The United States Institute of Peace (USIP), the Human Rights Center at the University of California, Berkeley, the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), and Stockholm International Peace Research Institute North America (SIPRI North America) convened a group of expert scholars, policymakers, practitioners, and military and civil society actors to examine the issue of sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict settings, identify gaps in knowledge and reporting and explore how to increase the effectiveness of current responses to such violence.

Read the event coverage, U.N. Special Representative Calls for Greater Steps to End `Scourge’ of Sexual Violence in War

AGENDA | BIOS | PARTNERS | YOUNG SCHOLARS | RESOURCES | MULTIMEDIA | FAQS

Welcome to The Missing Peace Symposium 2013 site.

Sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict settings is increasingly recognized as a threat to international peace and security. Globally, state and non-state armed actors use sexual violence against women, men, and children to intimidate and terrorize populations, through forced displacement, destroying communities, and silencing of victims. When fighting ends, sexual violence often does not— undermining post-conflict reconstruction efforts and the transition to more stable, secure, and peaceful societies.

Despite the increased international attention to sexual violence as a weapon of war, including the adoption of UN Security Council resolutions, and important rulings in international criminal courts, initiatives to prevent or mitigate these violent acts continue to fall short. Existing international interventions may lack an integrated understanding of the causes for sexual violence and its implications for societies at large.

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP), the Human Rights Center at the University of California, Berkeley, the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute North America (SIPRI North America) convened a group of scholars, policymakers, practitioners, and military and civil society actors to examine the issue of sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict settings, identify gaps in knowledge and reporting, and explore how to increase the effectiveness of current responses to such violence.

The goals of the three-day global symposium were to:

  • Take stock of current sexual and gender-based violence policies and programming lessons of national governments, civil society organizations, and international organizations;
  • Exchange information among researchers, policy makers, and practitioners about the latest research efforts related to causes, scope and patterns of sexual violence;
  • Strengthen the community of knowledge and practice beyond disciplinary and state boundaries;
  • Identify how to improve research and documentation capacity and new areas for research and policy action.

The explicit aim of the global symposium was to include findings from the latest academic research, as well as insights from practitioners working in conflict and post-conflict situations, including civil society actors, the military, and police. The symposium also launched the Young Scholar network--aimed at supporting PhD candidates and recently minted PhDs in their research and the dissemination of research results to the practitioner and policy communities.

Explore Further

Related Publications

To Build Peace, Boost the Women Who Lead the Movements

To Build Peace, Boost the Women Who Lead the Movements

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

By: James Rupert

Images of this year’s grassroots movements for social and political change—such as the ouster of authoritarian rulers in Sudan and Algeria—reiterate that women worldwide are driving campaigns that can strengthen democracy and reduce violent conflicts. Yet 20 years after the United Nations proclaimed the need for women at the center of the world’s peacebuilding and stabilization efforts, they remain marginalized in those official processes. So when USIP and a program at the University of Denver organized a training initiative this summer for 14 women leading civic movements for social change, a message glared from the mountain of nominations received from experts and groups working on the world’s violent crises.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Gender; Nonviolent Action

How Women Are Using Technology to Advance Gender Equality and Peace

How Women Are Using Technology to Advance Gender Equality and Peace

Monday, July 15, 2019

By: Danielle Robertson; Mena Ayazi

From Afghanistan to Sudan, women in conflict areas are increasingly turning to technology to build peace and reduce gender inequality. Just as smart phones and mobile internet facilitate key functions of daily life, they also bring the world women’s voices once confined to the home or marketplace. It is a development with tremendous promise that the international community needs to support by widening access to technology, reducing social barriers to it and providing training that boosts proficiency.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Gender

Kathleen Kuehnast on Women in Conflict Zones

Kathleen Kuehnast on Women in Conflict Zones

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

By: Kathleen Kuehnast, Ph.D.

At a recent USIP event, Nobel laureate Nadia Murad discussed her efforts to end sexual violence and human trafficking—two criminal practices that Kathleen Kuehnast says “have been institutionalized and militarized.” To disincentivize these human rights abuses, Kuehnast says we must reinforce that these heinous but often lucrative practices are “not a livelihood—this is criminality.”

Type: Podcast

Gender; Human Rights

Women in Conflict: Advancing Women’s Role in Peace and Security

Women in Conflict: Advancing Women’s Role in Peace and Security

Thursday, June 13, 2019

By: Palwasha L. Kakar

Palwasha Kakar, senior program officer for religion and inclusive societies, testified on June 13 at the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues' hearing on "Women in Conflict: Advancing Women's Role in Peace and Security.” Her expert testimony as prepared is presented below.

Type: Congressional Testimony

Gender; Peace Processes

View All Publications