Women, Peace and Security

The Limitations of the 2019 US Women, Peace and Security Strategy

Written by: Hannah Lynch, Kayla McGill, Hannah Proctor The United States Strategy on Women, Peace and Security (the Strategy) was released in June 2019 to replace the 2016 US National Action Plan (NAP) and is the mandated outcome of the 2017 Women, Peace and Security Act. The Strategy details four “Lines of Effort” outlining the […]

NATO at Seventy: Letting Freedom Ring

Written by Roxana Allen It took thirty years, two generations, fifteen prime ministers, and numerous elections to appoint the first woman Prime Minister in Romania.  With the introduction of the Membership Action Plan twenty years ago, NATO requested that Romania implement a 25 percent quota for women in Parliament and public service.  Consequently, there are […]

Missing in Action: The Absence of Women Scholars on Foreign Policy Panels

This blog was originally published on The Georgetown Journal of International Affairs March 26, 2019 Written by Federiga Bindi and Mimosa Giamanco   Women in International Security (WIIS), an organization committed to advancing women in the field of international peace and security, recently issued a policy report analyzing the presence of women in D.C. think […]

South Sudan: Recent scourge of sexual violence is not new and will continue unless there is justice for survivors

18 December 2018 By: Alicia Luedke The irony is stark. Just as UN bodies, humanitarian agencies and civil society organizations started to “orange the world” with various activities commemorating the ‘16 Days of GBV [gender-based violence] activism’ in South Sudan, young men in both civilian clothing and military uniforms brutally attacked and raped an estimated […]

Washington Think Tanks: A Man’s World

Written by Nadia Crevecoeur In recent years, many think tanks have begun to recognize the importance of diversifying their staff and recruiting and retaining more women. Think tanks have added programs that highlight women’s leadership and their experiences. However, a new report by Women In International Security (WIIS), WIIS Gender Scorecard: Washington, DC Think Tanks […]

Morocco: The Leader for Women’s Progress in MENA

When discussing women in predominantly Islamic societies, the prominent narrative in the Western media tends to focus on oppression: the lack of opportunity, of advancement, and of freedom experienced by women in these communities. I admit that I myself often subscribed to this notion, reading about policies throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) […]

WIIS President, Chantal De Jonge Oudraat, Speaks at Women In National Security Conference and Women In International Security-Australia Seminar

WIIS President, Chantal De Jonge Oudraat, visited Australia last month to deliver a keynote address at the Women In National Security Conference. She also spoke at Macquirie University at the Women In International Security-Australia Seminar. Dr. de Jonge Oudraat delivering her speech at the Women In National Security Conference in Australia on October 25,2018. Dr. de […]

Missing Peace Initiative’s Young Scholars Workshop 2018

By Grace Ndirangu and Pearl Atuhaire The Missing Peace Young Scholars Network (MPSN) is an initiative of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Women in International Security (WIIS), the Peace Research Institute of Oslo (PRIO), and the University of California, Berkley Human Rights Center. The MPSN is a platform for scholars to discuss, learn, […]

Why FGM in the US is Rarely Prosecuted

By: Soraya Kamali-Nafar In 1995 the United States (US) Congress adopted the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Act, which made the performance of FGM on anyone under the age of 18 a felony. The US Government considers FGM a “serious human rights abuse, and a form of gender-based violence and child abuse.”[1] There are four different […]

U.S. Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace and Security Release Video

The U.S. Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace, and Security (U.S. CSWG) recently released a video on their overall mission and the 2017 Global Forum on Preventing Violent Extremism. The U.S. CSWG is a non-partisan network of civil society organizations with years of experience working on the issues involving women, war, and peace. The […]

Jordanian Women’s Evolving Role in the Armed Forces

By Jumana Kawar   “I love my country and the forces, and in the future if I have children, I will encourage them to join the military especially my girl,” says First Lieutenant Safaa Altahat in an interview about the role of Jordanian women in the military.[1] As the Jordanian Air Force prepares for the first […]

How to Deal With the Risk of Rape and Sexual Assault When Doing Fieldwork?

By Alicia Luedke The incident at Terrain Hotel in the capital of South Sudan, Juba in July of this year, in which a number of aid workers were raped by government soldiers highlighted the risks that aid workers, particularly female aid workers face in high-risk areas. This is by no means intended to overshadow the horrific […]

Women and Preventing Violent Extremism at the Grassroots Level

By: Kristen Cordell Here in Pakistan, Mossarat Qadeem, founder of Paiman Trust, is working at the grassroots level with women, such as mothers, and Madrassa teachers, empowering them to take a stand against violent extremism in their communities. She is advocating for a preventative approach to the type of violent tragedy that recently unfolded in Lahore, where the majority […]

Where is the Will to Implement UNSCR 1325?

