By Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, Kayla McGill and Zi Xue   UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) called for greater participation of women in peace and security decision-making processes and underscored the importance of incorporating a gender perspective when addressing international peace and security challenges. In November 2017, the […]

To mark the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325), Women In International Security (WIIS) and the Heinrich Böll Stiftung Washington, DC launched an international essay competition—1325AndBeyond. Attached please find 1325AndBeyond: Winning Essays. The essays in this volume underscore the global importance of the WPS agenda and present innovative ideas […]

Fifth-generation telecommunications (5G) technology promises to dramatically increase the interconnectedness and efficiency of commercial and civilian communication infrastructures. 5G will also enable other advances. On the civilian side, it will improve existing applications and give rise to others, from telemedicine to connected cars. It also presents an opportunity to enhance NATO’s capabilities, improving logistics, maintenance, […]

For delivery within the European Union, Amazon now sells facial recognition cameras for door locks, webcams, home security systems, and office attendance driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)—powerful tools with civilian and military purposes. Germany, France, Spain, Denmark and Romania have tested and often deployed AI and ML facial recognition tools, many […]

The rise of China poses a strategic challenge for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The Alliance needs a comprehensive political, economic, and security strategy to deal with China’s growing global power. The more assertive a role China plays in world affairs, the more it could undercut NATO’s cohesion and military advantages by translating commercial inroads in Europe into political influence, investing in strategically important sectors, and achieving major breakthroughs in advanced digital technologies.

The majority of countries have gender-blind foreign policies. While this may seem like a good thing, such policies fail to acknowledge and address existing gendered discrimination, inequalities, and violence. They also fail to take active steps to include women and other marginalized groups. Feminist foreign policy, in contrast, is designed to take into account and address these existing imbalances. On September 12, 2019, Women In International Security (WIIS)–Australia and the Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (APR2P) convened a workshop to assess whether Australia has a feminist foreign policy and, if not, what steps could be taken to advance such a policy.

On August 12, 2017, neo-Nazis and white supremacists shocked the United States and the world alike with a deadly display of domestic terrorism. Tiki-torches, firearms, and fists overwhelmed the University of Virginia’s campus and the streets of downtown Charlottesville, Virginia, leaving an activist and two state police officers dead and dozens injured.

As the Donald J. Trump administration aims to end a “‘slowly deteriorating stalemate,’ with ‘no military victory’ possible,” President Trump has supported withdrawing thousands of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in exchange for peace with the Afghan Taliban. According to some accounts, the reduction of U.S. forces seems imminent, irrespective of the peace negotiation.

Women who seek to participate in peace processes and political decision-making face many obstacles. To achieve sustainable peace and development, societies emerging from conflict must remove these obstacles. In so doing, they must recognize and prioritize that women are fully capable of active participation in all political processes. Women’s equal participation in leadership at every level and in every sector is imperative to eliminating gender-based violence, poverty and enabling sustainable peace. Across the globe, women are increasingly assuming political leadership. For example, Ethiopia elected a woman president in 2018, and half of the nation’s parliamentarians are women. In the Republic of Rwanda, women make up 78 percent of the representation in parliament.1 Leadership in politics and peacebuilding are linked. That is, women’s political leadership paves the way for women’s participation in peacebuilding processes and vice versa.

On March 6th, 2019, the AU Women and Politics Institute, AU School of Public Affairs, and Delta Phi Epsilon held a panel discussion and reception for a joint International Women’s Day Celebration. Panelists included Betsy Fischer Martin- Executive Director, Women & Politics Institute; Rosemary Banks, New Zealand Ambassador-Designate to the United States; Vlora Citaku, Ambassador of the Republic of Kosovo to the United States; Claudia Ivette Canjura de Contento, Ambassador of El Salvador to the United States; Floreta Faber- Ambassador of Albania to the United States; Kirsti Kauppi, Ambassador of Finland to the United States, and Karin Olofsdotter, Ambassador of Sweden to the United States. Roya Rahmani, Ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States, was scheduled to join the panel but travel arrangements prevented her from contributing.

