Women In Politics: Challenges and Opportunities
On March 6th, Women and International Security and the Embassy of Liechtenstein hosted a policy roundtable at the Rayburn House Office building on the challenges and opportunities facing women in politics around the world. Women make up 24% of seats of the 116th Congress, cementing the legislature as the most gender-inclusive in US history. As these representatives begin their work on Capitol Hill, Women In International Security (WIIS) and the Embassy of Liechtenstein invite you to join us for an ongoing discussion on female political participation and the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda. We will hear from newly elected women representatives and a panel of experts about the challenges and opportunities facing women in politics. We will also discuss the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Act passed by the 115th Congress.
Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger
Regional Director, Asia-Pacific
International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)
Youth, Peace and Security Roundtable Event
Women In International Security (WIIS) and the Embassy of Liechtenstein hosted a roundtable discussion on the Youth, Peace and Security agenda and its intersections with the Women, Peace and Security agenda. Experts examined the genesis and significance of the YPS agenda (UNSCR 2250) as well as the 2018 report of the UN Secretary-General on Youth, Peace and Security. We highlighted and discussed the conceptual, political and practical challenges of this agenda, including commonly held assumptions with regard to youth, the role of gender, and masculinities.
The Gender, Peace and Security series explored the gender dimensions of current global and regional security challenges. The roundtables provided a forum for bringing together a diverse group of experts and policymakers to advance gender considerations in security policy deliberations. The series was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Embassy of Liechtenstein.
- Kathleen Kuehnast,m Director, Gender Policy and Strategy at USIP
- Ursala Knudsen Latta, Research and Policy Officer at Saferworld
- Tim Shand, Vice President of Advocacy and Partnerships at Promundo
- Marc Sommers, Independent consultant and member of the UN Advisory Group of Experts for the Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security
- Moderator: Chantal de Jonge Oudraat President, Women In International Security (WIIS)
Next-Level Pure Power Self-Defense!
Women In International Security and N-FLUX hosted a Next-Level Pure Power Self-Defense session! N-FLUX teaches Krav Maga, an empowering class where you can learn the hand-to-hand combat system of the Israeli Defense Force. We encouraged all experience levels to join us because learning self-defense is a great way to stay safe, be confident, and improve physical and mental strength. If you missed this exciting opportunity to learn new skills while meeting fellow WIIS members, we will be having more Krav Maga sessions including one in June!
Climate Change: The Gender Dimensions
Women In International Security (WIIS) and the Embassy of Liechtenstein hosted a round table discussion on the gender dimensions of climate change. We examined how climate change impacts men and women, to what extent national and international policies have integrated these gender dimensions, and identify gaps. We also discussed the state of research and how the Women, Peace and Security Agenda intersects with scholarship and programs addressing climate change.
This round table was enabled through the generous support of the Embassy of Liechtenstein in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Elizabeth Ferris
Senior Fellow at Brookings and Research Professor at the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown
Dr. Vijay Jagannathan
Senior Fellow at the World Resources Institute
Ms. Liane Schalatek
Associate Director of the Heinrich Boll Foundation North America
Ms. A. Tianna Scozzaro
Director of the Gender, Equity and Environment Program at the Sierra Club
Ms. Alice Thomas
Director of the Climate Change Program and Refugees International
Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat
President, Women In International Security
Dr. Jeannette Gaudry Haynie
Senior Fellow, Women In International Security
A Conversation with Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security
International security, peace, and conflict transformation suffer from an absence of female voices, especially from women of color. This lack of diversity is detrimental to policymaking. Magnifying the voices of women of color is integral to the expansion of perspectives in international security, peace, and conflict resolution.
Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security, Women In International Security (WIIS), and WIIS GWU hosted a conversation with distinguished women of color in the international security field about the importance of greater diversity and how to bring this about.
