ICRW welcomes the announcement that the Women, Peace and Security Act has been signed into law. The bipartisan legislation is the result of years of work by peace advocates, defense experts, researchers, policymakers and women’s rights activists around the world. As members of the U.S. Civil Society Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, ICRW congratulates our community for years of education and advocacy around this critical topic.
The legislation builds upon current policy that was put into place by executive order in 2011 requiring that the United States promote women’s participation in peace processes, prioritize protective mechanisms for women and girls in the midst of conflict, engage women in conflict prevention and peace-building efforts and ensure equal access for women and girls to relief and recovery efforts during post-conflict reconstruction. The Women, Peace and Security Act ensures the United States will always have such a strategy and gives congressional oversight to its implementation.
On the passage of the legislation, ICRW President Sarah Kambou said, “We are particularly grateful to our congressional champions on this issue. The bipartisan teams in both the Senate and the House have ensured that the voices, contributions and needs of women are amplified and prioritized when addressing conflict, bettering our chances at creating a safer, more peaceful world. Not only do women and girls bear the brunt of conflict, but studies show that including women in peace negotiations increases the chances that lasting peace will be achieved.”
The Women, Peace and Security Act was originally introduced in the Senate by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Christopher Coons (D-DE) and was lead in the House by Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), Ranking Member Eliot Engle (D-NY) and Representatives Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).
More background on the Women, Peace and Security Act can be found in this Ms. Magazine blog by ICRW Policy Advocate Teresa Casale.