The U.S. Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace, and Security (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.
Global Forum on Women, Peace, and Security
The U.S. Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace, and Security (U.S. CSWG) hosted a three-day Global Forum on Women, Peace, and Security from May 8-10, 2017. With the objective of informing U.S. policymakers and promoting the implementation of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, the Global Forum brought together members of the U.S. CSWG and nine international civil society leaders from eight different countries working on issues of violent extremism, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding in their respective countries.
The first day featured presentations from the international civil society leaders and moderated dialogue among the participants and members of the U.S. CSWG. The day concluded with a workshop to prepare the participants for their upcoming meetings on Capitol Hill. During the workshop, Communications Consultant Scott Morgan imparted advice for effective storytelling and stressed the importance of finding common ground with the audience and highlighting the central theme in each story; the second day focused on engaging policymakers, and the participants met with a number of allied embassies and U.S. policymakers to discuss thematic and geographic issues; and the third day focused on pathways forward, providing members with a platform to reflect, exchange lessons learned, and create plans for further collaboration. The forum culminated with a public event on. This moderated discussion highlighted the work of the international participants, who presented their experiences on how best to engage women in preventing extremist violence.
Key themes from the forum focused on implementing new practices that go beyond military engagement, furthering the participation of youth and local leaders, educating and breaking down important issues for policymakers, and eradicating the narratives that portray women as victims. Reflecting on the forum, U.S. CSWG members and the international participants identified the most pressing problems as the visibility of civil society and the considerable knowledge gap on issues of violent extremism, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding. Moving forward, the U.S. CSWG and the international civil society leaders plan on addressing those problems by creating stronger partnerships among civil society organizations, placing a greater focus on educating U.S. policymakers, engaging actors from different sectors within society, and holding government officials accountable for taking action and providing real change.
For the full Civil Society Working Group site, go to http://civilsocietywg.org/.