Challenges to our collective security are not evenly perceived among both women and men.
In the last Pew Research Centre global threat perception report, women across the globe – especially in NATO countries show significantly more concern about key security challenges like ISIS or North Korea than men.
NATO is responding to these challenges, but the perception of its performance varies depending on gender, and to keep the alliance robust, it needs support regardless of any perceptive divisions. In other words, it has to engage equally both women and men on all fronts from diplomatic and civilian to military efforts.
The purpose of Visegrad Insight’s #WomenAreNATO initiative is to offer a platform for the underrepresented voices of women – female opinion-shapers who stand up for a more secure and democratic world which is now facing different challenges.
We are all – women and men– touched by the serious threats in our lives, and although being half of the population, fewer women respond actively to these threats. It is not easy to hypothesise why this is the case. Perhaps fewer women are interested in the related topics or have been given the opportunity to understand security properly; possibly, the public debates focused on shaping the international policies are not easily accessible to them.
Apart from securing peaceful, stable and democratic political order – security in terms of military and defence – the realm of security also includes securing our culture and values such as the freedom of speech, media freedoms, gender equality as well as our economic and humanitarian values, among others.
Such a wide range of topics necessitates engagement with all social groups, including women. Women cannot stand aside; an equal sign cannot simply be put between security and war; we need to address the everyday dangers from crime and terrorism but also incorporate how to avoid deteriorating situations.