Security and defence cooperation in the EU is being upgraded, and therefore the importance of the civilian missions and military operations launched in the framework of the Union’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is likely to increase. This article argues that much can be gained by improving the gender balance in CSDP missions and operations. The participation of female personnel in crisis management has a positive effect on operational effectiveness and contributes to the acceptance of the mission by the local population. Moreover, women deployed abroad play an important role in overcoming gender stereotypes and demonstrating the EU’s commitment to gender equality. This article explores the reasons for the low number of women in CSDP missions and operations. It suggests ways to improve the gender balance at the national and EU levels, which would increase the EU’s chances of resolving foreign affairs issues abroad.
This article was written by Irina Bratosin D'Almeida, Rebekka Haffner and Corinna Hörst, members of the Steering Committee of WIIS-Brussels.