International Women’s Day Celebration Afghanistan

Women, Peace, and Security

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A growing body of evidence shows that women offer unique contributions to building and sustaining peace in countries around the world–and those contributions lead to better outcomes not just for women, but for entire societies. Yet despite their contributions and the disproportionate ways in which they are impacted by armed conflict, women are historically underrepresented in decision-making processes related to conflict and crisis.

In many conflict-affected and fragile settings around the world, malign actors deliberately target and attack women and girls, often with impunity, for various forms of violence, including, but not limited to, physical and sexual violence, torture, mutilation, trafficking, and slavery. The best way to ensure decision-making processes address these unique forms of violence is by including those who are most impacted. When women aren’t at the table, we all lose.

Through the passage of the Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017, the United States became the first country in the world with a comprehensive law on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS). The U.S. Government also released the 2019 U.S. Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security, which has strengthened the U.S. priorities of protecting and supporting women in efforts to prevent conflict, promote peace, and countering violent extremism. The Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues is proud to serve as the lead coordinating office for the State Department’s WPS efforts.

These documents guide the State Department’s efforts on these issues and outline the U.S. whole-of-government commitment toward:

  • Supporting women’s preparation and participation in efforts to promote stable and lasting peace;
  • Enhancing women and girls’ safety, protection, and equal access to assistance resources;
  • Improving the institutionalization and capacity of the U.S. Government and partner governments in ensuring our efforts are sustainable and long-lasting.

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U.S. Department of State

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