Gender, Peace and Security - Fleet Command

Published on Ms Harriet Pointon Mather (author), LSIS Helen Frank (photographer)

Topic(s): Training, Culture, Strategy

File image: Royal Australian Navy officer Lieutenant Lauren Keany from the Maritime Operational Health Unit with Joint Task Force 635 shows photos of HMAS Canberra on her phone to a Fijian woman of Koro Island, Fiji during Operation FIJI ASSIST, in March 2016. (photo: LSIS Helen Frank)
File image: Royal Australian Navy officer Lieutenant Lauren Keany from the Maritime Operational Health Unit with Joint Task Force 635 shows photos of HMAS Canberra on her phone to a Fijian woman of Koro Island, Fiji during Operation FIJI ASSIST, in March 2016.

In October 2000 the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1325, which recognised that conflict had specific gendered impacts which affected men and women in different ways, and that conflict disproportionally affected women and children.

This is the first in a series of articles examining Gender, Peace and Security in the Royal Australian Navy and what the 20th anniversary of UNSCR 1325 means as a milestone for the GPS agenda.

Resolution 1325 called upon the international community to focus on the prevention of, and protection from, violence to women in conflict situations and to work on solutions including increasing women’s participation in conflict resolution and peacekeeping and committing to the progress of the Women, Peace and Security agenda.

It recognised that the meaningful participation of women in conflict resolution and peacebuilding resulted in longer-lasting peace treaties and better relief and recovery outcomes overall in post-conflict settings.

The Australian National Action Plan drew down on UNSCR 1325 and guided Australia’s development of a Gender, Peace and Security agenda.

As the Staff Officer Gender, Peace and Security (GPS) for Fleet Command, Lieutenant Commander Lauren Keany is focused on implementing the GPS agenda through the Australian National Action Plan.

“My role is to provide advice to the Fleet Commander and the Fleet Command Senior Leadership group on strategies for effective implementation of the UNSCR 1325 on Gender, Peace and Security (WPS) within Fleet Command,” Lieutenant Commander Keany said.

“The role also supports the planning, conduct and evaluation of operations and exercises by providing guidance on how to integrate the requirements of UNSCR 1325 and gender perspectives into all processes and procedures throughout Fleet Command.”

Lieutenant Commander Keany’s first exposure to GPS and the implementation of 1325 was during her time as a Nursing Officer on Operation FIJI ASSIST 16. 

The then Lieutenant Keany saw first hand the impact application of UNSCR 1325 principles had in an operational environment.

“I was able to be involved in one of the community engagement activities aimed at women and children which was one of the many initiatives on the operation to engage with and ensure the meaningful participation of women in the disaster relief process,” Lieutenant Commander Keany said.

Lieutenant Commander Keany is working on implementing GPS training and awareness through all ranks and categories with the first training already rolled out in the CO/XO Designate course as well as the new Maritime Human Resource Officer course. 

“The aim is for gender mainstreaming which is the process of assessing the different implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programs.

“This, along with GPS training and a more structured and robust Gender Focal Point Network, will result in the inclusion of UNSCR 1325 as everyday business in Navy.”