When the 116th Congress is sworn into office this winter, there will be a record 121 women and counting ready to take their seats.[1] The 2018 midterm elections showed America countless firsts, giving voice to groups who previously lacked visibility at the highest level of political representation. We saw gains in racial, religious and sexual diversity across the board. 84 women of color ran for Congress or Governor, up 42% from previous elections and a massive shift in the demographics of U.S. Congress. A more diverse Congress is a Congress that represents a real America.

In April 2018 Alek Minassian drove a van into a crowd of people in Toronto, killing ten people. A few minutes before, he had posted on Facebook, “The Incel rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all Chads and Stacys! All hail the supreme gentleman Elliot Rodger.”

Minassian was referring to Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old male who committed the Isla Vista, Calif., attack which killed six people in 2014. Before his rampage, Rodger had posted a ‘manifesto’ online – a lengthy tirade against the failures of modern society to provide him sexual access to women. Rodger is often portrayed in the media as the godfather of Incel ideology and is referred to as the “Supreme Gentleman” in online spaces such as Reddit and He was the first individual to be labeled a terrorist of the alt-right by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks far-right activity.

For over 30 years, Women In International Security (WIIS) has worked to advance the role of women in national and international security. While much progress has been made, the number of women occupying prominent positions in foreign and defense policy remains limited. As a result, the role of women in decision making in foreign and defense policies is under-developed.

Women can be powerful actors in achieving and sustaining peace in their communities and nations. Executive Order 13595, which instituted the US National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security, along with the WPS Act of 2017 together outline the US commitment to promote the meaningful participation of women in peace processes and their political participation and leadership in fragile and transitional environments. The US should seize the opportunity offered by the WPS Act to strengthen the support of women globally and ultimately to ensure the security of its own citizens.

Child Marriage is largely overlooked in the United States’ peace and security efforts. The Women, Peace, and Security Act (WPS) of 2017 is an opportunity to address this gap by including efforts to end child marriage within the mandated strategy to promote women’s protection and full participation in peace and security efforts.

The international community has taken a strong stance against conflict-related sexual violence, deeming it a war crime. However, international actors are paying scant attention to sexual- and gender-based violence (SGBV) in refugee settings. Urban refugee women and girls and those in refugee camps often grapple with SGBV in their countries of asylum, long after they have fled their homes and communities. Our research among refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo currently in Kenya and Uganda has unearthed a high incidence of SGBV against refugee women and girls. Research by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) indicates that one in five refugee and displaced women experience sexual violence. Many of the survivors often have no one to turn to for protection and resort to sex work and other risky means to survive.

At the UN Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial Conference, Canada announced the launch of the Elsie Initiative on Women in Peace Operations. Through tailored technical support, the initiative aims to help troop-contributing countries recruit and retain female soldiers. It is one of the first initiatives to directly address the lack of female personnel at the deploying country level.

United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 expressed a global commitment to the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda. Many policy statements and guidance on gender mainstreaming have followed in the 17 years since UNSCR 1325’s passage, yet peace operations on the ground appear little affected. They continue to overlook the many roles women play in conflict and conflict resolution, fail to engage fully with women’s organizations, and fail to include women fighters in reintegration and security sector reform programs. They even perpetrate exploitation: Sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) continues to be widespread within peace missions themselves, despite increased SEA and conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) training for operation forces.

May 22, 2018: This policy brief outlines barriers to women’s participation in Syrian peace and stabilization, major challenges they face regarding protection in the war, the lack of aid and resources for recovery, and steps the United States can take to ensure they are included in future efforts.

Missing Figures

While the cybersecurity industry will require approximately six million workers to meet its projected job demand by 2019, many positions will remain unfilled without more female cybersecurity professionals. Currently, women comprise only 11 percent of global cybersecurity professionals. Women’s underrepresentation in cybersecurity is not just an economic workplace issue, but also has a profound impact on the type of technologies being developed and hence impacts everyone in the digital age.

May 2018: Although the American policy community views the Women, Peace, and Security Act and the International Violence against Women Act of 2017 as addressing all the myriad problems women face in conflict, these laws do not adequately deal with the particular and pervasive problem of violence against women in politics, nor has the legislation been interpreted as covering it.

