In conflict-affected countries around the world, women risk their lives to build peace, promote justice and foster more inclusive, resilient societies — efforts that are foundational to global peace and security. And yet, too often women remain overlooked and excluded from formal peace processes and broader peacebuilding efforts.

The U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) Women Building Peace Award, now in its second year, celebrates extraordinary women from conflict-affected and fragile regions working to build peace.

The 2021 award finalists were selected from more than 30 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Each of them embodies the courage, commitment and ability to affect profound change that this award symbolizes. In the face of violent conflict and uncertainty, the 2021 finalists have advanced stability in their countries across many dimensions of peacebuilding: expanding access to justice, protecting the environment, building relationships across communal divides and providing a voice for women, youth and other marginalized groups.

On October 20, 2021 USIP honored these heroic finalists and announced the recipient of the award. In addition to honoring the awardee and all the finalists, this year USIP payed special tribute to all Afghan women.

Join the conversation on Twitter with #WomenBuildingPeace.

Speakers

Lise Grande
President and CEO, U.S. Institute of Peace

Kamissa Camara
Senior Visiting Expert for the Sahel, U.S. Institute of Peace

Nancy LindborgWomen Building Peace Council Honorary Chair
President and CEO, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Megan Beyer, Women Building Peace Council Co-Chair
Principal, Megan C Beyer Associates

Marcia Myers Carlucci, Women Building Peace Council Co-Chair
Chair, Board of Trustees at National Museum of Women in the Arts

Nelufar Hedayat
Journalist, Filmmaker

Michelle Howard
U.S. Navy Admiral (Ret.)

Related Publications

Myanmar’s Ongoing War Against Women

Myanmar’s Ongoing War Against Women

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

By: Kathleen Kuehnast, Ph.D.;  Gabriela Sagun

When the United Nations began its annual campaign to end violence against women 30 years ago, no one had Myanmar on their radar. But in recent years, Myanmar’s military has escalated its use of sexual and gender-based violence to terrorize women and girls — most infamously against ethnic minorities, notably the Rohingya. Confronted by these atrocities, the international community has issued widespread demands for accountability and justice that have yet to come to fruition.  

Type: Analysis and Commentary

GenderHuman Rights

Women Build Peace in Colombia’s Turbulent Pacific Region

Women Build Peace in Colombia’s Turbulent Pacific Region

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

By: Nicolas Devia-Valbuena;  Juan Carlos Ramirez;  Daniela Vargas

Colombia’s most violent region is its Pacific coast, where smaller rebel forces and criminal groups kill or abduct those who challenge their control. Across this mainly rural zone, young women peacebuilders are reducing violence in their communities and repairing social fabric torn by generations of bloodshed.

Type: Blog

Gender

Gender-Based Violence and COVID-19 in Fragile Settings: A Syndemic Model

Gender-Based Violence and COVID-19 in Fragile Settings: A Syndemic Model

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

By: Luissa Vahedi;  Jessica Anania;  Jocelyn Kelly

The long-standing pandemic of gender-based violence has been worsened by COVID-19 and related containment measures, particularly in fragile settings marked by conflict, poverty, and weak infrastructure. At the same time, the implementation of gender-insensitive COVID-19 control policies can exacerbate the community transmission of COVID-19. These interactions form a syndemic—two or more pandemics whose interactions compound the severity of each. This report identifies the key avenues through which these two pandemics have synergistic effects and offers recommendations for mitigating their impact.

Type: Special Report

Gender

View All Publications