Keynote speakers and panelists:
Ambassador Sue K. Brown
Former U.S. Ambassador to Montenegro
Ms. Asha Castleberry
Adjunct Professor, Fordham University
WCAPS Board Member
Ms. Janice Dunn Lee
Former Deputy Director General Emeritus
International Atomic Energy Agency
Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins
President and Founder, Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security
Former Coordinator of Threat Reduction Programs, U.S. Department of State
Dr. Nicolette Louissaint
Executive Director and Board President, Healthcare Ready
Advisory Council, WCAPS
Ms. Nadia Creve Coeur
Program Assistant at Women in International Security (WIIS)
People on the Move: The Gender Dimensions of Migration, Refugee Crises, and Human Trafficking
Women In International Security (WIIS) and the Embassy of Liechtenstein hosted a roundtable discussion on the movement of people and the gender dimensions and effects of voluntary and forced migration. The main question posed was are our international and national legal and political frameworks and institutions adapting to the changing nature of the movement of people in the 21st century? Additionally, gender has historically been neglected by policymakers when considering how to address the many problems that migrants and refugees face, particularly how to combat human trafficking. We emphasized that although this situation is improving, the gender dimensions of each phenomenon – and how they intersect – are still woefully understudied and dismissed. Lastly, we asked: how does the Women, Peace and Security Agenda intersect with the migratory and refugee and human trafficking agendas?
This Roundtable was enabled through the generous support of the Embassy of Liechtenstein in Washington, D.C.
H.E. Dr. Aurelia Frick
Foreign Minister of Liechtenstein
Ms. Kristen L. Abrams
Human Trafficking Program, McCain Institute
Dr. Andrea Bertone
FHI 360 and George Washington University
Ms. Anne Richard
Institute for the Study of Migration (Georgetown) and former Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration
Mr. Shawn Vandiver
Women's Museum of California and San Diego Chapter Director, Truman National Security Project
Ms. Joan Timoney
Women’s Refugee Commission
Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat
President, Women In International Security
Dr. Jeannette Gaudry Haynie
Senior Fellow, Women In International Security
Women In International Security (WIIS) co-hosted this conference in cooperation with the UN Women’s Office, General Women’s Union and TRENDS Research and Advisory.
About the Conference
Gender is linked to prosperity and peace. Evidence shows women’s empowering, women’s agency and women’s leadership contributes to more successful and longer lasting peace. Gender sensitive approaches help to facilitate economic recovery, make peace operations more effective, and improve the quality of humanitarian assistance. Gender programs also have the ability to help combat violent extremism. As NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said 18 November 2017 “Empowering women is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.” In 2000, the United Nations Security Council passed resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325). It was a foundational, landmark resolution recognizing the inextricable links between gender equality and international peace and security. UNSCR 1325 brought issues related to women and armed conflict directly onto the political agenda of the UN Security Council – the body responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security. The four pillars of UNSCR 1325 are: participation, protection, prevention and relief, and recovery. Since the adoption of UNSCR 1325 (2000), the framework for the protection and participation of women at all decision-making levels of conflict and post-conflict efforts has expanded. Indeed, the Council adopted 7 more resolutions. These resolutions, inter alia, affirm the need for women’s inclusion in post-conflict decision-making, counter-terrorism/extremism efforts, participation in peacebuilding activities, the prevention of sexual violence, protection and participation as well as women’s political and economic empowerment. At the national level, 69 states have adopted National Action Plans and many international organizations have adopted organization-wide action plans, including the African Union, the OSCE, NATO and the Arab League.
Despite the widespread national and international support for the WPS agenda, there is a significant gap between political rhetoric and tangible political and financial resources to support the WPS agenda. Bridging declared intent of policymakers and the reality of action in the many parts of the world where UNSCR 1325 is most needed remains a core challenge. The UNSC, multilateral organizations and states must continue their commitment to the WPS agenda, renew and develop national action plans, provide political endorsement and quicken progress so greater achievements can be made on this important agenda. The
Goals of the Conference
Organizing the Gender Dimensions of International Peace and Prosperity: Keys to Prosperity and Peace conference in cooperation with Women in International Security (WIIS) and the UN Women’s Office, General Women’s Union and TRENDS Research and Advisory seek to achieve several goals:
- Raising awareness of the link between gender and peace and security in both policy and in practice;
- Providing a better understanding of the gender dimensions of peace and security to a broad audience;
- Showcasing the UAE’s good practice to the Women Peace and Security (WPS) agenda; and
- Serving as a platform to launch a series of future activities aimed at advancing the women, peace and security agenda.
This conference also features a training day on December 19, 2017. This training event will target a range of participants from the military, security, and civilian services, who are involved in peace and security matters, and it will cover the foundations of understanding gender as a social construct, as well as the power dynamics that influence and impact the gender dimensions of policy and practice. The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda will be examined looking at its history, content, the importance for international security, how its objectives are embedded into policy, planning and operations, as well as how we can measure success in this crucial area of importance.
About the Organizers
This conference is hosted by the General Women’s Union and TRENDS Research & Advisory in partnership with Women In International Security (WIIS) and the UN Women’s Office.
