Every day, women around the world are leading movements to create enduring, peaceful societies. It’s time to recognize the invaluable but often overlooked role that women play in ending and preventing conflict. USIP’s Women Building Peace Award honors the inspiring work of women peacebuilders whose courage, leadership, and commitment to peace stand out as beacons of strength and hope—women like Rita M. Lopidia of South Sudan, the recipient of the inaugural 2020 Women Building Peace Award.

Meet Rita, the Inaugural Women’s Building Peace Award Recipient

Learn more about Rita's efforts for a more inclusive, sustainable peace in South Sudan

2020 Women Building Peace Award Finalists

Learn about all the finalists for the 2020 Women Building Peace Award. Individually, they have transformed themselves, their communities, and their countries through their relentless and creative approaches to building peace. Together, their stories reveal the resilience of the human spirit in the face of overwhelming odds and the power of women to mold lasting peace from seemingly endless conflict.

2021 Women Building Peace Award

The awardee will receive $10,000, to be used at the recipient’s discretion, and be recognized by the U.S. Institute of Peace during a celebratory event in the fall of 2021. USIP strongly encourages nominations of women who have not been previously recognized for their work in peacebuilding. Nominations for the 2021 Women Building Peace Award will open in November 2020. If you are interested in nominating a woman peacebuilder and would like to be notified when nominations are being accepted, please email womenbuildingpeace@usip.org with your name and contact information.

Background

Over the past two decades, international organizations and the U.S. government have increasingly recognized the importance of gender equality in creating enduring, peaceful societies. Women’s involvement in peace processes is vital to the overall success and longevity of peace agreements. When women are included in peace processes, the resulting peace agreement is 35 percent more likely to last at least 15 years—and yet, women account for less than 3 percent of chief mediators in peace talks.

USIP has long been engaged in supporting women peacebuilders in countries affected by conflict—including mediators in Colombia, advocates for gender equality in Pakistan, religious leaders across the Middle East advancing the rights of women and girls, and leaders of nonviolent movements around the globe.

The Women Building Peace Award both reflects the Institute’s comprehensive commitment to gender and peacebuilding and demonstrates the important role women play in peacebuilding efforts.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for the award, nominees must meet the following requirements:

  • Nominee must be a woman who is at least 18 years of age or older.
  • Nominee must be a non-U.S. citizen working to build peace in a fragile or conflict-affected country or region.
  • Nominee cannot be currently or recently affiliated with USIP. This includes serving as a USIP staff member, contractor, fellow, or grantee within the 24 months before submission, or a former Women Building Peace awardee.

Selection Criteria

Nominees should demonstrate the following qualities:

  • Commitment to Peace: A woman whose work exemplifies a commitment to peace by preventing or resolving conflict nonviolently in a fragile or conflict-affected country or region.
  • Exceptional Leadership: A woman who exemplifies exceptional leadership through her vision and innovation, and has earned the respect of her community in the pursuit of peace.
  • Outstanding Practitioner: A woman who is a peacebuilding practitioner and works with members of local, national, or international communities in an inclusive and participatory manner.
  • Substantial Impact: A woman whose peacebuilding work has led to tangible or demonstrable results.

Timeline

  • The inaugural award recipient was announced on September 15, 2020. 
  • The 2021 nomination cycle will open in November 2020.
  • The 2021 award recipient will be announced in Fall 2021.

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