This brief examines U.S. security assistance accounts aimed at security sector capacity building in order to determine whether the current U.S. strategy for security assistance aligns with U.S. priorities on Women, Peace, and Security. The findings identify gaps in policies and programming then recommends how the U.S. can bridge these gap to create inclusive and effective approaches to security assistance.

April 2018: This policy brief examines U.S. security assistance accounts aimed at security sector capacity building in order to determine whether the current U.S. strategy for security assistance aligns with U.S. obligations outlined in its National Action Plan for Women, Peace, and Security (U.S. NAP).2 It finds that the biggest gaps the U.S. faces in meeting its obligations under the NAP occur in countries receiving the largest amounts of security assistance.

January 2018: Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) is a policy framework that recognizes that peace and security is more sustainable when women are equal partners in the prevention of violent conflict, the delivery of relief and recovery efforts, and in the forging of lasting peace. WPS acknowledges that women face unique challenges and targeted violence during and after war, and that their equal and full participation is critical in peacebuilding and recovery efforts. Applications of this framework incorporate a gender analysis that identifies and addresses the different experiences and roles of women and men to promote gender equality and improve programming and policy outcomes.

Political leaders regularly make grand, public statements about the importance of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda for promoting national and international security, but their policy actions have fallen far short of their rhetorical declarations.

There are two main reasons for this. First, political leaders are the point persons for their male-dominated security establishments. These establishments do not prioritize women and gender issues in national and international security affairs. Second, the WPS agenda has been framed as a “women’s” issue, which makes it easier for the establishment to marginalize the WPS cause. Fixing the second problem will help us make more progress with the first—advancing women, gender perspectives, and gender equality in national and international security.

Political leaders regularly make grand, public statements about the importance of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda for promoting national and international security, but their policy actions have fallen far short of their rhetorical declarations. There are two main reasons for this. First, political leaders are the point persons for their male-dominated security establishments. These establishments do not prioritize women and gender issues in national and international security affairs.

August 21, 2017: Yemeni women are critical frontline actors in the conflict, risking their lives to bypass checkpoints in order to get food and medicine to besieged areas or to initiate local peace agreements. But unlike the warring parties, Yemeni civil society fights for the country’s future—and without weapons. Yemeni women and youth civil society movements are a critical part of the solution to this metastasizing conflict. They have a vision and commitment to an inclusive peace that will ultimately prove more sustainable than that which the long line of discredited politicians proffer. Many of the women have a depth of knowledge, practical expertise, and commitment to peaceful resolution of the conflict that the belligerent parties have yet to demonstrate. Yet despite eight UN Security Council resolutions and UK and U.S. commitments to support inclusion of women in such contexts, Yemeni women continue to be sidelined from formal processes. It is not just a matter of rights.

Former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and current UN Secretary-General António Guterres have both recognized sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) by interveners as a risk to peacekeeping operations, which has led to a series of new policy responses. As institutions begin to adopt new policies for the prevention of SEA by international interveners, it is critical that existing scholarship on conflict-related sexual violence be translated and integrated into SEA prevention efforts so that these two fields find common ground.

Deep inside the Pentagon, the Trump administration’s nuclear posture review is taking shape. This little known, yet highly consequential process, sets the direction of U.S. nuclear weapons policy. Will this review reflect our “let it be an arms race” Twitter president or something more responsibly restrained?

June 1, 2017: Revolution and war often lead to women’s empower­ment as they take on new roles, and Ukraine is no exception. Women played varied and active roles in protests against the Yanukovich government in Ukraine in 2013 and continued their civic engagement through Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2015 and the military operations in eastern Ukraine. In 2014, Ukraine adopted a National Action Plan (NAP) to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and to realize its provisions for ensuring women’s involvement in peace and security. If fully supported, the NAP can play a far­reaching role in building peace and the capacity for conflict resolution in Ukraine.

Many scholarly works on women in jihadi organizations emphasize women’s lack of agency. Authors of these works argue women have fallen victim to these male-dominated organizations and thus have lost control over their actions. However, certain groups of women in some jihadi organizations—for example, Islamic State (or IS), Jaish al-Fatah, and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham—enjoy a degree of agency within the scope of their duties.

