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.

USIP is pleased to announce 10 finalists for the 2020 Women Building Peace Award. 

Learn more about the finalists

map with photos of the 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 virtual event in September 2020. 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.

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.

Timeline

  • The award recipient will be announced on September 15, 2020.
  • The 2021 nomination cycle will open in December 2020.

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