Women in Security: Gender, Violent Extremism, and Terrorism
November 8-9: As a partner of the Warsaw Security Forum, WIIS hosted a panel discussion on Women in Security: Gender, Violent Extremism, and Terrorism on November 8-9th, 2017. Terrorism and violent extremism are evolving challenges that threaten global stability and security. This panel explored the push and pull factors of radicalization and recruitment of men and women, highlighting how violent extremist organizations are successfully leveraging gender norms to aid recruitment efforts.
The annual Warsaw Security Forum (WSF) is one of the leading projects in the field of international security. It is organized in partnership with Polish and foreign partners and institutions. The Forum brought together policymakers from European Union and NATO countries to exchange experiences and discuss solutions to complex regional security challenges. WSF was preceded by the New Security Leaders (NSL) program, a leadership development program for mid-career, high potential leaders from foreign policy, defense and security fields. Over the course of four days, NSL candidates worked with mentors – world leaders, global thinkers and experts – to discuss pressing global security challenges. WIIS Deputy Director Brooke Stedman provided training on Gender, Peace, and Security as part of the NSL program.
The Warsaw Security Forum is organized and sponsored by the Casimir Pulaski Foundation, an independent, non-partisan think-tank specializing in foreign policy and international security. The Pulaski Foundation provides analyses that describe and explain international developments, identify trends in international environment, and contain possible recommendations and solutions for government decision makers and private sector managers to implement
Borderless Cyber Two-Day Conference
June 21-22: Borderless Cyber is a two-day conference in NYC for cybersecurity stakeholders in financial services, retail, healthcare, manufacturing, utilities, international business, government, and other industries. With a focus on changing the economics of computer network defense, the program will explore ways to reduce costs for defenders and increase costs for attackers. C-level executives and directors of threat intelligence, incident response, risk, and audit will come away from Borderless Cyber with actionable insights on how to better evaluate and defend their cyber practices. Learn more about this event and register here.
Women in International Security and N-FLUX partnered up to provide members with an opportunity to attend Pure Power Self-Defense! Learning self-defense is a great way to be safe, enhance your confidence, and improve physical and mental strength. N-FLUX taught Krav Maga, an empowering class where members were able to learn the hand-to-hand combat system of the Israeli Defense Force. This dynamic class was followed by an informal brunch where members were welcome to share a meal, wind-down, and get to know one another.
Women In International Security Fellow Ellen Haring speaks with Stars and Stripes about the difficulties that military women face in finding a mentor: “But then women look around, and there are no senior women (in their lanes), and men are afraid to mentor them for fear they’ll be accused of having an inappropriate relationship.” Read the full story here.
How to Conquer Career Change
WIIS hosted an interactive workshop on how to successfully navigate career transitions. The objective of this workshop was to provide guidance on the best practices for switching career paths or moving into new roles within the same sector. Participants gained expert advice and resources to pursue their career transition in a more strategic and effective manner. This workshop, led by Andrea Grant Wright of Lee Hechy Harrison and Stephenie Foster of Smash Strategies, served as a wonderful learning opportunity for WIIS members in pursuit of personal and professional development!
Navigating Your Career: How to Succeed in Academia
WIIS-DC, WIIS-GWU, and WIIS Global hosted a panel discussion on “Navigating Your Career: How to Succeed in Academia.” Participants learned how to navigate both real and perceived career obstacles in the academic field! During this engaging panel discussion, participants gained first-hand career advice from experienced and successful women. The panel featured 45 minutes of moderated discussion, followed by an audience question and answer session
Learn to Lead through Public Speaking!
WIIS and LcHoesGroup hosted an interactive public speaking workshop. Understanding that effective presentation tools are essential in enabling women to become influential leaders, this engaging discussion introduced useful techniques to enhance approachability, adaptability, and confidence-building in the workplace.
March 6: Join the Center for a New American Security and the U.S. Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace and Security for a discussion on the challenges and opportunities for the U.S. Women, Peace, and Security Agenda and UN Peacekeeping Operations. Sarah Williamson, Executive Director and Founder of Protect the People, will present key findings from a new U.S. CSWG policy brief, The U.S. WPS Agenda and UN Peacekeeping Operations, followed by a discussion moderated by Sarah Holewinski, Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security and advisor to the Transregional Threats Coordination Cell for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The convening will include diverse representation from the peacekeeping community, including military and civilian representation from the Department of Defense, the State Department, the UN, and civil society organizations. RSVP to Moira Fagan at email@example.com. The event will be at Center for a New American Security: 1152 15th St NW, Suite 950.
