Women’s inclusion is critical for negotiations on lasting peace worldwide. Nearly 23 years ago the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 1325, which detailed the importance of the participation of women and the inclusion of gender perspectives in peace negotiations, humanitarian planning, peacekeeping operations, and post-conflict peacebuilding and governance.
“It is our collective responsibility to continue to uplift and empower women change-makers,” said United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations Linda Thomas Greenfield:
“It has been proven time and time again that women’s full, equal, and meaningful participation in peace processes as leaders, negotiators, peacekeepers, and peacebuilders increase the chances of a just and lasting peace.”
While there has been some progress in this area, implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security agenda remains an on-going challenge.
“We see this most acutely in Afghanistan, where the Taliban has reneged on its promises to the international community and to Afghan women, and implemented draconian, oppressive measures against women and girls,” she said “This is a profound crisis. It will prevent Afghanistan from achieving stability, economic prosperity, and future growth. It places women and girls at increased risk of gender-based violence and sexual exploitation. And it hinders lifesaving humanitarian aid from reaching Afghans in desperate need.”
“The challenges ahead of us are not confined to one country or one region. Over the past year, women and girls have faced violence, repression, exclusion in Iran, Ukraine, and elsewhere around the world,” said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield.
For our part, the United States Institute of Peace is supporting women leaders in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, who work to counter violent extremism and advocate for women’s leadership. Similar programs are engaging women in Mali and Niger.
“Such engagement is imperative, as groups, including ISIS, al-Qa’ida, Boko Haram, al-Shabaab, and the Taliban, directly target women and girls to achieve ideological and tactical objectives,” she said. “By supporting women and youth as prevention actors, we can more effectively and sustainably address the conditions conducive to terrorism.”
“Lasting peace and an inclusive, prosperous society depend on women’s leadership and political participation,” said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield.
The Biden Administration remains deeply committed to protecting and advancing the rights of women and girls at home and around the world.