Project Background: As more and more political and armed conflicts with humanitarian consequences happen before our eyes, researches show that women and children are the ones that get hurt the most because of poor crisis management, oversight or pure neglect by decision makers. It is an established fact that integrating more women into decision making processes is key to maintaining long lasting peace. It is more than clear that there is a substantial need for women in defense, security and peace industries.

The goal of the project is to achieve higher involvement of women not only in the defense and security sector, strategic decision making roles or domestic and foreign policy table in Türkiye, but also to ensure peace and security permanently and inclusively within the leadership of women.Funded by the US Embassy of Ankara, the Women in Command Project brought to life the first wargame of Türkiye, called “Women in Command: Hybrid Threat Rising”, which is the first civil wargame of Türkiye with the theme of hybrid warfare and was developed for the purpose of directly training female leaders. The project aims to support the education of learning outcomes gained by playing the Hybrid Threat Rising wargame, and through providing participants with workshops by experts in relevant fields, and additional education material.

Scope & Support:

The Women in Command Project is funded by the US Embassy of Ankara. The Peace and Security Conference of the project is supported by NATO Public Diplomacy Division.

Audience:

The Leader Women of the project is composed of women aged between 18-30 who aim to pursue a career in defense, security or peace related industries.

Throughout the project, they participate in workshops presented by experts, on subjects such as crisis and resource management, foreign policy, conflict resolution, international criminal law, migration and many more. The workshops are supported with the Hybrid Threat Rising game where they learn about international armed and political conflicts through decision-making mechanisms modelled by real life events.

They will have the chance to enhance their knowledge and build an international network through joint game events with various international universities from America to England as the project proceeds.

Project Activities:

• Women in Command: Hybrid Threat Rising Wargame The Women in Command: Hybrid Threat Rising game simulates an armed conflict scenario in a realistic way with close to real-life events inspired by the historical events and consequences to be played through a 2-hour period. In order to achieve the most realistic outcomes, the project team has used various documents and reports written by NATO, DSTL, Institute for the Study of War etc. The game demonstrates different aspects of hybrid war such as ISR, multi-domain operations, cyber-attacks, media media and international organisations’ influence, and kinetic war itself.

THE GAME’S FIRSTS:
• Turkiye’s firsts women in defense project to be supported by the Turkish MOD & NATO PDD
• Türkiye’s first civilian wargame with hybrid elements
• Türkiye’s first wargame designed to promote women leaders
• Türkiye’s first wargame to demo at any Connections event Türkiye’s first educational wargame designed by women
• NGO sector facilitator for the GIFCT Counter Terrorism Working Group
• First Turkish NGO to train the Land Warfare Academy of the Netherlands
• Türkiye’s First matrix wargame

• Wargame Events
– Connections UK International Wargaming Conference 2021
– Connections OZ International Wargaming Conference 2022
– Women in IT Webinar organised by the US Embassy of Ankara
– Cyber Command of Netherlands
– Land Warfare Academy of Netherlands: training of 90+ 3rd and 4th year cadets
– Hybrid Threats and National Defense Symposium of Turkish Land Warfare Academy
– UK Fight Club’s Special Women’s Day Webinar on Successful Game Design
– NATO STO’s Tide Sprint Spring Conference in Sopot, Poland
– Georgetown University Wargaming Society
– Central Michigan University
– UK Civil Service
– UK Fight Club
– DSTL Wargaming Centre
– OR&A Conference 2022
– WIN (Wargaming Initiative NATO) Event 2022 in Paris, France
– WIN (Wargaming Initiative NATO) Event 2023 in Rome, Italy

• Project Events
– Hybrid Threat Rising Women’s Wargaming Tournament: World’s first women’s wargaming tournament (above high school level). With over 50 participants of the project’s Leader Women team, the participants played the Hybrid Threat Rising game for 2 days, with Turkish defence professionals as Jurys and observers.

The first 3 winners and a Jury’s Choice have been selected to receive their awards at the Peace and Security Conference. These 4 Leader Women have also been granted the prize of visiting the NATO HQ in Brussels, Belgium.

– Peace and Security Conference: Türkiye’s first Peace and Security Conference revolving around women’s issues and women’s participants. With 10 speakers from Turkish defense companies, NATO and academia; over 240 participants have attended this event to talk about:
– Keynote by Morgan Kennedy – PolMil Unit Chief at US Embassy Ankara
– Being a Leader Women in Defense – Beatriz Pino at NATO SHAPE GENAD
– Women Participation in Peace
– Career in Defense and Security

– Mega Game Event: Türkiye’s first mega game event. 10 scenarios have been played during 6 hours, with over 60 participants from different sectors and organisations. During the exercise, defence professionals from Turkish military and defense companies have provided participants with background information and detailed explanations.

• Women in Command: Humanity in Crisis Humanitarian Game: Designed as an extension to the award-winning Women in Command: Hybrid Threat Rising, the Humanity in Crisis is an agnostic humanitarian wargaming tool which can be included in any wargame on any level of war. The Humanity in Crisis extension guides the players through the exploration of humanitarian consequences of military actions; managing resources in order to provide the people with their most basic needs, logistics and resource management, civilian transit, managing the conflict between players and even establishing peace in certain parts of the conflict whenever possible.

Direct Outcomes
• Reach
– 3.000.000 Online reach
– 50.000+ Offline reach

• Beneficiaries:
– 60+ Leader Women from all regions of Türkiye
– 10+ Academic Webinars
– Movie Nights
– Debates
– Game Nights
– Access to the project Discord and WhatsApp channels
– Access to international events
– Access to monthly recap of defence, security and peace related events curated by the
project team
– Access to monthly ecap of defence, security and peace related news curated by the project
team
– Equal Opportunity support for in-person events organised within the project

Awards & Successes:
• Awards
– International Serious Play 2022 Gold Medal
– Military Simulation & Training 2022 Winner of the Outstanding Serious Game for Learning
Award category.
– 2022 UK Women in Defence – STEM in Defence Award
• The Women in Command: Hybrid Threat Rising game has reach international recognition and has been played at 15+ national and international military, government and independent institutions with over 500 individuals.
• It figures in the United States Marine Corps – Brute Krulak Center for Innovation and Future Warfare’s #BruteCast! & in the Beyond Solitaire Podcast by Liz Davidson.

Timeline:
May 2021 – May 2023

Contact:
To learn more about the project, please email ada@kizbasina.com or begum@kizbasina.com

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