Women in Defence System – Croatia – 2023

National Action Plan 1325:

Croatia is currently implementing the second Action Plan 1325 on women, peace and security for the period
2019-2023. In November 2021, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs published its first report on the implementation of the National Action Plan 1325 for 2019 and 2020.¹

Participation of women in the MoDs and the Armed Forces:

According to the annual defence report (2022), the number and share of women among the personnel employed in the Ministry of Defence and the Croatian Army is constantly increasing. Of the 15,008 active military personnel on 31 December 2021, 2,019 were women (13.45%). As at 31 December 2021, there were 1,003 women, i.e. 50.7% of the 1,982 employees in the categories of civil servants and state employees. The latest data on the proportion of women among officers, non-commissioned officers (NCOs), and soldiers are not available. Still, the Croatian government assesses that Croatia ranks among the top NATO member countries in terms of the level of representation of women in the armed forces and regulated rights in the field of gender equality.

Representation of women in command and leadership positions:

The share of women in command and leadership positions was 12.04%. According to the MoD’s annual defence report, a total of 13.86% of women were promoted to a higher rank in 2021. The number of women with the rank of General has stagnated since 2014, with a single female officer holding that rank (Brigadier General).

Participation of women in peacekeeping operations:

According to the MoD’s annual defence report (2022), the proportion of women in peace support operations and missions abroad was 6.93%. However, submitting the report to the parliamentary Defence Committee, the minister Mario Banožić said that “in 2021, Croatia continued to actively participate in NATO, EU and UN peace support operations, missions and activities, with 643 members of its armed forces, including 48 women (7.47%)”.²

      1. Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs – Republic of Croatia, NAP II, 2022, https://mvep.gov.hr/informacije-za-gradjane-244593/ugovori-dokumenti-i-obrasci/dokumenti/nap-ii/27171

2023 – Balkan Defence Monitor
Women In Defence System – Croatia

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