The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize—awarded to Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war—recognizes the critical work taking place globally to prevent and end the use of sexual violence in violent conflicts. Used as a weapon of war against women, men, boys and girls, 19 countries have documented this form of violence in 2016 alone. Efforts to prevent the use of sexual violence in conflict have focused on ending impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes—but progress to date has been limited. New approaches are needed that address and prevent the root causes of this violence before it significantly undermines security and tears apart the fabric of a community.

Sexual violence is not only a crime against humanity, but it hinders reintegration and peacebuilding processes in post-conflict environments. The work of Murad and Mukwege reveals that to end sexual violence it is necessary for policy and practice to work in tandem to change legal accountability while simultaneously implementing programs that address gender inequality. 

Over the last two decades, policy frameworks like the Women, Peace and Security agenda, provide a valuable platform for advocacy efforts. Yet such approaches do not tackle the underlying issue of gender inequality. As researchers have documented, where there is less gender equality there is less peace. 

The U.S. Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace and Security and the U.S. Institute of Peace hosted this discussion examining how policies and programs can be shaped to better prevent the use of sexual violence and re-establish secure environments when it does occur. Take part in the conversation on Twitter with #HearMeToo.

Speakers

Jackson Katz, keynote remarks
Co-Founder, Mentors in Violence Prevention

Amanda Blair
Program Officer, Learning, Evaluation and Research Team, U.S. Institute of Peace

Anjali Dayal
Assistant Professor, Fordham University

Anthony Keedi
Gender Specialist, ABAAD: Resource Center for Gender Equality

Related Publications

Reaching a Durable Peace in Afghanistan and Iraq: Learning from Investments in Women’s Programming

Reaching a Durable Peace in Afghanistan and Iraq: Learning from Investments in Women’s Programming

Friday, March 29, 2019

By: Danielle Robertson; Steven E. Steiner

USIP recently partnered with New America to convene roundtable discussions with government, civil society, and humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding organizations to learn from the past decade of women’s programming in fragile states such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Based on these discussions, this report provides guidance for improving future programming to not only integrate the needs of women but also recognize the role women play in transforming violent conflict and sustaining a durable peace.

Gender

U.K. Secretary Talks History, Equality on International Women’s Day

U.K. Secretary Talks History, Equality on International Women’s Day

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

By: Anthony Navone

This year marks a full century since American women won the right to vote, lending particular resonance to 2019’s International Women’s Day. For USIP President Nancy Lindborg and her guest, Penny Mordaunt, the U.K. secretary of state for international development and minister for women and equalities, the March 8 celebration was an ideal moment to reflect on women’s progress in their countries and globally and to highlight remaining obstacles to women’s full participation in society.

Gender; Global Policy

Afghanistan Talks: No Women, No Peace

Afghanistan Talks: No Women, No Peace

Friday, March 1, 2019

By: Belquis Ahmadi

As talks between the U.S. and the Taliban raise hopes for peace in Afghanistan, the country’s women fear another—and related—possibility: That their hard-won rights to participate in the nation’s political and economic life could again be washed away by the Taliban’s rigid views on gender.

Gender; Peace Processes

How can we negotiate with the Taliban? Afghan women know.

How can we negotiate with the Taliban? Afghan women know.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

By: Palwasha L. Kakar

Afghan political leaders met in Moscow this week with Taliban representatives amid new momentum in diplomatic efforts to end Afghanistan’s war. Like other recent discussions, including those between U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban representatives in Qatar, Afghan women remain almost entirely excluded. Yet mostly unnoticed amid the formal diplomacy, Afghan women at their country’s grass roots already have managed negotiations with local Taliban leaders.

Gender; Peace Processes; Religion

View All Publications