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.”
Highlighted by the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize award to Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad—advocates for survivors of wartime sexual violence—the issue of sexual abuse has gained international recognition. USIP’s Kathleen Kuehnast attended the ceremony, saying, “People were standing in solidarity to what they were hearing. We can no longer be indifferent about this type of criminal activity.”
The Gender Inclusive Framework and Theory (GIFT) guide is an approachable and thorough tool that facilitates the integration of gender analysis into project design. Because peacebuilding work is context dependent, the GIFT puts forth three approaches to gender analysis – the Women, Peace and Security Approach; the Peaceful Masculinities Approach; and the Intersecting Identities Approach – that each illuminate the gender dynamics in a given environment to better shape peacebuilding projects.
Intermittently, images spring from the news to shock us with the suffering of children brutalized by war or their families' desperate flight as refugees. Three years ago, the body of Alan Kurdi, a Syrian boy drowned on a Turkish beach, administered that shock. Central American children uprooted by the violence of Honduras or El Salvador now underscore the same message—that amid the world's people scarred by war and violence, a special danger is children. Among the 65 million people torn from their homes, most by warfare, roughly half are children.
For International Women’s Month, Kathleen Kuehnast underscores the importance of women’s contribution to peace and security. Dr. Kuehnast argues that the new millennium, whether through U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325 or less formal engagement via social media, has empowered women to take a greater role in peace building.
When Mahatma Gandhi was leader of the Indian National Congress in 1921, he advocated for women’s rights as key to modernizing Indian society. He understood that you cannot change a society peacefully without turning to women, half of the population, to make it happen. In an open letter in 1930, he wrote, “If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with women.” It was a radical idea at the time to make women, who usually are invisible, visible. It’s still radical today.
The Fragility Study Group is an independent, non-partisan, effort of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Center for a New American Security and the United States Institute of Peace. The chair report of the study group, U.S. Leadership and the Challenge of State Fragility, was released on September 12. This brief is part of a series authored by scholars from the three institutions that build on the chair report to discuss the implications of fragility on existing U.S. tools, st...
The fact that Afghanistan’s parliament has 69 female members, 27 percent of the total, illustrates the advances, albeit still tenuous, that are possible with determined efforts to support the protection and empowerment of women. At the same time, women worldwide still suffer disproportionately from conflict and violent extremism. In the run-up to International Women’s Day on March 8, USIP has collected statistics and the observations of global leaders to illustrate hard-won achievements and the devastating gaps that remain.
Dr. Kathleen Kuehnast, director of gender programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace, testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. More from Dr. Kuehnast following her testimony, ”How ISIS Exploits Children by Manipulating Gender Dynamics."
Martin Luther King Jr. reminds us that “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable…” So when we see steps toward justice and a narrative of hope returning to a country worn by violence and conflict, those of us in the peacebuilding field feel reinvigorated. We were fortunate to see an example on July 14, when the Embassy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo co-sponsored with USIP a discussion with that country’s Personal Representative of the President in Charge of the Fight Against Sexual Violence and Child Recruitment, Jeanine Mabunda Lioko Mudiayi.