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2018-2019 Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces departmental progress report for Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security

Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces

The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) recognize that armed conflict, natural disasters, and humanitarian crises affect women, men, girls, and boys differently. As noted in Canada’s 2017 defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged (SSE), women’s participation is vital to achieving and sustaining peace, and has a tangible impact on the operational effectiveness of our forces. Women broaden the range of skills and capacities among all categories of personnel, improve the delivery of peace and security tasks, enhance situational awareness and early-warning by facilitating outreach to women in communities, and improve a military force’s accessibility, credibility, and effectiveness in working among local populations.

As such, DND/CAF is committed to being a strong partner with Global Affairs Canada in putting women and girls at the centre of Government of Canada efforts to prevent and resolve conflict. Integrating United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 and embedding gender perspectives into our policies, training/education, and operations are moral and operational imperatives that will contribute to a culture of respect internally and increase DND/CAF effectiveness as it delivers on its mandate.

DND/CAF support for Canada’s renewed Action Plan builds on a number of recent, new directives and initiatives – as set out in SSE – aimed at integrating gender perspectives into our internal policies and into our operations abroad, notably as it relates to recruitment, diversity, responding to inappropriate behaviour, and training/education. DND/CAF will use targets and indicators to track our progress as we implement our strategies.

Over the course of Canada’s renewed Action Plan 2017-2022, DND/CAF will focus on implementing and tracking these initiatives, with a view to delivering results – for example to further integrate Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) within DND, meet recruitment targets, and increase the number of uniformed women deployed on international operations. DND/CAF, as a committed partner, has identified a number of priority activities to support the ongoing implementation of the Action Plan, consistent with SSE. These activities are organized around the following themes:

Each of these themes have specific targets that will be measured and reported on an annual basis, and if required, may be re-examined in line with the departmental and Government of Canada priorities. The detailed list of DND/CAF targets for the Action Plan 2017-2022 – including baselines, activities, and indicators to measure progress – is provided below.

The departmental report below covers the period of April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019. For every target, it provides a high-level snapshot of the progress achieved to date, outlines completed activities, and analyzes results and progress.

1. Governance and accountability

Context: DND/CAF will establish and update departmental directives, policies and guidelines to ensure that gender perspectives, using GBA+, are embedded in all processes, policies procedures and associated documentation.

DND/CAF is committed to the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and to ensuring that we continue to advance gender equality, both within the institution at home and abroad, and to champion Women, Peace and Security (WPS). The Defence Team leadership will continue to work with like-minded partners to promote human rights in all fora. DND/CAF`s leadership is committed to ensuring that gender perspectives are woven into our daily activities and will advocate for the advancement of the WPS agenda when we engage bilaterally or in multi-national fora, including North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United Nation (UN).


Implement the tenets of UNSCR 1325 and related resolutions

Target 1.1: Fully institutionalize the integration of gender perspectives using GBA+ in DND/CAF.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2019: Mostly on track

Baseline: The January 2016 Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) Directive for Integrating UNSCR 1325 and Related Resolutions into CAF Planning and Operations, and the January 2018 Deputy Minister’s Policy Statement on Diversity and Inclusion.


1.1.1 Integrate gender perspectives using GBA+ into Memoranda to Cabinet, Treasury Board and associated Cabinet submissions, policy documents, appropriation directions, procurement requirements, project proposals, strategies, operational plans, operational orders, exercises, and related peace and security activities.

1.1.2 Establish the DND Gender Diversity and Inclusion Directorate to support the integration of GBA+ and gender and diversity into all Defence activities as directed in SSE.

1.1.3 Publish a Joint Directive to provide guidance to the Assistant Deputy Ministers (ADMs) and Commanders (CAF L1s) on systematically integrating GBA+ within each organization.

1.1.4 Mandate ADMs to establish senior Gender Focal Points and to develop a GBA+ transition plan for integrating GBA+ into existing and future policies, projects, programs, and initiatives.

1.1.5 Establish a Gender Advisor (GENAD) and/or gender focal point within each DND and CAF organization, and large operation.


