On International Women’s Day, USIP spoke with senior U.S. government officials about women’s role in peace and national security. Lida Noory, the director for women, peace and security at the State Department’s Office of Global Women's Issues; Jennifer Hawkins, a senior women, peace and security advisor at USAID; Brooke Owens, a Booz Allen Hamilton women, peace and security advisor working with the Department of Defense; and Brigadier General Maura Hennigan, the president of Marine Corps University, explain why the security of any nation is directly tied to the status and security of its women and how in conflict-torn countries, women’s meaningful participation in peace processes is vital to building and sustaining peace.
The Latest @ USIP: Why Women Are So Vital to Sustaining Peace and Security
Colombian Civic Leader Offers a Grassroots Strategy for Peace
Nine months into new efforts by Colombia’s administration to achieve “total peace” with remaining armed groups following decades of civil war, that process should make room for the nation’s thousands of grassroots and community organizations to strengthen peace locally when the fighting stops, says a prominent civic leader from one of the country’s most violent regions. Stabilizing Colombia, where migration toward the United States and other countries soared last year, will require steady support from U.S. and international partners, said Maria Eugenia Mosquera Riascos, who helps lead a Colombian network of 140 civic and community organizations working to end violence.
The Latest @ USIP: Pakistani Police’s Gender Initiatives Expand Access to Justice
The Pakistani police’s gender protection units ensure that from start to finish, a victim’s case is handled by a staff of female and transgender officers — helping women and transgender victims overcome the cultural and gender barriers that often hamper their access to the justice system. Amna Baig, a Pakistani police superintendent and founder of Pakistan’s first gender protection unit, discusses how these programs work to prevent and counter gender-based violence, what’s needed to help replicate and expand them elsewhere, and how police can better integrate gender initiatives in their work more broadly.
U.N. Conference Highlights Global Unity but Limited Leverage Over the Taliban
Over a year and a half since the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, not a single country has recognized its government. Yet, it has resulted in no change in Taliban behavior. The worst predictions of what Taliban rule could be like have come true, as the regime has implemented unprecedented restrictions on women amid a brutal humanitarian crisis. The situation is so bad that U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres convened a special conference in Doha, Qatar this week — with no Taliban representation — to discuss Afghanistan’s international isolation. While there were no tangible outcomes — evidence of how limited the international community’s leverage really is — it did demonstrate remarkable consensus on the imperative to help the Afghan people.
The Latest @ USIP: Women’s Inclusion and Transitional Justice in Ethiopia
During Ethiopia’s disastrous two-year civil conflict, women were subjected to countless acts of conflict-related sexual violence by security forces on both sides. Now that a peace process has begun, securing true transitional justice will require women’s participation and leadership throughout the negotiations. Filsan Abdi, founder director of the Horn Peace Institute, discusses her decision to resign from her prior position as Ethiopia’s minister of women, children and youth in protest of the violence, why women’s participation is so vital to the long-term success of peacebuilding and democracy in the Horn of Africa, and why the current peace process gives her hope despite its shortcomings.