Ten years ago this month, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1325, which calls for the full participation of women and girls in conflict resolution and peace building.
Speaking before the U.N. Security Council in New York, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that through this resolution, the international community "promised that women would be treated as agents of peace and reconciliation, not just as victims of war and violence." But incidents such as the mass rapes in the Democratic Republic of Congo serve as a stark reminder that much more work is needed to advance women’s rights, she said.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that President Barack Obama’s National Security Strategy recognizes that "countries are more peaceful and prosperous when women are accorded full and equal rights and opportunity. When those rights and opportunities are denied, countries lag behind."
So, in an effort to advance U.N. Security Council goals of integrating women into international peace and security efforts, the U.S. will commit nearly $44 million for women’s empowerment initiatives around the world, said Secretary of State Clinton:
"This is a necessary global security imperative. Including women in the work of peace advances our national security interests, promotes political stability, economic growth, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Just as in the economic sphere, we cannot exclude the talents of half the population, neither when it comes to matters of life and death can we afford to ignore, marginalize, and dismiss the very direct contributions that women can and have made."
Secretary of State Clinton announced that the U.S. will develop a National Action Plan to accelerate implementation of Resolution 1325 across the government and with its partners in civil society. The U.S. will adopt the indicators laid out by the Secretary General to measure progress.
"Ultimately," said Secretary of State Clinton, "we measure our progress by the improvements in the daily lives of people around the world. That must be our cause, and empowering women to contribute all their talents to this cause is our calling."