1.1.1 Number of CAF L1s that have established a GENAD.

1.1.2 Number of DND Senior Gender Focal Points.

Completed activities:

Results and Progress:

Implement all aspects of the Departmental Diversity and Employment Equity strategies

Target 1.2: Effective support for and implementation of the CAF Employment Equity Plan.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2019: Attention required

Baseline: CAF Diversity Strategy and the CDS approved Action Plan as per January 2017.


1.2.1 Promote attainment of Employment Equity (EE) within the CAF through a better understanding of barriers and the use of tools to support EE.

1.2.2 Allocate, with support and commitment of leadership, appropriate resources and capabilities to effectively implement the CAF Employment Equity Plan.


1.2.1 Number of cyclical meetings of Employment Equity supporting committee and Defence Advisory Group meetings conducted.

1.2.2 Number of Employment Equity Implementation Task Table initiatives implemented.

1.2.3 Percentage of Bases/Wings with active Defence Advisory Groups.

1.2.4 Trends in Employment Equity and Diversity based on surveys conducted during the reporting period.

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

Support international cooperation on WPS

Target 1.3: DND and CAF engage with like-minded foreign defence and security organizations on implementing the tenets of Women, Peace, and Security.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2019: ON TRACK

Baseline: DND/CAF engages with partner nations who have committed to increasing engagement in promoting the WPS agenda through several bilateral and multilateral meetings.


1.3.1 Engage with the international defence community to support the participation and leadership of women in delivering peace and security efforts.

1.3.2 Continue to support the engagement of senior DND and CAF champions and key staff in leading and promoting WPS in international fora, such as UN, NATO, Five Eyes (FVYE – coalition comprised of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States).

1.3.3 Share knowledge and expertise on gender equality and gender norms with Canadian defence and military experts and stakeholders.


1.3.1 Number of gender conferences conducted or participated in.

1.3.2 Number of senior/key leaders resources to speak at international forums on gender practices with National Defence.

1.3.3 Membership on international committees, such as the NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives (NCGP), UN committees and subcommittees, and senior Defence related meetings that provide the opportunity to contribute to dialogue on gender perspectives in the military.

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

Continue to enhance monitoring and reporting on GBA+ and gender perspectives in DND and CAF

Target 1.4: Enhanced DND/CAF monitoring and reporting on the integration of gender perspectives and GBA+.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2019: Attention requiredFootnote 3

Baseline: A GBA+ planning and reporting section is integrated into the DND and CAF Departmental Plan and Departmental Results Report, and the UNSCR 1325 Implementation Working Group (UIWG) is established.


1.4.1 Continue to hold quarterly UIWG meetings to discuss, solicit input, and share challenges and best practices in implementing UNSCR 1325 and related resolutions in the CAF.

1.4.2 Hold quarterly DND GFP Network meetings to monitor the progress of the department in integrating GBA+ and gender perspectives.

1.4.3 Collect gender and diversity-sensitive data across DND/CAF.


1.4.1 Number of intra-departmental and interdepartmental working groups with a GBA+ or WPS nexus.

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

2. Recruitment and retention

Context: Further to the CDS Directive on Recruitment, the CAF will continue to seek to increase the number of women within the CAF, and in turn the number of women available to be promoted to senior positions and for deployment. Recruiting processes including advertising, wait process times, job availability, application procedures, testing, and medical and fitness standards are all aspects that affect the decision process of a potential new recruit. In addition, aspects such as family balance, job enjoyment, selection for professional development, velocity of promotion, and having a safe and harassment free work environment are all factors that will contribute to making the CAF an attractive employer for potential new members.


Increase the recruitment of women to the CAF

Target 2.1: Increase the percentage of women in the Canadian military by 1% per year to achieve a desired goal of 25% by the end of FY 2026.

Progress achieved as of March 31, 2019: Attention required

Baseline: Percentage of women in the Canadian military was 15.4% as of March 2018.


2.1.1 Identify barriers in order to streamline the application process, including wait times for testing, medical examination, offer of employment, and enrollment to support the recruitment of women who select a career in the military.

2.1.2 Enhance the recruiting campaign and advertising to target women to join the military with emphasis on both common and unique employment opportunities.

2.1.3 Increase the availability of both Women Champions as well as a cross section of serving women to attend and participate in events that promote women in the military and their achievements within all trades, with emphasis on non-traditional jobs such as the infantry, artillery, and related combat arms employment.