By: Clara Fisher, Paige Harland, Kat Ilich, and Erin McGown In October 2000, after years of lobbying by women’s rights activists, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS). UNSCR 1325 brought the WPS agenda to the UN system’s attention for the first time, calling on all actors to take women’s […]

Leveraging the Women, Peace and Security Plan

by Anna Powles and Jacqui True Anna Powles and Jacqui True analyze New Zealand’s draft National Action Plan for the Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security. They take a deeper look at the five focus areas of the National Action Plan: (1) ensuring women’s involvement in decision-making within conflict and post-conflict […]

The Missing Link: Gender and the 2015 UN Peacekeeping Review

  by Gabe Dayley Last September, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon established a High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations to undertake a comprehensive review of UN peacekeeping and political missions. The review is both timely and much needed, given that 15 years has passed since Lakhdar Brahimi conducted the last major review of UN […]

Women Could Bridge the Silicon Valley/DC Divide in Cybersecurity

by Andrea Little Limbago Photo: Philip Jean-Pierre, Endgame As the government shutdown loomed large in 2013, Senator Susan Collins, a Republican, introduced a budget plan that she believed would garner bi-partisan support. Within a few days, two other female Republican Senators signed on, as did two female Democratic Senators. Eventually, the bipartisan group reached 13 members, […]

A Snapshot: Two Years into Combat Integration

By Ellen Haring January 30, 2015 U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno speaks with a female Soldier at the Army Ranger Training Brigade, Ranger Assessment Course during his visit to Fort Benning, Ga., Oct. 23, 2014. Gen. Odierno was visiting to discuss the progress of integrating women into the Ranger School Course. Female […]

If or How will the US Marine Corps Fully Integrate?

By Ellen Haring December 5, 2014 Pfc. Julia Carroll eats a small meal after a six-hour patrol during patrol week of Infantry Training Battalion near Camp Geiger, N.C. on Oct. 31, 2013. Carroll is one of the first three females to ever graduate from Infantry Training Battalion. Patrol week is a five-day training event that […]

With Outrage, the Values We’re Fighting for Become Clear

by Sahana Dharmapuri The recent beheadings of U.S. journalists Steven Satloff and James Foley, as well as British aid worker David Haines by ISIS are a gruesome and tragic reminder of our relationship with extremists since 9/11. So far, public debate has focused on the motivations for this kind of extreme political violence and what […]

Kathleen Kuehnast on Developing a Culture of Peace

On September 9, 2014, Dr. Kathleen Kuehnast participated in a panel regarding “The Role and Contributions of Women and Youth to the Culture of Peace” at a UN High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace. She is both a valued member of WIIS and the director of USIP’s Center for Gender and Peacebuilding. In addressing her fellow panelists and the larger audience, Kuehnast asserts that “a culture of peace needs dynamic and creative leadership, an inclusive approach that does not ‘instrumentalize’ women or children, and a well-funded effort.”

Mr. Cameron: why not quotas?

In UK politics women parliamentarians are still underrepresented at all decision-making levels. But this can easily be altered with the implementation of a quota of 40{5f0f57c44bc297437706deade099e6516fe1db1b31ab604b564d60e47f160dcd} female candidates for all major Westminster parties – which would significantly alter the culture of Westminster in the space of just one or two elections. And without a more representative parliament and government, how can the UK expect its advocacy of gender equality and women’s empowerment to be taken seriously by the rest of the world?

Julie L. Arostegui, J.D. WIIS Member Profile

Julie Arostegui, J.D. is Policy Director at Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND) where she works to empower women to become political leaders on issues of conflict prevention, peacebuilding, and national security. Recently Julie published a toolkit with Women In International Security (Women, Peace and Security: Practical Guidance on Using Law to Empower Women in Post-Conflict Systems). WIIS’s Program Assistant Alex Paul spoke to Julie about the importance of this work, what the toolkit offers, and women’s participation in the peace and security agenda.

“People forget that women can contribute to security”

Cynthia Petrigh, WIIS member profile. Throughout her career as an expert in conflict resolution and international law, Ms. Petrigh has worked to advance the implementation and understanding of human rights. In 2014 she was recognized for her significant contributions toward ending sexual violence by former UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and Angelina Jolie at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London. She sat down with WIIS Program Assistant, Alex Paul, to discuss her work and to reflect on the significance of gender in her work.

Negotiating a Better Peace: Women & Civil Society at the Table

Trying to create a more sustainable peace while ignoring over half the population is a recipe for failure, especially when “women’s agency, their creativity and patience, and their capacity to love and to build consensus… make women a valuable constituency for peace”, as Lakshmi Puri, the Deputy Director of UN Women, observed. It was with these goals in mind that women from around the world met in June 2014 at the Better Peace Symposium.

