USIP's Work on Gender
Violent conflict and extremism have different impacts on men and women, and understanding those distinctive effects is critical for designing effective peacebuilding approaches and ensuring greater gender equality and protection for women and girls. 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. The U.S. Institute of Peace advances scholarship, carries out programs on the ground, and informs policy on women, peace and security. USIP works with academics, the military, peacekeepers, diplomats and practitioners to advance women’s participation in decision-making, promote peaceful concepts of masculinity and prevent sexual violence in conflict.
Learn more in our fact sheet on USIP's Work on Gender.
The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021 immediately exacerbated the country’s precarious humanitarian situation, leaving millions in need of food assistance and other support. Two years later, the situation remains dire, with Afghan women and girls acutely affected by the Taliban’s draconian restrictions on their daily lives. The international community continues to struggle to find a balance between providing desperately needed aid while also pressuring the regime in Kabul to moderate its hardline policies. While Afghans need emergency assistance, the country will continue to deal with cycles of crises until its deep-seated economic challenges are addressed.
Two years after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the human rights situation in the country is abysmal, with women and girls experiencing the worst of the regime’s policies. There is growing evidence that the Taliban are committing the crime against humanity of gender persecution of women and girls, an assertion Human Rights Watch made in a new report. This summer, the World Economic Forum slated Afghanistan last of the 146 countries it ranked in a study on gender gaps. The scope of the Taliban’s women’s rights restrictions is truly unprecedented.
This paper outlines a person-centered approach to outcomes based upon existing evidence and practice knowledge for use with returning women and children in rehabilitation and reintegration (R&R) programs. Being able to identify and assess outcomes, which are the intended accomplishments of these programs, are key for understanding change processes and developing strong programs. These programs should be able to assess and track key outcomes at multiple levels, including individual, family, community, and systems. However, little guidance currently exists regarding strategies for what outcomes should be assessed and how to do so.
Over the past two years, and in collaboration with Dr. Erica Chenoweth and Dr. Zoe Marks of Harvard University, USIP has been collecting cross-national data on the frequency and extent of youth and LGBTQ+ frontline participation in major nonviolent action campaigns from 1990-2020. The resulting data set helps to illuminate both the causes and the consequences of youth and LGBTQ+ participation in social movements — with implications for activists, policymakers and academics looking to better support nonviolent action campaigns.
USIP provides expertise in support of the U.S. Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Act, the world’s first whole-of-government law on WPS. The Institute is a trusted convener and thought leader on U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325 and the global WPS agenda.
In support of the Evidence Act and as part of the U.S. national security architecture, USIP is carrying out its own learning agenda. Peacebuilding has long been viewed as too messy and complex for evidence-based approaches — but USIP’s mix of research and practice belies that assumption.