2.1.4 Establish a Strategic Intake Plan (SIP) for women by year to include women-centric recruiting programs.


2.1.1 Number of women who apply to the CAF out of total number of applications received.

2.1.2 Number of women who are given an offer of employment out of the total number of women who apply.

2.1.3 Percentage of women who join for non-traditional employment.

2.1.4 Reasons for which applicants disengaged from the recruitment process.

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

 Royal Canadian Navy (RCN)Canadian Army (CA)Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF)Health Services Group (Hlth Svc)
Number of women who apply to the CAF out of total number of applications received.33% (361 out of 1,086)21.2% (3,204 out of 15,081)31.4% (127 out of 404 )35% (604 out of 1,714)
Number of women who are given an offer of employment out of the total number of women who apply.51% (183 out of 361)10.5% (338 out of 3,204)17.3% (22 out of 127)20.5% (25 out of 122)

Increase the retention of women in the CAF

Target 2.2: Understand the major reason for women releasing from the CAF and eliminate/mitigate any issues if they are identified.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2019: On track

Baseline: In FY 2017/2018, 15.2% (1,091 out of 7,200) of CAF personnel who voluntary released were women.


2.2.1 Conduct departure/exit surveys/interviews.

2.2.2 Track and review release data.

2.2.3 Consult and exchange information with other militaries on trends and retention strategies and programs.


2.2.1 Annual ratio of women to men who release from the CAF.

2.2.2 Trends or cluster issues causing women to release from the CAF.

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

 Family reasonsEligible for pension benefitsReturning to schoolPersonal health reasonsFamily wants me to leave

Increase the number of women in senior level positions in National Defence

Target 2.3: Increase the number and proportion of women at senior levels, Non Commissioned Members, Officers and executive-levels in DND and CAF.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2019: Mostly on track / Internal efficiency & capacity

Baseline: CAF Employment Equity Report 2015-2016 Schedule 6.


2.3.1 Select women for leadership and education training opportunities.

2.3.2 Maintain 15% presence of CAF women on UN operations as staff officers and in observer positions.

2.3.3 Develop a mentoring framework for all CAF members.

2.3.4 Monitor career progression of women in the CAF.

2.3.5 Incorporate GBA+ considerations/review into CAF career management.


2.3.1 Annual percentage of women officers by Military Occupation Groups promoted to the ranks of Lieutenant-Colonel/Commander (LCol/Cdr) and higher.

2.3.2 Annual percentage of women NCM by Military Occupation Groups who are promoted to the ranks of Master Warrant Officer/Chief Petty Officer or higher.

2.3.3 Percentage of women holding senior positions and appointments (Colonel/Captain (Navy) (Col/ (Capt (N)) or above).

2.3.4 Number of women appointed/filling Command team positions during the reporting period.

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

3. Training and education

Context: DND/CAF continues to integrate gender perspectives and GBA+ as part of the curriculum for all relevant leadership, planning, and procurement courses provided to military and civilian staff. Training provided to foreign military staff through the Military Capability Training Program (MCTP) also has curriculum focused on gender perspectives and the importance of conducting GBA+, and includes awareness and training on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA).


Increase completion rate of the Women and Gender Equality GBA+ Introduction Course across the Defence Team.

Target 3.1: Increased completion rate of the online GBA+ Introduction course by all National Defence military and civilian staff.

Progress achieved as of March 31, 2019: On track

Baseline: Mandatory for all designated Canadian Armed Forces members.


3.1.1 Monitor GBA+ related training received by DND/CAF members.

3.1.2 Through a Training Needs Assessment, identify if a National Defence focused GBA+ advanced course for both the Operational and Strategic/Institutional level is warranted.

3.1.3 Promote the importance of GBA+ analysis and support special GBA+ information sessions such as GBA+ Awareness week activities.

3.1.4 Actively support ADMs and CAF L1s by providing GBA+ information briefs and presentations by gender advisors and gender focal points.


