NEWS | July 15, 2021

Commander, Naval Forces Europe and Africa Formalizes Gender Cooperation Working Group

By U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa / U.S. Sixth Fleet Public Affairs

Sailors assigned to Commander, Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) participated in a training session to formalize their commitment to Women, Peace and Security (WPS), July 13, 2021.

The training focused on the application of gender perspectives across multiple lines of effort as well as the strategy to implement and operationalize the WPS Agenda within the Command’s operations, activities, and investments (OAIs).

In June 2020, the DoD released its WPS Strategic Framework and Implementation Plan (SFIP). USAFRICOM has institutionalized WPS by encouraging regional engagements that facilitate the meaningful participation of women within the security sector.

NAVAF Gender Focal Point, Lt. Cmdr. Shanece Kendall, will follow USAFRICOM’s lead by applying the WPS Agenda to the maritime security domain.

“The training provided today will equip the working group members with the necessary tools to collectively mainstream gender perspectives throughout all maritime policy and programming in order to boost women’s participation and visibility,” Kendall said.

The working group is coordinating regional engagements, focusing on its priority countries - Ghana, Liberia, and Cote d’Ivoire. Their goal is to create a regional WPS working group that will feed the greater regional awareness and connection among Atlantic African partners.

“WPS programs are not only a proven factor in reducing the likelihood of conflict, but they also demonstrate our values, increase our links and engagements with partner countries, and make us walk the walk on diversity within our own ranks,” said Mark Schapiro, NAVEUR-NAVAF Foreign Policy Advisor.

NAVEUR-NAVAF believes peace processes in which women participate as mediators, negotiators, and as part of interest groups have significantly better prospects than those in which women are absent.

U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.