Around the world, conflict and disasters adversely and disproportionately affect women and girls, yet women remain under-represented in efforts to prevent and resolve conflict, and in post-conflict peace-building or recovery efforts. Research has shown that peace negotiations are more likely to succeed, and result in lasting stability, when women participate.
The Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017 was signed into law on October 6, 2017. The Act recognizes the benefits derived from creating opportunities for women and girls to serve as agents of peace via political, economic, and social empowerment. In June of 2019, in response to the requirements of the Act, the United States Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) was published by the White House. Both the Act and the WPS aim to promote the meaningful inclusion of women in processes to prevent, mitigate, resolve, and recover from deadly conflict or disaster. Efforts related to WPS have been ongoing across the US government for more than a decade.
Overall goals of the Act and the WPS include:
- Women are more prepared and increasingly able to participate in efforts that promote stable and lasting peace;
- Women and girls are safer, better protected, and have equal access to government and private assistance programs, including from the United States, international partners, and host nations; and
- The United States and partner governments have improved institutionalization and capacity to ensure WPS efforts are sustainable and long-lasting.
Key departments and agencies that will implement the WPS Strategy include, but are not limited to, the Departments of State, Defense (DOD), and Homeland Security (DHS); and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This Administration will capitalize on the opportunity to link our new, strategic approach to women, peace, and security to the National Security Strategy (NSS) and other national strategic guidance on matters of peace and security, including the 2018 National Strategy for Counterterrorism; the 2018 National Defense Strategy; State, DOD, and USAID 2018 Stabilization Assistance Review; the 2018 Strategy to Support Women and Girls at Risk from Violent Extremism and Conflict; efforts to counter trafficking consistent with the NSS, including pursuant to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act; and National Security Presidential Memorandum 16: Promoting Women’s Global Development and Prosperity, which the President signed in February 2019, establishing the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP). In line with the NSS, the W-GDP Initiative seeks to empower women economically around the world, and in so doing, create conditions for increased stability, security, and prosperity for all.
- U.S. Women, Peace, and Security Congressional Report (June 29, 2021)
- U.S. Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security (Whitehouse.gov)
- Department of Homeland Security Implementation Plan to Support the U.S. Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security
- DHS Moves to Support Global Peace, Stability, and Security by Enhancing Women's Leadership Around the World Through Whole-of-Government Strategy (DHS news release, June 11, 2020)
- Partner Agency Implementation Plans