Academic launches book about women in the military at NATO headquarters

A Sheffield Hallam University academic has travelled to NATO headquarters in Brussels to launch a new book he co-authored on women in the military.

Senior lecturer in politics Dr Matthew Hurley joined co-authors Dr Katharine Wright and Jesus Ignacio Gil Ruiz in Brussels to launch their new book, NATO, Gender and the Military: Women Organising from Within.

They were invited to launch the book at the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) headquarters, as part of an annual conference on gender perspectives.

The book focuses on NATO’s engagement with gender issues, highlighting the work of some pioneering military women who have worked to advance the place and status of women in NATO forces from the 1960s to the present day.

The authors participated in a panel discussion on the first day of the conference, discussing the book and its key findings. For the remainder of the conference, Matthew and his co-authors worked with a group of international delegates from the 29 member-states on the transformative potential of integrating a gender perspective. This resulted in a set of recommendations being established which will go forward for approval by NATO’s Military Committee.

Whilst in Brussels, the authors were invited to discuss the book at an event held by Women in International Security (WIIS) at the Irish Embassy, hosted by Irish Ambassador Helena Nolan. They were joined on a discussion panel, by NATO’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security, Clare Hutchinson.

Speaking about the book, Dr Matthew Hurley said: “This book takes the long view of NATO’s engagement with gender issues, highlighting the work of pioneering military women. We analyse how NATO is a gendered institution that, despite progress in some significant areas, still privileges men and masculinity. We also argue that this has particular effects on how NATO develops and understands its own gender story.”


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