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News | Feb. 20, 2024

Global Sentinel partners discuss Women, Peace and Security

By Maj. Erin Leon U.S. Space Forces – Space Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Traci Kueker-Murphy, U.S. Space Command Strategy, Plans and Policy deputy director, U.K. Royal Air Force Group Captain John Hetherington, Deputy Head of Space enablement, and Royal Canadian Air Force Col. CJ Marchetti, 7th Wing Space Commander, spoke to Global Sentinel attendees about Women, Peace and Security here Feb. 8.
The discussion, moderated by USSPACECOM’s WPS Strategic Planner Ms. Carolyn Bird, focused on integrating WPS concepts into security cooperation plans. These concepts are based upon a UN peacekeeping resolution that addresses, and ultimately seeks to mitigate, conflict’s often disproportionate effects on women and children.
“This forum is a great opportunity for like-minded countries to collaborate on one facet of our common ground,” said Kueker-Murphy. “From there, we can strengthen partnerships and grow our work forces together.”
The three guest speakers each shared their own country’s perspective, but all emphasized that this topic impacts society as a whole.
“It’s really important that the whole force takes part in this conversation because it is about opportunity for everybody,” said Hetherington. “If we improve opportunity for everybody, we will get better from our society, we’ll get more and better ideas and we’ll get better outcomes. Ultimately it is the right thing to do and it’s operationally essential.”
“Conflict will impact women and girls differently,” said Marchetti. “Having women involved in the decision making and the conversation will make sure we don't overlook some other aspect that we wouldn’t think about otherwise.”
Although the majority of the 25 countries participating in Global Sentinel have national action plans to address WPS initiatives, the presenters emphasized the advantages of taking these concepts beyond what is required and instead establishing them as part of their organization’s culture.

“This type of thinking must be integral to what you’re doing,” said Kueker-Murphy. “If we fail to recognize women, peace, and security initiatives as operationally imperative now, we will fail to maximize the advantages they provide to our collective security in times of crisis. Then in times of crisis you’re not going to. We’ve got to get to a point where discussing these kinds of things is no longer an afterthought, but an established norm that’s present throughout all of our processes.”