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VCNO addresses Women, Peace and Security Conference at NWC

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VCNO addresses Women, Peace and Security Conference at NWC


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VCNO addresses Women, Peace and Security Conference at NWC By Daniel L. Kuester
pao@usnwc.edu

NEWPORT, R.I. – Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) Adm. Michelle Howard addressed the Woman, Peace and Security Conference April 16 at U.S. Naval War College (NWC) in Newport, Rhode Island, to discuss the roles women can and do play in paving the way to a more secure future.

This year’s conference is the third meeting at NWC and was titled Constructive Pathways: Stimulating and Safeguarding Components of Women, Peace and Security.

In her keynote speech, Howard stressed that women have an important role to play in global affairs.

“As military service members, our work can have great influence on international diplomacy, policing and often literally helping others build homes, schools and bridges,” she said.

And even as they are often the people who suffer most during conflict, women have traditionally been overlooked, she said.

Howard cited the fact that, since World War II, 90 percent of casualties in conflict are civilians, and more than 70 percent of those are women and children.

She also noted that women are underrepresented in security affairs.

“Around the world, women have limited roles in defense, peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance,” she said. “Unfortunately, the only role commonly accepted for women is that of being a casualty.”

The conference included panel discussions on media and communications, security and protection, soft power and combatant commands and had several aims, according to Mary Raum, professor in National Security Affairs at NWC and conference chair.

“The goals are to increase the level of knowledge and understanding about the roles and responsibilities of the security sector relative to the United States National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security,” she said. “We are bringing together diverse perspectives, combining conceptual ideas with concrete examples of successes and failures to several areas of interest: Department of Defense topics, media and communications, security and protection studies, soft power and five combatant commands – Central Command, Africa Command, Pacific Command, South Command and North Command.”

The United States National Action Plan is a statement on national policy issued by the White House in 2011.
Panelists and audience members were selected from various groups that are concerned with women, peace and security issues including the fields of academics, non-governmental groups combatant commands and international military.

NWC is a one-year resident program that graduates about 600 students and about 1,000 distance learning students a year. Students earn Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) credit and either a diploma or a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. Established in 1884, U.S. Naval War College is the oldest institution of its kind in the world. More than 50,000 students have graduated since its first class of nine students in 1885 and about 300 of today’s active-duty admirals and generals and senior executive service leaders are alumni.

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