How Women’s Participation in Conflict Prevention and Resolution Advances U.S. Interests

Authored by: Jamille Bigio and Rachel Vogelstein

Categories: Conflict Prevention, Peace Support Operations
Sub-Categories: Countering Violent Extremism, Democratization and Political Participation, Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR), Early Warning, National Action Plans, Peacekeeping, Peacemaking, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Security Sector Reform (SSR)
Region: No Region
Year: 2016
Citation: Bigio, Jamille and Rachel Vogelstein. How Women's Participation in Conflict Prevention and Resolution Advances U.S. Interests. Washington, DC: Council on Foreign Relations, 2016.

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Executive Summary

Recurrent and emerging armed conflicts, expanded terrorist and extremist networks, increased targeting of civilians, and record levels of mass displacement have defined global security in the twenty-first century. Data shows that standard peacemaking methods have proved ineffective at addressing these trends. A growing body of research suggests that standard peace and security processes routinely overlook a critical strategy that could reduce conflict and advance stability: the inclusion of women. Evidence indicates that women’s participation in conflict prevention and resolution advances security interests. The next U.S. administration should require women’s representation and meaningful participation in conflict resolution and post conflict processes, increase investment in efforts that promote women’s inclusion, reform U.S. diplomatic and security practices to incorporate the experiences of women in conflict-affected countries, improve staffing and coordination to deliver on government commitments, strengthen training on incorporating women in security efforts, and promote accountability. These steps will help the United States respond effectively to security threats around the world, improve the sustainability of peace agreements, and advance U.S. interests.