This policy brief examines the extent to which women in jihadi organizations have agency—that is, to which extent they are able to make independent decisions. Understanding the conditions under which women have agency, allows policymakers to recognize the diversity of roles and contributions of women within jihadi organizations and design appropriate policy responses.

Donald Trump has never claimed to be a foreign policy expert. He does not like in-depth reading, and prefers one-page policy option papers with “lots of graphics and maps.” He claims to have a “very good brain,” and promises to be a strong leader who puts “America first” and makes it “great again.” Should we believe him? His goals may well be laudable. But if my work on expertise and naïveté in foreign policy decision-making is any indication, President Trump, and his advisors, like other American and non-American leaders and their subordinates, will unconsciously follow a fundamentally biased judgment strategy

As the idea that women can and should play pivotal roles in preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) gains greater traction, decision makers and scholars must keep striving toward a more nuanced understanding of the historical, cultural, and gendered contexts that enable extremist movements and organizations to grow. Without study, research, discussion, and stronger links with local actors and scholars to gain contextual understanding, U.S. analysts and policymakers risk creating a catalog of programs and policies internationally that include and empower women but fail to stem the tide of extremism and violence. Increasing women’s empowerment and strengthening their roles in community life, peace, and security are important steps, but even these can fail or backfire without deep cultural understanding.

March 22, 2017: The World Health Organization and the World Bank estimate that 15 percent of the world’s population lives with some form of disability. Worldwide, the prevalence of disability is higher in women than men in both developed and developing countries—19.2 percent for women. These numbers are rising due to population aging, the spread of chronic diseases, and war and conflict. Disability is defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities,” such as taking care of oneself, seeing, hearing, communicating, learning, or standing, among others. While women with disabilities are nominally recognized in U.N. resolutions on maintaining peace and security in conflict and post-conflict areas, a great deal more must be done to include them as meaningful participants in peacebuilding and conflict resolution processes and to provide them assistance in emergency situations.

Violent extremist narratives and actions threaten to roll back the hard-won gains women have made in the struggle for equality. With so much at stake, women must be engaged in efforts to counter violent extremism. However, women’s engagement in the fight against violent extremism also threatens these gains if engagement remains binary, failing to take into account the diverse roles of women.

In July 2016 at Fort Benning, Georgia, US women for the first time began training to become Army infantry and armor officers. This first cohort of women has neither been issued women-specific equipment to accommodate smaller physical frames. In addition, while some equipment challenges can be addressed through modifications in training, others require equipment modifications and new procurement. To optimize women’s performance in this uncharted terrain, the Army must ensure they receive appropriate training and equipment also collect, monitor, and evaluate data on the performance of all its soldiers.

In recent years, policymakers and international actors have begun to recognize the important role of women and women’s organizations in preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE). In October 2015, the UNSecurity Council adopted Resolution 2242, which linked the women, peace and security (WPS) and the P/CVE agendas and called for synergies between efforts aimed at countering violent extremism and those furthering the WPS agenda. In 2016, the US government incorporated P/CVE in its National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.

January 10, 2017: Foremost among the U.S. president’s means for advancing international peace and security are UN peacekeeping operations. Yet as recent missions in South Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR) reveal, serious problems continue to plague peacekeeping: sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) by peacekeeping forces, failure to fulfill their mission mandate to protect civilians, and inadequate training on the tactical aspects of preventing violence against women.

January 5, 2017: Roughly 120 countries felt the effects of violent religious and ideological extremism in 2015. Much of the world’s concern has been directed at extremist groups by Wahhabi and Sala sects of Islam, which have spread extensively across the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and parts of Europe. But other forms of religious and ethno-nationalist extremism are also on the rise.

January 4, 2017: Governments — including the United States — increasingly recognize that war and conflict are too often borne on the bodies of women and girls. This is an egregious violation of their human rights, as well as of international law and various normative frameworks on peace, security and development.

December 31, 2016: This policy brief, by Joan Timoney of the Women’s Refugee Commission and Alexandra Arriaga of Futures Without Violence, sheds light on the climate of violence against women that has plagued the Northern Triangle of Central America, and how ongoing violence represents a threat to regional stability and prosperity. Additionally, it highlights why it is imperative that strategies embedded in the U.S. National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security are fully integrated into the U.S. response to the crisis in Central America.

