HOW GENDER MAINSTREAMING CAN CHANGE THE DYNAMICS IN PIRACY AND OTHER ILLICIT ACTIVITIES IN THE AREAMarch 7, 2021 - 11:04
Even though Operation Atalanta is a naval military operation with a mandate in the field of maritime security, we have dedicated our efforts since its beginnings to leave a footprint in gender mainstreaming affairs. In the design and the implementation of our activities and high-level engagements, we always try to inject the gender aspect and reach out to female key leaders in the Somali authorities and organisations. Engagements between Operation Atalanta and female Somali stakeholders emphasize the importance of women in society in order to promote and enact change at different levels within the administration, the justice system and local economies, in this particular case, the fishing industry.
Although perpetrators of acts of piracy are predominantly male, getting the support of local women within their communities is a determining factor in changing the perception towards illicit activities in society and gradually decrease its acceptance as these activities are often considered the last resort to feed their families. These changes are driven by the empowerment of local women, as experience shows that the economic independence of women and an increasing presence in their local economies help reduce the levels of piracy and other illicit activities, discouraging the argument often used by men that they are forced to recur to illicit activities to make a living.
As one of the EU CSDP missions and operations, EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation ATALANTA strongly engages and supports the new EU Action Plan on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in External Relations 2020 – 2025 (GAP III) providing an ambitious external policy framework for achieving progress on gender equality and women’s empowerment. It calls for a gender-equal world, for women and girls to fully enjoy their human rights, and for fairer societies, in which everyone has the space to thrive and no one is left behind. The Gender Action Plan III stresses the importance to “step-up on gender mainstreaming” and lead by example.
“Stronger engagement on gender equality is key to a sustainable global recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and building fairer, more inclusive, more prosperous societies. Women and girls are in the frontline of the pandemic and must be put in the driving seat of the recovery. As a gender-sensitive and responsive geopolitical Commission, we want to work more closely with our Member States, as well as all partners, in building a truly gender-equal world.”
Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen
Find all the details on the EU’s new Action Plan on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in External Action 2021–2025 (GAP III)
Meetings between Operation Atalanta and female Somali stakeholders emphasize the important role women have in society to promote and enact change in the administration, the justice system and local economies, in this particular case, the fishing industry.
Winning the hearts and minds of local women is a determining factor to change the mind-set of the Somali population and turn it against illicit activities
Economic independence of women and an increasing presence in their local economies help reduce the levels of piracy and other illicit activities.
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