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

Nancy Lindborg on the Women Building Peace Award Finalists

Nancy Lindborg on the Women Building Peace Award Finalists

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

By: Nancy Lindborg

Women are often overlooked and underappreciated in peace processes. But USIP President and CEO Nancy Lindborg says the inaugural Women Building Peace Award will shine a light on women who have “dedicated their lives to doing the kind of work that reduces conflict and resolves violence, often in some of the toughest countries around the world.”

Type: Podcast

Gender

COVID-19 and Conflict: Women, Peace and Security

COVID-19 and Conflict: Women, Peace and Security

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

By: Danielle Robertson

Persistent inequalities leave women and girls especially vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19, which continues to devastate communities around the world. In addition to the virus’ first-order health impacts, the pandemic disproportionately threatens their economic participation and physical safety, and policymakers must meaningfully take these factors into consideration for any successful response. In this #COVIDandConflict video, our Danielle Robertson discusses the gender dynamics of the pandemic and how to better incorporate the voices and needs of women and girls into humanitarian efforts.

Type: Blog

Global Health; Gender

Coronavirus Complicates an Already Dire Situation for Afghan Women

Coronavirus Complicates an Already Dire Situation for Afghan Women

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

By: Belquis Ahmadi

Amid the coronavirus pandemic many countries around the world have reported an alarming increase in domestic violence. Indeed, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for measures to address the “horrifying surge in domestic violence” linked to COVID-related lockdowns. In Afghanistan—one of the worst countries in the world for women by almost any metric—the lockdown exacerbates the dire situation many Afghan women already face. As the Afghan peace process inches forward amid a global pandemic, Afghan women’s inclusion and input are critical to combatting COVID and building peace.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Gender; Global Health

How to Make Women Count in the Response to Coronavirus

How to Make Women Count in the Response to Coronavirus

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

By: Danielle Robertson

As health organizations and national governments seek to stem the spread of COVID-19, it is critical that they understand the gender dynamics in their societies. Efforts to combat the pandemic will only go so far if women and girls are left behind in the process. For example, how can a woman experiencing domestic violence quarantine at home safely? Thankfully, global efforts to integrate women as equal partners in peace and security can provide key lessons in responding to health epidemics more inclusively and effectively.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Gender; Global Health

View All Publications