March 20-21: The Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference brings together over 800 international experts in the nuclear nonproliferation field. The conference takes place on the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Conference Panels will focus on debates surrounding the treaty's core articles, as well as on questions of how to manage its nonmembers and sole former member. At 7:30 am EST on March 21st, WIIS is co-hosting a side event called "Women of Mass Destruction." Read more about the event and hear from four women who are experts in the Nuclear Arms Control arena here.
Women in International Security and N-FLUX partnered up to provide members with an opportunity to attend Pure Power Self-Defense! Learning self-defense is a great way to be safe, enhance your confidence, and improve physical and mental strength. N-FLUX taught Krav Maga, an empowering class where members were able to learn the hand-to-hand combat system of the Israeli Defense Force. This was an exciting opportunity to learn new skills while meeting fellow WIIS members!
WIIS is launching a new initiative, the WPS + GPS Initiative. The WPS + GPS Initiative is designed to bridge existing divides between the traditional security community and the WPS community. The Initiative seeks to reframe and broaden the WPS agenda to include a Gender, Peace, and Security agenda in order to advance knowledge and build and support a community of international security experts that is more diverse and knowledgeable about the gender dimensions of complex international security challenges. The Initiative will include a research and book project as well as a Next Generation Symposium bringing together an international cohort of next generation leaders in peace and security. Learn more here: http://wiisglobal.org/programs/wps-gps-initiative/
January 11: WIIS Global is co-sponsoring an event on "The Northern Triangle of Central America: Violence, Security, and Migration" with the Wilson Center's Latin American Program and Global Women's Leadership Initiative, and U.S. Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace & Security.
The latest apprehension numbers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection suggest that Central American migrants, especially women with children and unaccompanied minors, continue to arrive at the U.S. border at an elevated rate. Violence directed at women and their families is believed to be a major driver of this migration and raises questions about how to reduce the violence and diminish the need for women and children to undertake the perilous journey north in search of safety. Learn more about this event and RSVP here.
WIIS published the first edition of the Combat Integration Handbook: A Leader's Guide to Success!
The Combat Integration Handbook is a reference guide for combat arms leaders at the battalion level and below. It was developed to help leaders successfully integrate their units. This guide comes at an essential time as combat arms units await the assignment of the first combat arms women who are currently making their way through their training pipelines.
The 4 primary authors have more than 70 years, combined, of military service. Together they combed through thousands of pages of research, conducted interviews and hosted a working group discussion with combat arms leaders to put together this first-of-its-kind Handbook. The Handbook exclusively addresses common challenges with gender integration in combat arms units and gives leaders and Soldiers best practices for successfully navigating the change process. Learn more about the Combat Integration Handbook here.
WIIS is excited to announce that we have published our first policy brief! The first Policy Brief draws on the first roundtable discussion, held on March 21, 2016.
This roundtable featured four noted experts: Ms. Sanam Anderlini, Co-founder and Executive Director of the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN); Dr. Kathleen Kuehnast, Senior Gender Advisor at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP); Dr. Paul Pillar, former official of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and now a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution; and Dr. Lorenzo Vidino, Director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security. For more on this event, see wiisglobal.org/events.
Women, Gender and Terrorism: The Missing Links by Chantal de Jonge Oudraat and Michael E. Brown (August 2016)
The third roundtable in our series on women, terrorism, and violent extremism focused on past, current, and future counterterrorism (CT) and countering violent extremism (CVE) programming, the role of gender in CT/CVE programming, and how our knowledge has evolved over time. Experts also discussed which initiatives have been successful and why, with the goal of informing future programming.
The second roundtable in our series on women, terrorism, and violent extremism explored the differences in radicalization and recruitment across cultures, terrorist organizations, and gender and how the Women, Peace, and Security agenda changes our understanding of the push and pull mechanisms. Panelists considered what a gender sensitive research agenda on extremist radicalization and recruitment would look like and how the counterterrorism and WPS communities can learn from each other.
This round table kicked off a series of exploratory discussions on women, terrorism, and violent extremism. Panelists discussed the effectiveness of our policy responses and how gender dynamics affect the root causes of violent extremism and terrorism, as well as how gender should be incorporated into current policy initiatives. Click here to learn more about this event.
