding on government and civil society alike, can ensure a “free, open and at the same time secure internet” as a public good.

The discussion examined how to develop such norms and integrate them into EU, NATO and national strategies and action plans.

Speakers included:
- Annegret Bendiek, Senior Associate, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, Berlin
- Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar, Head of Cyber Policy Coordination, European External Action Service
- Jamie Shea, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges 

The debate was moderated by Pauline Massart, Deputy Director, Security, Friends of Europe, and VP for Outreach & Operations of WIIS Brussels.

Mentee meeting (2016 Mentoring Programme)

October 09, 2016

Corinna Hörst, President of WIIS Brussels and Deputy Director of GMF Brussels, led a meeting of the first round of WIIS Brussels mentees for a lessons-learned and stock-taking exercise.

The Syrian peace process & the role of Europe

June 27, 2016

WIIS Brussels and Independent Diplomat teamed up to host a high level discussion with the Women's Consultative Committee of the Syrian Opposition's High Negotiations Committee (HNC). The audience heard first-hand accounts from the Syrian opposition's negotiators at the Geneva peace talks and centered on concrete policy options for finding a political transition in Syria, and the important role of Syrian women in this endeavour.

The all-women Syrian opposition delegation included:

- Bassma Kodmani, member of the HNC's negotiations team and the Executive Director of the Arab Reform Initiative;

- Alise Mofrej, member of the HNC's negotiations team and politician who is leading the opposition's efforts for the release of detainees;

- Hind Kabawat, member of the HNC, conflict resolution expert and the head of the Inter-faith studies program at George Mason University; and

- Fadwa Mahmoud, political activist, member of the HNC's Women's Consultative Committee and member of the National Coordination Committee.

The discussion was moderated by WIIS Brussels Steering Committee Member Irina Bratosin d'Almeida.

Women in Cabinets - Irena Andrassy & Philippa Sharma

June 19, 2016

WIIS Brussels kicked off the first event of its new series on Women in Cabinets with an interactive conversation with Irena Andrassy, Deputy Head of Cabinet of EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica and Philippa Sharma, then Deputy Director in the Private Office of the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg.


They shared their unique perspective on what it's like to be a woman in a senior cabinet, and on how defence and development can address current crises and the role of female leadership in international affairs.

Gender and human rights in CSDP missions

May 10, 2016

Since 2014, WIIS Brussels has held an annual get-together with a number of Gender Advisors from the EU's CSDP missions as they gather in Brussels for their annual meeting.

The discussions were moderated by WIIS Brussels Vice-President Marta Martinelli

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