November 1, 2016: “The United States Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace, and Security (U.S. CSWG) was created in July 2010 to support U.S. Government efforts to ensure that women actively participate in advancing peace and security around the world. The development of a National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace, and Security in December 2011, updated in June 2016, is the cornerstone of these efforts.”

Addressing sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is paramount to security. Around the globe, violent extremist actors—from ISIL to lone gunmen—have committed atrocities against women. Societies or individuals with a history of SGBV, thus, serve as an indication of the potential for more widespread or continued violence. To ensure security for all, it is important to devote resources
toward ending SGBV.
Over the past fifteen years, there has been growing attention to wartime SGBV as a broader part of the women, peace, and security agenda, signified by nine UN Security Council Resolutions. There have also been increasing attempts to prosecute rape as a war crime and crime against humanity at the International Criminal Court. The new U.S. administration entering office in January 2017 should build on this momentum and expand efforts to protect women and girls, men and boys from SGBV globally and at home.

As the idea that women can and should play pivotal roles in preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) gains greater traction, decision makers and scholars must keep striving toward a more nuanced understanding of the historical, cultural, and gendered contexts that enable extremist movements and organizations to grow.

The rise of groups like ISIS has galvanized the expansion of the global terrorism problem. While ISIS is hardly the first extremist organization to attract women and to use gendered tactics for recruitment, its formation and growth has paralleled the explosion of social media, bringing unprecedented attention to the problem. As scholars and policymakers attempt to develop coherent responses to the threats that groups like ISIS pose, three critical issues need to be addressed.

Combat Integration Handbook

The Combat Integration Handbook is a reference guide for U.S. Army combat arms leaders on how to successfully lead gender integration in their units.
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. This guide comes at an essential time as combat arms units await the assignment of the first combat arms women making their way through their training pipelines.

Sex is defined by biological differences between men and women. Gender refers to the roles, personality traits and behaviors that society ascribes to men and women, as well as the different power relations between them. Gender mainstreaming recognizes the role of gender integration in all aspects of peace and security, as well as the understanding of differences that policies and programs might have on men and women.

With the release of the U.S. National Action Plan (U.S. NAP) on Women, Peace and Security and President Obama’s signed Executive Order on making the NAP official U.S. policy on December 19, 2012, the U.S. government has placed the force of law behind its efforts to promote these goals. As a diverse coalition of organizations working on women, peace and security issues, the U.S. Civil Society Working Group is uniquely positioned to assist U.S. government actors in implementing the U.S. NAP.

CSWG Expert Statement

The following statement and recommendations were compiled by the U.S. Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace and Security. In publishing this statement the Working Group aims to assist the U.S. Government to turn declaratory policy into action and engender effective outcomes that bring peace, security and dignity to the lives of women and men in conflict and crisis settings.

1325 Fact Sheet

The U.S. Civil Society Working Group (CSWG) is a network of experts, NGOs, and academics with years of experience working on issues involving women, war, and peace. Inspired by and building upon the international Women, Peace, and Security agenda, the CSWG informs, promotes, facilitates, and monitors the meaningful implementation of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security.

In March 2016, WIIS launched the Women, Terrorism, and Violent Extremism program. With the generous support of the Embassy of Liechtenstein in Washington, D.C., WIIS will facilitate a series of expert roundtables to explore the role of women in terrorist and violent extremist organizations, including the gendered dimensions of radicalization. These round tables will provide a forum for bringing together an international group of experts and policymakers from the counter-terrorism and Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) communities. Key takeaways and recommendations of expert roundtables will be captured and disseminated in the form of policy briefs.