It's Time for 9: The Nomination and Election Process of the Next UN Secretary-General
February 11: As the time to elect a new UN Secretary-General nears, there is a growing demand from UN member states not only to make the process more transparent and inclusive but also to have a woman leader assume the role. Indeed, in 70 years the UN has never openly considered a woman as its Secretary-General. The President of the 70th UN's General Assembly, Mr. Mogens Lykketoft in outlining the new process for the election said that for the first time in UN history the entire UN membership will be included in the selection process. He also said that there is a “strong wish” from many UN member states to have a woman Secretary-General and reminded UN member states that the commonly used excuse that there “are no qualified female candidates” is unacceptable.
RSVP here to join WIIS, GWU's Global Gender Program, and the “Campaign to Elect a Woman UN Secretary-General” of City College's Colin Powell School in a round table discussion with:
- Gillian Sorensen, former UN Assistant Secretary-General
- Jean Krasno, Campaign Chair, “Campaign to Elect a Woman UN Secretary-General"
- Shazia Rafi, former Secretary-General of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA)
February 19: Women In International Security Deputy Director Brooke Stedman speaks with CNN on the issue of requiring women to register for the Selective Service as candidates address the issue ahead of the South Carolina Republican primary contest. Read the story and watch the video here.
Operationalizing Combat Integration
February 4: on April 1, 2016, the U.S. military will begin integrating women into historically all-male ground combat units and occupations. This historic change will permanently alter the face of the U.S. military and represents a significant organizational change effort. To help facilitate this transition the Service Women's Action Network and Women in International Security are convening a half-day conference that will feature analysis of the Services' implementation plans and a discussion of best practices for integration.
The conference included academic experts, organizational change practitioners, and military professionals who will provide advice on how to successfully implement this change. This conference is intended to educate past and present service members, the media, policymakers, and DOD civilians and military leaders responsible for implementing this change.
December 3: Women In International Security congratulates the U.S. Department of Defense and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter on their decision to fully open all military occupations and positions to U.S. servicewomen. Today’s decision finally enables the full integration of women into all combat positions. There will be no exceptions! This “means that, as long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before,” according to Secretary Carter. Read the full press release here.
- Watch Ellen Haring's interview on Huffington Post Live as she discusses the Pentagon's Decision to open all Combat Roles to Women
3-piece publication on the status of UNSCR 1325
- Gender Mainstreaming: Indicators for the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 and Its Related Resolutions by Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, Sonja Stojanović‐Gajić, Carolyn Washington, and Brooke Stedman.
- Women in Combat - Adaptation and Change in the US Military by Ellen Haring
- The Piece Missing from Peace by Jeannette Gaudry Haynie
The 1325 Scorecard Report
October 29: WIIS launched the 1325 Scorecard at NATO HQ. The 1325 Scorecard is a tool to evaluate how well the principles of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) are implemented within the armed forces of NATO Allies. It also provides NATO and NATO member and partner states indications of how to improve implementation. Finally, it helps to further standardization and interoperability amongst NATO Allies. Read UNSCR 1325 Scorecard report.
October 14: Read Ellen Haring and Megan MacKenzie's research on the recent Marine Corps study on the integration of women into combat occupations: Exclusive access to Marine Corps study shows it misses the mark.
For news articles on the Marine Corps study, see the following:
- Nonprofits engaged in debate over women in combat by Mark Athitakis for Associations Now
- 'Flawed' study casts doubts on mixed-gender units in US marine corps by Joanna Walters for The Guardian
- Marine Corps Study Finds No Detriment to Morale in Mixed-Gender Combat Units by Dave Philipps for The New York Times
- Marine reports show path to women in combat by Gretel C. Kovach for The San Diego Union-Tribune
- In Marine unit focused on integrating women, seven sex assaults reported by Dan Lamothe for the Washington Post
Salary Negotiation Seminar
September 30 & November 10: As a part of the Mentor and Professional Development (MPD) program, members of Women in International Security (WIIS) and the Women’s Mentoring Network (WMN) at Brookings Institution were invited to participate in a seminar on salary negotiation. Participants learned techniques and tips for salary negotiation and had the opportunity to practice newly learned negotiation skills during two exercises. This salary negotiation seminar was taught by Dr. Margaret New, founder and CEO of The Middleburg Group, LLC, a career coaching consultancy. Dr. New has 30 years of experience coaching women with job search skills and salary negotiation.
Please note, this seminar was limited to 25 participants to ensure one-on-one coaching. This seminar was be offered September 30 and November 10, with the possibility of subsequent sessions, depending on levels of interest. At this time only members of WIIS and WMN were invited to participate. To RSVP, please visit here.
