The Administration of President Barack Obama believes that women are crucial to ending conflict and building lasting security. “A growing body of evidence ... shows how women around the world contribute to making and keeping peace, and that these contributions lead to better outcomes for entire societies,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
"We have enough anecdotal evidence and research that demonstrates women in peacekeeping is both the right thing to do and the smart thing, as well. It’s right, because, after all, women are affected by conflict; they deserve to participate in the decisions that shape their own lives. And it’s the smart thing because we have seen again and again that women participating in these processes builds more durable peace.”
Hundreds of peace treaties have been signed in the past 20 or so years, but a sampling of those treaties shows only three percent of the signatories were women. So President Obama recently launched the first-ever U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security which will accelerate and institutionalize efforts across the United States Government to advance women’s participation in making and keeping peace.
Studies suggest that countries where women are safe and valued by society are more likely to be peaceful. So the United States will invest in early warning systems that incorporate gender analysis and monitor increases in violence and discrimination against women. We will also invest in women and girls’ health, education and economic opportunities to create conditions for stable societies and lasting peace.
We will use diplomatic pressure to push for new laws, policies, and practices that promote and strengthen women’s rights and effective leadership and substantive participation. We will also ensure that relief and recovery efforts address the distinct needs of women and girls so they can help stabilize their conflict-scarred countries.
In order to better enable women’s participation, we believe they should be safe and protected from harm, exploitation, discrimination, and abuse. So we will work with partners to crack down on rape as a tactic of war, hold perpetrators of violence accountable, support survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.
“Whether it’s ending conflict, managing a transition, or rebuilding a country, the world cannot afford to continue ignoring half the population,” said Secretary Clinton. “Not only can we do better; we have to do better, and now we have a path forward as to how we will do better.”