There is a presumption that women do not use violence as a means of exercising their political will, because most traditional notions of femininity emphasize motherhood, peacefulness, and stability. Like the repressive power relations between men and women in Islamic State society, the norms that dominated Western culture throughout the early 20th century mirror those affecting women under the IS regime in many ways.In Northern Ireland, these norms shaped women’s identities prior to, during, and after the conflict; analysis of female fighters in Northern Ireland provides a parallel context for understanding women participating in other violent non-state armed groups like IS. This paper seeks to understand which factors make women vulnerable or averse to radicalization, and asks: do these factors differ from those that drive men into violent extremist groups? Understanding similarities and differences between men and women with regard to radicalization will enable policymakers to develop policies that effectively prevent and disrupt violent extremism

Despite the resolution’s widespread praise and recognition and the development of guidelines and indicators, on-the-ground implementation of UNSCR 1325 has been uneven, and has had varying degrees of effectiveness. This has resulted in a lack of women in senior leadership positions, failure to take gender-specific needs into account, and a loss of legitimacy for the United Nations. The full implementation of UNSCR 1325 would promote the inclusion of women and a gender perspective in peacekeeping missions.

Marine Corps Study Analysis

In January 2013, then Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta lifted the Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule, frequently referred to as the “Combat Exclusion Policy”, thereby opening all closed combat positions to women. He gave the Services and Special Operations Command three years to implement the new directive.

On September 10, 2015, the Marine Corps released a four-page summary of its findings from its yearlong Marine Corps Force Integration Plan study, a study that examined women’s potential service in ground combat units. This four-page, unsigned, undated, summary was provided to Congressional Staffers and select members of the press.

January 2013 directives by DoD Secretary Panetta/JCS Chairman Dempsey rescinded the 1994 ban on  women serving in direct ground combat. Under the directives, gender neutral occupational standards  must be validated and in place by September 2015. Integration of women is to occur as expeditiously as  possible but not later than January 1, 2016. If any Service wishes to request that any MOS or unit  remain closed, that request must be personally approved by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and then  by the Secretary of Defense, and be “narrowly tailored and based on a rigorous analysis of factual data  regarding the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for the position.” Under DoD guidance, any  exceptions are to be requested by the end of September 2015.

Women make important contributions to the attainment of peace, but they remain grossly underrepresented in official peacemaking processes. This study and policy brief demonstrate how women from civil society in the Philippines, Northern Ireland, Guatemala, and Kenya accessed and shaped peace processes in their countries. It illustrates that women from civil society have greatest impact on peace agreements— making them more comprehensive and durable—if they are involved in official roles during the peace process.

On 12-14 July 2015, Women in International Security (WIIS) conducted a three-day data-gathering workshop with over twenty women from the U.S. Special Operations Command’s Cultural Support Team (CST) program—the all-female teams that deployed with U.S. Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan from 2010 until 2014. Approximately 200 women participated in this program over 5 years. In addition to the workshop, we surveyed over 25 CST members from various years and several men whose teams the CSTs supported. Following is a report of the initial findings from the workshop.

By January 1, 2016, all positions in the U.S. military, including frontline combat roles, will become open to women—that is, unless the services seek exceptions before October 1. Whether they do will drastically shape the future of the U.S. military.

Conflict-related sexual violence destroys lives and destabilizes communities, making it an issue that concerns people of all genders. In June 2008, the United Nations Security Council recognized conflict-related sexual violence as a threat to international peace and security.1
Sexual violence is not inevitable in armed conflict, and it is not always used as a weapon. Over the past year or more, the use of sexual violence by violent extremist groups, particularly Daesh (or ISIL), has received more international attention, as the violence bears much resemblance to the use of sexual violence by other armed groups who have used it to further their interests and propagate fear.

Under the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule, women in the US military were excluded from assignments in which the primary mission was to engage in direct ground combat, and were permitted to be excluded from other assignments in certain circumstances. That policy was rescinded on January 24, 2013, by then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, and the Services were directed to open closed positions and units to women not later than January 1, 2016.

WIIS launched the 1325 Scorecard at NATO HQ on October 29, 2015. 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.

Under the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule, women in the US military were prohibited from being assigned to jobs (military occupational specialties), positions and units whose primary mission was to engage in direct ground combat. That policy was rescinded on January 24, 2013, by then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey and the Services were directed to open closed occupations, positions and units to women no later than January 1, 2016.