3.1.1 Percentage of DND/CAF members that have completed the online GBA+ Introduction Course.

3.1.2 Number of GBA+ information briefs and presentations provided.

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

Assess current and future Gender perspectives and GBA+ training and education approaches

Target 3.2: Assess current gender and GBA+ training and scope any additional training required.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2019: Mostly on track / Internal efficiency & capacity

Baseline: Gender Perspectives training is currently incorporated into 11 CAF courses, including pre-deployment training provided by the Peace Support Training Centre (PSTC) in Kingston, as well as courses provided by the Military Training and Cooperation Program (MTCP).


3.2.1 Continuous review of all CAF leadership and pre-deployment training to ensure updated material on gender perspectives and GBA+ is included.

3.2.2 Assess the need for periodic refresher training on GBA+.

3.2.3 Where possible, post CAF members to foreign peace support centers to enhance DND knowledge of gender.


3.2.1 Number of CAF Developmental Period and DND courses that have curricula focused on gender perspectives.

3.2.2 Number of Military Training and Cooperation Program (MTCP) courses delivered that have curricula focused on gender.

3.2.3 Number of CAF and DND staff who have completed gender courses, including at the Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations, Gender Focal Point training, and courses offered by likeminded nations.

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

4. Integration into operations

Context: Modern international and domestic operations require members of the CAF to interact with host nation forces and local populations. It is critical that CAF members understand how conflict can affect diverse populations of women, men, boys, and girls differently, and can identify risks to the local population that could be incurred by engaging with military forces. As such, we must ensure our members have the right tools and mindset to deal effectively with diverse and often vulnerable populations. Due to cultural norms, religious affiliations or past experiences, some segments of the population may have difficulty interacting with military forces that are predominantly male. Thus, there is a need to ensure that adequate numbers of women military members are represented in key functions that may interact with diverse segments of the population. Integrating gender perspectives into military operations as well as deploying women at all rank levels is essential to achieving mission success - both in terms of contributing to peace and security and advancing gender equality.


Increase representation of women deployed on International Operations

Target 4.1: Promote and increase the number of uniformed women deployed to international operations (NATO, UN, and Coalition).

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2019: Mostly on track

Baseline: Women in conventional forces deployed on international operations calculated at approximately 10%.


4.1.1 Support the increase of women in Command of operations at the senior level.

4.1.2 Appoint women for senior command billets/positions.


4.1.1 Number of senior women, officers and Non Commissioned Members, deployed on operations.

4.1.2 Number of women posted Outside Canada program (OUTCAN) positions.

4.1.3 Number of women attending foreign staff colleges.

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

Females Deployed - FY 18/19

 Expeditionary OperationsTechnical and staff assistance visits (TAV/SAV)Domestic OperationsTotal% change from Last FY 17/18
Senior officers564017113+33.3%
Master warrant office / Chief warrant officers (MWO/CWO)615223+9.5%
All civilians473831116+14.8%
All officers2389968405+22.3%
All non-commissioned members508147241896-11.7%
% change from Last FY 17/18+26.7%+32.7%-4.4%-2% 

Greater awareness within CAF of the importance of gender considerations

Target 4.2: Increased awareness within CAF of the importance of gender considerations on military operations.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2019: Mostly on track

Baseline: CAF members receive Theatre and Mission Specific Training (TMST) as well as pre-deployment training with content on gender perspectives in operations.


4.2.1 Promote the importance of gender considerations in military operations.

4.2.2 Publish handbook or ready reference pocket guide for CAF gender focal points and commanders.


4.1.1 Percentage of military missions that receive gender perspective training, including Theatre and Mission Specific Training and training provided through the Peace Support Training Centre (PSTC), as well as CJOC/CANSOFCOM Key Leader Engagements (KLEs).

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

Establish gender advisors in all specified units

Target 4.3: Support an increase in the number of military staff employed as GENADs/CAF gender focal points.

Target achieved to date as of March 31, 2019: Mostly on track

Baseline: There are three gender advisors in the CAF (one at the strategic level and two at the operational level).


4.3.1 Continue to identify prospective staff to serve as gender advisors to be able to grow the capability.

4.3.2 Administer training for CAF GFPs and for GENADs.


4.3.1 Percentage of GENAD deployed on operations and exercises or ready for deployment.

4.3.2 Number of CAF GFPs trained and ready for deployed operations.

4.3.3 Number of CAF GFPs deployed.

Completed Activities:

Results and Progress:

Date Modified: