The State Department recently hosted the Warsaw Process Human Rights Working Group meeting, which focused on women, peace and security.
During the meeting, Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump discussed with U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook the importance of the participation of women in decision-making roles to a nation’s security. Advisor Trump pointed to data showing that societies, which place impediments to women in the economic, legal, and cultural realms, prove to be unstable:
“Countries that discriminate against women are more likely to be involved in intra-state conflict. … If you look at the index of gender discrimination, the countries that rank the lowest, have in fact been involved in intra or inter-state conflict over the past two decades.”
Advisor Trump, who spearheads the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, a U.S. all-of-government initiative aimed at boosting women’s economic empowerment in developing countries, has been working on reforming laws to help enable women’s participation in their countries’ economies. Many of the laws involve securing property rights for women:
“Oftentimes property is the primary source of collateral, which allows women or men, to be able to secure a loan, and to be able to start or grow a business, so if you don’t have property rights, if you don’t have clear title, you don’t really have wealth.”
Special Representative Hook noted that, mistakenly and too often, “national security exists in its own little space” separate from economics and separate from the roles that women play in both realms:
"It is the case that when women meaningfully participate in the peace process, the chances of success go up…There was one statistic that I came across, it was a study, when you include women in conflict resolution, it increases the chances of conflict ending within a year by 24 percent. And then if they’re a big part of the peace process…it makes the resulting agreement 64 percent less likely to fail.”
“It’s hard to have a durable peace if 50 percent of your population’s viewpoints aren’t represented,” said Advisor Trump. “Women,” she added, “are raising the next generation and need to be able to provide for that next generation, [and they] often are on the forefront of ensuring that that next generation isn’t radicalized…so,” she declared, “it’s just obviously good economic policy and smart defense policy -- there’s no other way around it.”