September 30: Quotes from WIIS's September 29, 2015 press breakfast on women in combat roles were used in an article published on MilitaryTimes.com, "Decision looms on women in combat."
September 30: Senior Fellow Ellen Haring was interviewed on WPR about the role of women in combat. Listen to the interview here.
Semptember 24: WIIS was mentioned in a recent article by Micah Zenko and Amelia Mae Wolf concerning the lack of women working in foreign policy. Read the full article, "Leaning From Behind," published in Foreign Policy.
September 8: WIIS's research on women and combat integration in the US military was featured in a recent TIME article, See Women's Progress in the U.S. Military.
Missing Peace Practitioners’ Workshop on Accountability for Sexual Violence Speke Munyonyo Resort, Kampala, Uganda
August 26-28: This meeting was a historic convening of experts from healthcare, law enforcement, legal aid, prosecution, and the judiciary from Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Uganda, and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Together, there was an exchange of new research and ideas regarding local capacity to investigate and prosecute sexual violence, including those incidents that may amount to an international crime under the Rome Statute. Hosting organizations included the Human Rights Center from the University of California Berkeley, Women in International Security, the U.S. Institute of Peace, and the Peace Research Institute Oslo.
For more information and to access the full report, please visit here.
August 18: Senior Fellow Ellen Haring spoke on CNN's "The World Right Now" with Hala Gorani about whether new occupations and units will remain closed to women, despite women completing the U.S. Army Ranger School. "First Women Soldiers Complete U.S. Ranger Training"
August 18: Senior Fellow Ellen Haring spoke on Huffington Post Live to provide insight on what the graduation of women from U.S. Army Ranger School will mean for the opening of combat positions to women and the importance of utilizing existing data on women in the military. "Women To Become Army Rangers, Barred From Combat"
August 18: Senior Fellow Ellen Haring spoke to PBS and provided insight as to what women graduating from Ranger School means for the future of women in the security field. "Will the first women to finish Ranger School change what’s off limits in the military?
August 12: Meghan Mackenzie discusses the myths and realities of women in combat following WIIS's July CST Working Group workshop.
Abstract: Clan Governance and State Stability: The Relationship Between Female Subordination and Political Order
June 25: Women in International Security and the U.S. Institute of Peace hosted an off-the-record discussion with Dr. Valerie Hudson on the status of women and peace and security. In Sex and World Peace, Valerie and her colleagues broke new ground and argued that the security of women is a vital factor in the security of the state and its incidence of conflict and war. In her new research endeavor, Valerie and her team dive deeper and examine the relationships between the influence of clans (and women's subordination) and state behavior, i.e. security.
Toward Disarmament Securely: Clarifying the Nuclear Security and Disarmament
April 23: The Foreign Policy Institute (FPI) for the released the report of FPI Fellow and former WIIS Board Member, Deepti Choubey's, “Toward Disarmament Securely: Clarifying the Nuclear Security and Disarmament Link.” Choubey suggests recommendations relevant to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty regime and for the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit. Additional information can be found here.
Leadership Summit for Women in National Security Careers
April 10: This important day of skill-building, action planning and self-discovery is a unique opportunity for women in our national security and intelligence community to come together to learn, grow and explore.
Women and Jihad
April 6: The United States and other international actors are increasingly attentive to the different roles women play in violent extremism. This roundtable discussion examined why women join violent extremists groups and the roles they play in ISIS and affiliated jihadists groups in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. In addition, the roles of women and women's organizations in preventative efforts will also be examined.
February 16-17: WIIS President, Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, spoke at the international conference, "Women, Powerful Agents for Peace and Security," in Amsterdam. The conference was organized by the Dutch Foreign Ministry and brought together civil society partners from post-conflict countries, policy makers, UN representatives, and experts in the field.
Navigating Your Career: How to Succeed at the State Department
WIIS-DC and WIIS Global hosted a discussion on "Navigating Your Career: How to Succeed at the State Department." This panel was the second event in the "Navigating Your Career" series. It served as a great opportunity for those interested in a career at the State Department to gain first-hand advice from experienced and successful women.
Navigating Your Career: How to Succeed on Capitol Hill
WIIS invited members to participate in an informative panel discussion on "Navigating Your Career: How to Succeed on Capitol Hill." This event kicked off a series of panel discussions on how to successfully navigate a career across different sectors. Panelists from both sides of the aisle shared their experience working as personal and committee staff, and provided advice for young professionals. This was a great opportunity for those interested in a career on Capitol Hill or in the security sector to gain first-hand career advice from experienced professionals through an informal and engaging discussion.