The crash of Malaysian Airlines flight 17 (hereafter, MH17) on July 17, 2014 was pivotal to the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine. The Boeing 777 aircraft, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over Snizhne, Ukraine killing all on board. Investigation into the disaster is ongoing, but allegedly has been hampered by various actors. These include, but are not limited to; the pro-Russian separatists active in the area, the Ukrainian military, and Russian President Vladimir Putin

Uganda has had a history of civil conflict since its independence from the United Kingdom in 1962 – triggered by political instability and a series of military coups between groups of different ethnic and ideological composition that resulted in a series of dictatorships. In 1966, just four years after independence, the central government attacked the Buganda Kingdom, which had dominated during British rule, forced the King to flee, abolished traditional kingdoms and declared Uganda a republic.

With the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 in 2000, the Security Council for the first time not only recognized the disproportionate impact of conflict on women, it also mandated that the UN and all member states increase women’s participation in all peace processes, establish enforceable protections and ensure justice for women. Along with its companion Resolutions 1820, 1888, 1889, 1960, 2106 and 2122, which further clarify its requirements, UNSCR 1325 provides a strong framework and mandate for advancing gender equality and empowering and protecting women.

With the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 in 2000, the Security Council for the first time not only recognized the disproportionate impact of conflict on women, it also mandated that the UN and all member states increase women’s participation in all peace processes, establish enforceable protections and ensure justice for women. Along with its companion Resolutions 1820, 1888, 1889, 1960, 2106 and 2122, which further clarify its requirements, UNSCR 1325 provides a strong framework and mandate for advancing gender equality and empowering and protecting women.

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.

Status of 1325

This report, Women in Peace and Security Careers: U.S. Congressional Staffs, is intended to raise awareness among the policy community about how women are faring on Capitol Hill and what needs to be done to support more women in leadership positions in the legislative policy environment. This is the third WIIS study in the Women In Peace and Security Careers series. Since 2008, WIIS has documented the status of women in leadership positions and women’s perspectives on career advancement in United Nations Peace Operations and in the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government. These studies are based on qualitative data gathered from individual interviews and focus groups. The series highlights gaps in women’s representation and the voices and experiences of women who are navigating paths to advancement. The series also offers recommendations for peace and security institutions to better support women’s participation.

“At the 60th Munich Security Conference in 2024, what will be the most important security challenge on the agenda, and why?”, we asked the applicants for our 2014 “MSC Junior Ambassadors” program. In the third essay published, Leyla Mutiu argues that “[a] security provision void will emerge over the course of the next decade, which will require the full attention of all the decision-makers participating in the 60th Munich Security Conference.”

Published in “Towards Mutual Security: Fifty Years of Munich Security Conference”
The Munich Security Conference, founded as “Wehrkundetagung” in 1963, has evolved into the leading independent forum for security policy. Traditionally seen as a kind of transatlantic family meeting for debating NATO strategy during the Cold War, the conference has increasingly broadened its agenda and today attracts participants from across the globe. Each year, dozens of heads of state and government, ministers, and experts from different fields of security policy gather in Munich for an open exchange of ideas and policies on the most pressing international security issues – ranging from regional conflicts, international peace operations and nuclear disarmament to cyber security and environmental challenges. On the occasion of the conference’s 50th anniversary in 2014, a number of prominent participants, including former and current foreign and defense ministers, reflect on the conference’s history and significance, some of the major issues debated, and on key security challenges facing the international community.

The war on al-Qaeda and its affiliates appears to be endless but every war must end. Winding down the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq has been difficult, but both were embedded in what was then called the ‘war on terrorism.’ What does ‘success’ in that war mean? With the death of bin Laden and the increase in drone operations, how far is the US from achieving it? Can this war end? The article analyzes the ongoing US response to the 9/11 attacks in historical context, revealing four patterns common to all prolonged wars: means become ends, tactics become strategy, boundaries are blurred, and the search for a perfect peace replaces reality. It concludes by laying out an effective strategy for ending the war.

Although modern-day armed conflict is horrific for women, recent conflict and postconflict periods have provided women with new platforms and opportunities to bring about change. The roles of women alter and expand during conflict as they participate in the struggles and take on more economic responsibilities and duties as heads of households. The trauma of the conflict experience also provides an opportunity for women to come together with a common agenda. In some contexts, these changes have led women to become activists, advocating for peace and long-term transformation in their societies

The tragic events of September 11, 2001, demonstrated that the United States needs greater integration across the Intelligence Community, including improved information sharing to predict and respond to evolving threats. The new threat environment we face is dynamic and consists of states, non-states, traditional and non-traditional sources. Its players, their motivations and the methods they use emerge and evolve rapidly.

