MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
I Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group (I MIG) hosted a Women, Peace and Security virtual period of military education, Feb. 23, 2021, at the Information Command Center aboard Camp Pendleton, California.
The class, presented by Lt. Col. Natalie M. Trogus, currently an Afghanistan Pakistan Hand (AFPAK) student at the College of International and Security Affairs (CISA) at the National Defense University (NDU) recently served as the Afghan Ministry of Defense Gender advisor, informed Marines on how to better consider gender as a factor in planning and conducting operations.
“The first resolution on Women, Peace and Security was unanimously adopted by the United Nations Security Council on Oct. 31, 2000,” said Trogus. “The Women, Peace and Security agenda is anchored in the principle that effective incorporation of gender perspectives and women’s rights can have a meaningful and positive impact on the lives of women, men, girls and boys on the ground.”
Women, Peace and Security’s interlinked aspects of participation, protection and prevention are critical in respecting human rights and dignity and in tackling the root causes of conflict to create sustainable peace.
“Understanding the Women, Peace and Security agenda is hugely important for all Marines, but it has particular applicability to the MIG as an information enabler,” said Capt. John Doherty, a civil affairs planner, with the Information Command Center, I MIG. “It’s extremely relevant for the Marine Corps to consider and address the impact that women and gender have on operations wherever we deploy. As practitioners who focus on the information environment, we must take these factors into consideration in order to build our understanding of the environment, as well as position ourselves to affect positive change.”
Trogus said that when talking about gender in the human domain, it is not referring to biological differences that classify males or females. In the human domain, gender refers to the socially constructed roles, rights, responsibilities, entitlements, and behaviors that a given society considers appropriate for men, women, boys, and girls.
“The lesson taught me to think more critically about the impact, including the second and third order effects, that women and gender considerations have on any military operation,” said Doherty. “Traditionally, we tend to focus on what other ‘military-age males’ in a given population are doing. However, it’s essential that we look more holistically at whatever environment we’re operating in, and that we take into account how women and gender can either help or hamper our efforts depending on how we approach them.”
Trogus said gender mainstreaming is the internationally accepted strategy to ensure a gender perspective is incorporated into plans, policies, organizations, missions and assessments at every level and in everything we do. It is the method to normalizing the application of a gender perspective and promotes individual, institutional, and cultural shifts in how gender is woven into everything.
“Although this is my first time delving into the Women, Peace and Security agenda, I look forward to supporting the initiative, particularly in the realm of Civil Affairs where we are already making headway,” said Doherty. “There’s certainly work to be done, but it presents a great opportunity for the Marine Corps to be a leader in empowering women both domestically and abroad, which is essential to stability in any society.”