First British Army officer attends female-focussed International Security Forum

The Senior Medical Advisor to the Commander Field Army and to the Land Operations Centre has become the first British Army officer to attend the Peace With Women Fellowship (PWWF) as part of the recent Halifax International Security Forum held in Washington, D.C., in the United States.

Colonel Victoria Moorhouse, Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff Medical was given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join the annual international security forum following a rigorous application process.

The PWWF is a Halifax International Security Forum initiative dedicated to strengthening strategic cooperation with demographic representatives from across the globe. It believes increasing women’s leadership roles in international security affairs is central to safeguarding democracies.

Increasing the number of women participating in allied militaries is a fundamental strategic imperative. Halifax International Security Forum

Colonel Moorhouse was one of 12 senior female military officers with military active service from NATO and partner countries, who came together to explore the world’s leading security issues, and to discuss the agenda which was the United Nations Security Resolution 1325.

The resolution was the first landmark Security Council resolution on women, peace and security which addresses the impact of war on women and the importance of women’s full and equal participation in conflict resolution, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction.

There was a large focus on conflicts, with China’s climate change, cyber and biotechnology amongst the other subjects on the table. Discussions on the roles of think tanks, non-governmental organisations and visits to the Pentagon, Capitol Hill and the Canadian Government also formed part of the extensive three-week programme.

This has been an amazing and enriching experience that has allowed me to create a network with senior, like minded leaders across NATO and strategic partners. Colonel Victoria Moorhouse

Colonel Moorhouse said:

“Whilst experienced in our own areas, the Tri-service cohorts have often found we have been a minority. There has been great personal value to being able to discuss the issues in a safe space, being amongst peers who have had shared experiences, and to learn something each day is very empowering and uplifting.”

“This is about the creation of an intelligence network of both military and civilians and widening the purview by reaching out to organisations and advocates to help us when we are working together.”

The Fellowship is designed to challenge participants, encouraging them to talk about the problems and propose innovative solutions and apply what they learn in their home countries.

With twenty years of service and broad experience of leading teams in complex operational environments both overseas and in the UK with NATO, Allies, Non-Government Organisations and Government departments, Colonel Moorhouse said:

“I have had an insight into the strategic policy making institutions across North America and looked at ideas from industry, third sector and other organisations, all of which has given insight and an alternate view and way of thinking.

“I also now have an alumini network across the Halifax Security Forum that I have no doubt will benefit me and the Army in due course.

“Finally, I have had the opportunity to spend time with an inspiring group of women and had a lot of fun and laughs along the way on our wonderful journey.”