History has shown that civil resistance is most successful when women are engaged, peace processes are more likely to last when women are involved, and a country’s propensity for conflict is lower with higher levels of gender equality. The Women Building Peace Award represents the Institute’s commitment to highlighting the vital role of individual women who are working every day in fragile or conflict-affected countries or regions in the pursuit of peace. The award will honor a woman peacebuilder whose substantial and practical contribution to peace is an inspiration and guiding light for future women peacebuilders.

The awardee will receive $10,000, to be used at the recipient’s discretion, and be recognized at a ceremony in October 2020 at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington, D.C. Because this award aims to celebrate the often invisible yet essential role that women play in peacebuilding, USIP strongly encourages nominations of individual women who have not been previously recognized for their work in peacebuilding.

On November 20, 2019, the nomination process for the Women Building Peace Award will officially open. All completed nomination applications must be received by 2:00pm EST on February 14, 2020. Please see below for additional details on how to nominate.

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. It has been shown that when women are included in peace processes, the resulting peace agreement is 35% more likely to last at least fifteen years. Since 1992, women account for less than 3% of chief mediators in peace talks. But women are 50% of the population, and there are millions of extraordinary women working around the world every day for peace.

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 who are advancing the rights of women and girls, and leaders of nonviolent movements around the globe.

The launch of 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.

Nomination Application Guidelines

  • Self-nominations will not be accepted.
  • The nominee should be willing and able to travel to Washington, D.C. for the award program and speak publicly about her work. 
  • The nomination application can be completed by any individual who knows the nominee and her work.
  • Nomination applications must be typed and submitted in English.
  • The nomination application, letters of recommendation, and any other documents should be submitted in one email to womenbuildingpeace@usip.org. Please do not send multiple emails regarding one submission.
  • Nomination applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Timeline

  • The Women Building Peace Award will accept nomination applications from November 20, 2019 through 2:00pm EST on February 14, 2020.
  • The finalist for the Women Building Peace Award will be selected in the summer of 2020. Once a finalist has been chosen, USIP will contact both nominators and nominees to inform them of the status of their nomination application.

Related Publications

Invaluable, Yet Too Often Invisible: Time to Recognize Women Building Peace

Invaluable, Yet Too Often Invisible: Time to Recognize Women Building Peace

Thursday, December 12, 2019

By: Nancy Lindborg

On a recent visit to Colombia, I visited a deeply moving space for reconciliation, Fragmentos, where the guns of the FARC have been hammered into a beautiful rippling floor by many of the women who suffered terribly during the conflict. It was a powerful reminder that though women often bear the greatest burden during times of war, they are also often leaders on the path to peace. In my three decades of doing this work, I’ve repeatedly been humbled by the women I’ve met who have risked their lives and found creative ways to build peace—from women forming neighborhood councils in Syria and Iraqi women securing their legal rights through relentless efforts, to grandmothers riding around on motorbikes to intervene in local disputes in Kenya.

Type: Blog

Gender

What Policymakers Can Learn About Gender from Terrorists

What Policymakers Can Learn About Gender from Terrorists

Monday, November 18, 2019

By: Leanne Erdberg

The road to violent extremism is neither simple nor predictable, with diverse motivations and discrete, individual paths. No singular profile accurately describes all those who decide to join. Millions of people may experience similar situations and live in similar contexts but never join an extremist group, while some people will join who would we would not deem at risk. This makes preventing and countering violent extremism exceptionally difficult. It’s an even more intractable task when gender is an afterthought, or worse, gender is used to justify over-simplified, one-size-fits-all approaches.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Gender; Violent Extremism

First Lady Rula Ghani on Afghan Women’s Consensus

First Lady Rula Ghani on Afghan Women’s Consensus

Friday, November 15, 2019

By: USIP Staff

As Afghans, the United States and the international community seek an end to the war in Afghanistan, the country’s first lady, Rula Ghani, says thousands of Afghan women nationwide have expressed a clear consensus on two points. They insist that the war needs to end, and that the peace to follow must continue to build opportunities for women. The single greatest step to advance Afghan women’s cause is education and training to build their professional capacities, Ghani told an audience at USIP.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Gender; Peace Processes

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