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Joint Capabilities Group

Gender, Peace and Security In Defence



The report Local Action, Global Impact, provides a summary of Defence progress toward meeting Australia’s strategic commitment to the Women, Peace and Security agenda over the period 2012-2018. It also reflects on lessons learned and identifies a way forward for future implementation priorities and plans.

ADF Implementation

A brief outline of Defence key achievements and areas of focus under each of the five strategies of the Australian National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security 2012-2018 is provided below.


Strategy 1: Integrate a gender perspective into Australia's policies on peace and security

Defence's focus for the reporting period was on the development of strategic and Service-specific policy, in addition to strengthening the focus on the women, peace and security agenda in operational and corporate planning processes and international engagement frameworks. This included the 2016 Defence White Paper, Defence and Services Corporate/Business Plans, Operational Orders, International Engagement Plans, and Service-specific Concept of Operations.


Strategy 2: Embed the women, peace and security agenda in the Australian Government's approach to human resource management of Defence, Australian Federal Police and deployed personnel

As at 31 December 2017, women's representation in the ADF was 17.1 per cent, equating to an increase of 714 more women in the ADF over the preceding 12-month period. The ADF has also increased efforts to improve women's representation on operations, with 27 per cent of ADF peacekeepers and 16.4 per cent of deployed personnel being women. All deployed ADF and APS personnel received women, peace and security training. The ADF Operational Gender Advisor Course was introduced in 2017, with two courses held during the reporting period.


Strategy 3: Support civil society organisations to promote equality and increase women's participation in conflict prevention, peace building, conflict resolution and relief and recovery

Defence has engaged broadly with international, government and civil society actors to support the development of a Defence capability in this area, and to contribute to the development of international best practice and understanding. Key achievements include participation on military exercises with strong civil society involvement such as Operation Render Safe (2016), and the establishment of a quarterly whole-of-government Gender Advisor's Network with civil society participation. As the primary civil-military interface, ACMC engaged domestically and internationally to progress the women, peace and security agenda, providing opportunities for civil society actors to participate in key issues and events impacting women, peace and security progress domestically and internationally. Key achievements include the production of the Protection of Civilians Guidelines and the ACMC whole-of-government women, peace and security workshop.


Strategy 4: Promote women, peace and security implementation internationally

Defence has provided support to a wide range of activities aimed at facilitating the engagement and protection of local women on exercises and operations. Key achievements include: capacity building through training and professional development, creating support through the development of local and regional networks, forums and partnerships such as the Women in the Pacific Defence Forces Forum and Exercise Pacific Partnership. Dedicated Gender Advisors were also deployed as part of the response teams on Operations Fiji Assist 2016 and Vanuatu Assist 2017, which encompassed engagement with women actors and community leaders.


Strategy 5: Take a coordinated and holistic approach domestically and internationally to women, peace and security

Defence has contributed to a whole-of-government approach to implementation of the women, peace and security agenda. This includes representation on the Interdepartmental Committee for Women, Peace and Security, and participation in the whole-of-government Gender Advisor Network. International focus has included the secondment of an ADF Officer to the UN Women, New York Headquarters, for a five-year period that commenced in 2016, representation at the annual North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Gender Perspectives Conference, and ongoing relationships with the Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations in Sweden.


This page was last updated 14th June 2018.