Turning cyber competition to cooperation

This post hopes to open the discussion regarding the need for internationally agreed upon cyber treaties among countries relating to the protection of critical infrastructures from getting caught in the cyber battlefield crossfire between nations.

Merkel’s leadership in the Ukraine crisis

Willy-nilly, the Ukraine crisis turned German Chancellor Angela Merkel into the geopolitical as well as financial leader of Europe.

Forgotten stories? Women of WWII

While the role of men in WWII is well-documented through film and books, my meeting with a female veteran got me thinking about the much less-discussed role of women in the war, which included around 350,000 in uniform alone – and many others in non-uniformed roles too. They served with distinction across Allied forces, but their contribution is often forgotten…

Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

“The greatest strategic prize for our century is the full social, political and economic empowerment of women everywhere” declared William Hague, the UK Foreign Secretary, at the end of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict last week.

Women, Peace and Security: Practical Guidance on Using Law to Empower Women in Post-Conflict Systems

Press Release June 13, 2014 NEW WIIS publication on: Women, Peace and Security: Practical Guidance on Using Law to Empower Women in Post-Conflict Systems By Julie L. Arostegui and Veronica Eragu Bichetero Two international human rights lawyers examine practical measures on how to integrate international principles on gender equality and women’s rights into post-conflict legal […]

Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict? First, Understanding It

Via: USIP The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence, co-hosted in London this week by British Foreign Secretary William Hague and actress and United Nations envoy Angelina Jolie, will draw on research by young scholars who have documented the causes, responses and potential solutions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, El Salvador and elsewhere. […]

Hopes and fears: Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

Via: Open Democracy   As the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict opens in London, Sanam Naraghi Anderlini questions the presence of government officials from countries with dubious track records, and says ministers should take the advice of women who are most at risk and already working at the frontlines to end all sexual violence. […]

Women and conflict: why we should not separate rape in war from the everyday reality of violence

By Jelke Boesten Since the late 1990s, the international community has developed treaties and tools to address conflict-related sexual violence. Most recently, the UK government has been promoting the Foreign Secretary’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PVSI), and has organised a Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, scheduled for June. These are positive developments […]

Nigerian Girls – Why We Care

Not only because of the individual tragedies of these girls and their families, Not only because of the very real risk they might end up as sex slaves including in Europe, and other parts of the world, Not only because they might not make it and die before there is any rescue, Not only because […]

The Syrian Conflict Through the Lens of Women and Girls

By Carla Koppell and Allison Salyer The numbers are stark. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights currently estimates that some 150,000 Syrians have perished in that country’s ongoing conflict. Over 6 million Syrians have been displaced inside the country, often multiple times; and approximately 2.7 million people have fled Syria, mostly into neighboring nations. The […]

Time to Ban Nuclear Weapons

By Alicia Godsberg Nuclear weapons are the only weapons of mass destruction not banned by international convention. Yet the use of only one nuclear weapon would have devastating consequences for the climate, environment, health, food production, and economy of our planet. A nuclear exchange, by design or accident, would cause an unmanageable global humanitarian crisis, […]

Operation Equality: A Call for Men to Lead

by Kelsey L. Campbell Its hard to believe, but Women’s History Month 2014 has come to an end. The March news cycle was dominated by Vladimir Putin’s hostile takeover of Crimea, Recep Erdogan’s crackdown on democratic freedoms in Turkey, and continuing violence ahead of Afghanistan’s elections. Apart from the chaos, issues predominately affecting women were […]

3 Years After Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Dire Warnings Ring Hollow

By Kayla Williams In the lead-up to the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the law that barred gay and lesbian troops from serving openly in the military, there were dire warnings: Homosexuality would be incompatible with military service. Vast numbers of straight people would refuse to serve, necessitating a return to the draft. Forced […]

Reducing the Threat of Nuclear Terrorism: What Can Summits Do?

By Samantha Pitts-Kiefer Yesterday I arrived in Amsterdam with my colleagues from the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) as well as members of the nonproliferation community to address what President Obama has called “the most immediate and extreme threat to global security” – nuclear terrorism. This so-called “Knowledge Summit” and a separate nuclear industry summit precede […]

International Women’s Day 2014

In honor of International Women’s Day, we have asked some members of the Women In International Security Advisory Board to share their thoughts on this year’s theme: Equality for women is progress for all. After reading their posts, feel free to leave a comment sharing your view on International Women’s Day 2014!   Equality for […]

Shaking Trees: Women, Politics & Economics in Kyrgyzstan

By Sarah E. Orndorff As I discovered while interning during the summer of 2013 at the Roza Otunbayeva Initiative*, a non-profit foundation in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, women and their supporters may very well be the best asset the country has for future security and development.  A small, mountainous country in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan is in many […]