How to Brand and Market Yourself for Success
One of the nation’s most experienced PR professionals Jennefer Witter, the CEO/Founder of The Boreland Group Inc., discussed what personal branding is, why it is especially important for women, and how to develop an effective one. She also addressed unconscious bias and why you need to know how it influences and shapes your brand. Jennefer presented a fascinating case study featuring a billion-dollar real estate broker based in Manhattan who uses her past military service in Israel's armed services as a keystone of her personal brand.
RSIS Seminar by Dr Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, RSIS Visiting Senior Fellow; and President, Women in International Security (April 2016)
Over 58 countries and many regional organizations (including military organizations such as NATO) have adopted action plans to implement the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 at a national or regional level. These plans detail how they advance gender equality and integrate a gender perspective within their foreign and security policies. During this seminar, Chantal de Jonge Oudraat examined the relevance of gender and the WPS agenda to peace and security challenges in the 21st century. She assessed the implementation of the WPS agenda, including approaches to conflict related sexual violence, and outline future directions for the WPS agenda. Learn more about the RSIS Seminar here.
Salary Negotiation Seminar
Members of Women in International Security (WIIS) and the Women’s Mentor Network (WMN) invited members to participate in a seminar on salary negotiation. Participants learned techniques and tips for salary negotiation and had the opportunity to practice newly learned negotiation skills in two exercises. This salary negotiation seminar was taught by Dr. Margaret New, founder and CEO of The Middleburg Group, LLC, a career coaching consultancy. In addition to 30 years of experience helping women one-on-one with job search skills and salary negotiation, Dr. New provides workshops and consults with the Foreign Service Institute.
Essential Management Skills Seminar
WIIS hosted a seminar on essential management skills. Essential management skills covered in this skill-building seminar included: how to establish and achieve a results driven work environment (lower managers); and essential components for strategic thinking and execution (top level management).
Seminar on Presentation and Communication Skills
WIIS hosted a seminar on presentation and communication skills that provided members with the tools needed to strengthen and enhance their communication techniques. Presentation and communication skills discussed include: basics for public speaking and best practices in interpersonal communication; how to sell yourself and capabilities without being abrasive; how to make yourself memorable, etc.
The Status of Women in Peace and Security
June 25: Women in International Security and the U.S. Institute of Peace will host an off-the-record discussion with Dr. Valerie Hudson on the status of women and peace and security. In Sex and World Peace, Valerie and her colleagues broke new ground and argued that the security of women is a vital factor in the security of the state and its incidence of conflict and war. In her new research endeavor, Valerie and her team dive deeper and examine the relationships between the influence of clans (and women's subordination) and state behavior, i.e. security.RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/clan-governance-state-stability-female-subordination-political-order-tickets-17328015561
Abstract: Clan Governance and State Stability: The Relationship Between Female Subordination and Political Order
We propose that the relative influence of clans is an important explanatory factor producing significant variation in state stability and security across societies. We explore the micro-level processes that link clan predominance with dysfunctional syndromes of state behavior. Clans typically privilege agnatic descent from the patriline and are characterized by extreme subordination of women effected through marriage practice. Particular types of marriage practice give rise to particular types of political order and may be fiercely guarded for just this reason. We construct and validate a Clan Governance Index, investigating which variables related to women’s subordination to the patriline in marriage are useful to include in such an index. We then show that Clan Governance is a useful predictor of indicators of state stability and security, and we probe the value added by its inclusion with other conventional explanatory variables often linked to state stability and security.
