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Women As Global Peacemakers

A group of Afghan women listen attentively how to count votes and seal them away to keep the country's first ever presidential election as fair as possible.

Plan marks a change in the way the United States will approach its diplomatic, defense, and development-based support to women.

The U.S. Department of State recently released its roadmap to implementation of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, which seeks “to ensure that women participate equally in preventing conflict and building peace in countries threatened and affected by war, violence, and insecurity.”

The Implementation Plan provides guidance for how the Department of State, both in Washington and at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world, can advance efforts under the U.S. National Action Plan, which President Barack Obama issued in conjunction with an Executive Order in December 2011.

“The Department of State’s implementation plan outlines commitments to accelerate, institutionalize and better coordinate efforts to advance women’s participation in peace negotiations, peace building, conflict prevention and decision-making institutions; protect women from gender-based violence; and ensure equal access to relief and recovery assistance in areas of conflict and insecurity,” said the statement issued by the Office of the Spokesperson announcing the Implementation Plan.

It also added that the State Department’s efforts demonstrate its commitment to further promote gender equality in support of U.S. foreign policy and national security.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that the National Action Plan marks a change in the way the United States will approach its diplomatic, defense, and development-based support to women in areas of conflict.

“This is not just a women’s issue,” Secretary Clinton said following the plan’s unveiling in December. “It cannot be relegated to the margins of international affairs. It truly does cut to the heart of our national security and the security of people everywhere.”

The State Department is joined in implementing the National Action Plan by the departments of Defense, Justice, Treasury, and Homeland Security, as well as United States Agency for International Development, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.