When women fully participate in peace and security initiatives and negotiations, peace agreements are 35 percent more likely to endure at least 15 years.
It's why the U.S. Government released, in late October, the 2023 U.S. Strategy and National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security. The idea is to prioritize gender equity and equality in building sustainable peace around the world, and to promote women’s participation in conflict and crisis response and recovery.
“When women’s rights are respected, we know societies are safer. They’re more stable. They’re more prosperous,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “Peacekeeping and security forces that include women can better build trust with the communities that they’re protecting.”
“At a time … of ongoing conflicts, from Europe to the Levant to the Sahel, the heart of the Middle East, this strategy reaffirms the importance of increasing women’s meaningful participation in future peace processes and negotiations to effectively reduce violence, to effectively rebuild societies,” he said.
At the heart of the strategy, said Secretary Blinken, are five lines of effort. “First, we will boost women’s leadership and participation in peace and security initiatives within the U.S. Government and also across the globe,” he said.
“Second, we’ll defend and promote the human rights of women and girls and help prevent and address gender-based violence during conflicts and during other crises.”
“Third, we will do more to incorporate women’s views and voices as we provide relief after conflicts and after natural disasters, and we’ll make sure that our humanitarian assistance initiatives are more equitable and also more accessible,” said Secretary Blinken.
“Fourth, we will make U.S. foreign affairs and national security policies more inclusive.” And finally, “We will deepen our collaboration with partners around the world.”
“We’ll pursue all of these goals by elevating local leaders, by combating historic and systemic inequities, by addressing the unique and overlapping forms of discrimination that are faced by women of color, women with disabilities, members of the LGBTQI+ community, and other underserved and under-represented groups,” he said.
“History tells us again and again when women are safe and free … and treated like equal human beings, the whole world is better off. It’s as simple and as powerful as that,” said Secretary Blinken. “So, by working together, I am convinced that we can actually build a better world.”