BIO: Valerie HUDSON, Professor and George H.W. Bush Chair
Dr. Valerie Hudson joined the faculty of the Bush School in 2012 as the George Bush Chair. An expert on international security and foreign policy analysis, she received her PhD in political science at The Ohio State University and comes to Texas A&M University from a senior faculty position at Brigham Young University. In 2009, Foreign Policy named her one of the top 100 Most Influential Global Thinkers. Her co-authored book, Bare Branches: Security Implications of Asia’s Surplus Male Population, and the research it presents, received major attention from the media with coverage in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, Washington Post, BBC, CNN, and numerous other outlets. The book also received two national book awards. Her latest co-authored book is Sex and World Peace, published by Columbia University Press and named by Gloria Steinem as one of the top three books on her reading list. Her current book project, with Patricia Leidl, is The Hillary Doctrine: Sex and American Foreign Policy, to be released in June 2015. Hudson was also recently named a Distinguished Scholar of Foreign Policy Analysis by the International Studies Association. Dr. Hudson has developed a nation-by-nation database on women (http://womanstats.org) that triggered both academic and policy interest (the latter includes its use by both the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and various agencies of the United Nations). Using this data, Hudson and her co-principal investigators from The WomanStats Project have published a wide variety of empirical work linking the security of women to the security of states, with research appearing in International Security, the Journal of Peace Research, Political Psychology, and Politics and Gender.Hudson served as vice president of the International Studies Association for 2011-2012. She is a founding editorial board member of Foreign Policy Analysis, and also serves on the editorial boards of Politics and Gender and International Studies Review. More information can be found on her professional website, http://vmrhudson.org.
Book Launch - Dr. J. Ann Tickner, A Feminist Voyage Through International Relations
The School of International Service at American University hosted the launch of Dr. J. Ann Tickner's book, A Feminist Voyage Through International Relations. Her book explores the methodological and epistemological story of feminist interventions in International Relations. Panelists included:
Dr. Robert Keohane, Professor of International Affairs, Princeton University
Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, Executive Director of SIPRI North America
Dr. Elisabeth Prügl, Professor of International Affairs, Graduate Institute Geneva
Dr. Christine Chin, (Moderator), Professor, School of International Service
US Priorities in South Asia Beyond 2014: Challenges and Opportunities
Women In International Security, in collaboration with Georgetown University, hosted a panel discussion on the precarious regional stability of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India and its implications for U.S. foreign policy. How did the political developments in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India affect stability in the region generally and what are their impacts on U.S. interests in particular? Panelists discussed these important regional developments and explored future interests and strategies. Panelists included:
Dr. Alyssa Ayres, Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia, Council on Foreign Relations
Lisa Curtis, Senior Research Fellow, Asian Studies Center, The Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at the Heritage Foundation
Dr. Christine Fair, Assistant Professor, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
NATO’s Balancing Act
Russia’s invasion of Crimea posed an urgent and serious challenge for the venerable Atlantic Alliance. Some argued that in response NATO needed to prioritize collective defense, its original mission, and deemphasize the crisis management and cooperative security roles that involved the Alliance in conflicts from Afghanistan to Libya. What is the role of individual NATO members, and to what extent are they willing to invest in new capabilities? These questions were at the forefront of the September 2014 NATO Summit in South Wales. The U.S. Institute of Peace hosted a discussion exploring the Alliance’s future with four world-renowned NATO experts. Panelists included:
Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, President, WIIS and former Associate Vice President of the USIP Jennings Randolph Fellowship Program
Michael Brown, Dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University
Catherine Kelleher, (Moderator), Senior Fellow, Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, and President Emirita of WIIS
Gale Mattox, Professor of Political Science, US Naval Academy, and American Institute for Contemporary German Studies
David S. Yost, Professor of International Relations, Naval Postgraduate School and author of NATO’s Balancing Act
Missing Peace Young Scholars' Contributions to the UK Global Summit
The U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), Women in International Security (WIIS), the Human Rights Center at University of California-Berkley and Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) hosted the Missing Peace Initiative Young Scholars for a panel event on May 23, 2014 at USIP. The Young Scholars Network is an extension of the Missing Peace Initiative, and brings together a global community of scholars currently researching innovative methodologies to address the prevention of sexual violence in conflict. The panel offered an opportunity for international policy and academic communities to identify challenges and gaps in preventing and mitigating sexual and gender-based violence worldwide. The outcomes of the two-day workshop and public event were forwarded to the co-chairs of the London Summit, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and Ms. Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
Women in Combat Units: Experiences of Partner Nations
On January 24, 2013, the U.S. Department of Defense announced its decision to eliminate the ground combat exclusion policy and begin the process of opening 238,000 direct ground combat positions to women. With this historic development, the U.S. joins a small but growing list of countries in which all military positions are open to women on an equal basis to men. Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, and Sweden all permit women in all combat units. France, Israel, and the Netherlands permit women in combat positions but they are barred from some units. Brazil is currently looking at how to include women in combat positions, and Australia is already phasing women in. Many other countries including the UK send women to the front line in non-combat roles, or permit women to be fighter pilots. In May 2014, WIIS hosted this conference with the purpose of bringing together a large community of practice in a single event to share the expertise of partner nations who have already fully integrated their militaries. More information on this event can be found here.