Back in the 1990s, Ivica Dacic, known as ‘Little Slobo’, was the spokesman who justified strongman Slobodan Milosevic’s conquests of neighbouring non-Serbs in the Balkan wars. Aleksandar Vucic, as the information minister of Yugoslav President Milosevic, was the hatchet man for the media who defended the vast ethnic cleansing by paramilitary police of more than 60% of the 90%-majority Albanians living in the Serbian province of Kosovo. Tomislav Nikolic was the deputy leader of the Serbian Radical Party that berated Milosevic for being too soft and not seizing much more contiguous territory for a Greater Serbia; the party’s founder, Vojislav Seselj, would shortly report to The Hague for trial on war-crimes charges.

Much has been written about terrorist groups who make use of the world’s undergoverned spaces, but very little has examined the dynamics of these areas themselves. These spaces host a wide range of inhabitants and movements, which exhibit myriad behaviors both ordinary and threatening. By focusing on terrorists alone, scholars have overlooked the power-brokering strategies and coexistence methods that occur in undergoverned spaces.

The US has long faced criticism about being a ‘fair weather friend’ to foreign states only as it suits current policy interests. Such inconsistent engagement results in opportunity costs that are both fiscally draining and damaging to US social and political capital. US defense, development, and diplomatic establishments can more easily realize progress and encourage positive forward movement with African states by initiating and maintaining more consistent collaboration with foreign nation representatives.

Members of the Combat Integration Initiative (CII) and experts on integration efforts and policies in the United States (US) and abroad met on June 28, 2013 to discuss the four conditions that CII believes are critical to the successful integration of women into all combat specialities: 1) establishing specific, consistent, and validated physical standards; (2) integrating gender perspectives in the leadership of combat specialties; (3) understanding the role of critical mass and mentors; and (4) clearly communicating policy changes and ensuring consistency and follow-through.

The Combat Integration Initiative (CII) is a working group composed of veterans, service members, lawyers, scholars, and members of civil society who are committed to the full integration of women across all branches and occupational specialties of the Armed Services.

When one thinks of diplomatic engagement with North Korea – officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) – what comes to mind are countless official and unofficial dialogues and negotiations regarding its nuclear capabilities peppered with various incentives, typically in the form of food, fertilizer, and energy assistance.

UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325), adopted on October 31, 2000, recognized that women were not only inordinately affected by war, but were also an important resource for peace-building and post conflict reconstruction.

US-European relations have been fundamentally strong for many decades, but they have also had their ups and downs over the years. The last decade alone has seen substantial swings in the transatlantic relationship. What can we expect for the next four years?

Recently, studies have focused on women’s leadership in some sectors, including academia, the media, and corporations. These studies have highlighted gaps in representation and proposed recommendations for improving women’s opportunities. But a missing component of research seems to be on women’s presence in a particular area of utmost importance—the national security and foreign policy arena. This is the first study to examine women in leadership within the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government in international security.

Since the historic adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), the recognition of the important and beneficial role that women play in building sustainable peace has steadily increased. Civil society arguments for women’s inclusion in the formal processes of peacemaking and peacebuilding are bolstered by growing evidence of women’s impact on the ground in unstable and conflict-affected countries. Numerous policymakers and practitioners within the UN and other multilateral organizations are publicly acknowledging the value of women in leadership roles. Yet the lack of women in senior positions in the UN, particularly in peacekeeping missions, reflects the reality that significant cultural and institutional impediments remain to women’s entry and advancement within the UN.

Occasional Paper Series: WIIS published several papers in 1997 on the topic: ‘Politics, Foreign Policy, and Civil-Military Relations in a Post-Cold War World.’ These papers were edited by Gale A. Mattox and Linda Racioppi. Included among the papers were “Six Russian Views on Politics, Foreign Policy, and Civil-Military Relations in a Post-Cold War World” by Linda Racioppi, “The Politics of Conflict Resolution in Contemporary Russia” by Tatiana A. Shakleina, and a paper written in Russian by Linda Racioppi.