Brunssum, the Netherlands – On Monday 8th March, Allied Headquarters Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFCBS) hosted a virtual conference to highlight the 2021 International Women's Day. JFCBS embraces gender perspectives and focuses on gender equality and the empowerment of women, emphasising the inclusion of women in conflict resolution and peace processes. The event stressed the role and importance of women to NATO and, in particular, to JFCBS. Four female speakers, two from JFCBS and two joining externally online, shared their insight and experience with the audience.
Gender equality is not optional, it is fundamental to the continued success of operations
This year, the United Nations chose the theme 'Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world", 'which focuses on women and girls' efforts in creating an equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and highlights the gaps that remain.
General Jörg Vollmer, Commander JFCBS, opened the event highlighting: 'Today is a special day. We have come a long way with gender perspectives and today is a day to honour what has been achieved. Today is also important for us to learn what else can be done to make things better. There is always room for improvement.'
The conference began with an address by Major Justyna Balik of the Polish Army, who is serving at JFCBS. She drew upon her personnel experiences as a female soldier offering the advice to: 'find your own career path and be yourself.'
Colonel Irena Dzisiewska, also serving at JFCBS, is a member of the British Army Corps of Royal Engineers. During her speech she offered an insight into how those in a position of leadership can best draw upon the skills and abilities of the women. She highlighted that treating your personnel as individuals and not specifically as a man or woman, can draw the best out of them.