UNITED STATES STRATEGY ON WOMEN, PEACE, AND SECURITY - JUNE 2019

 
UNITED STATES
    STRATEGY
ON WOMEN, PEACE,
  AND SECURITY
      JUNE 2019
Table of Contents

Introduction....................................................................................2

The Strategic Challenge....................................................................4

The Theory of Change: A National Strategy on Women,
Peace and Security........................................................................... 5
        Line of Effort 1................................................................................................................................... 6
        Line of Effort 2................................................................................................................................... 8
        Line of Effort 3................................................................................................................................. 10
        Line of Effort 4................................................................................................................................. 12

Metrics and Targets........................................................................15

Resourcing and Reporting...............................................................16
UNITED STATES STR ATEGY ON WOMEN, PEACE, AND SECURIT Y

                                           Introduction

The United States is unapologetic in championing the principles upon which our
country was founded: individual liberty, free enterprise, equal justice under the
law, and the dignity of every human life. The President’s National Security Strategy
(NSS) highlighted that these principles form the foundation of our most enduring
alliances, since governments that respect citizens’ rights “remain the best vehicle
for prosperity, human happiness, and peace.” Further, the NSS also noted that
“governments that fail to treat women equally do not allow their societies to
reach their potential [while] societies that empower women to participate fully in
civic and economic life are more prosperous and peaceful.”

The Trump Administration is committed to                           violent extremism, and building post conflict
advancing women’s equality, seeking to protect                     peace and stability. The WPS Strategy seeks
the rights of women and girls, and promoting                       to increase women’s meaningful leadership in
women and youth empowerment programs. The                          political and civic life by helping to ensure they
United States Strategy on Women, Peace, and                        are empowered to lead and contribute, equipped
Security (WPS Strategy) responds to the Women,                     with the necessary skills and support to succeed,
Peace, and Security Act of 2017, which President                   and supported to participate through access to
Donald J. Trump signed into law on October 6,                      opportunities and resources.
2017.1 This is the first legislation of its kind globally,
which makes the United States the first country in                 Key departments and agencies that will
the world with a comprehensive law on WPS, and                     implement the WPS Strategy include, but
de facto, the first with a whole-of-government                     are not limited to, the Departments of State,
strategy that responds to such a domestic law.                     Defense (DOD), and Homeland Security (DHS);
The WPS Strategy recognizes the diverse roles                      and the United States Agency for International
women play as agents of change in preventing                       Development (USAID). This Administration will
and resolving conflict, countering terrorism and                   capitalize on the opportunity to link our new,

1
 The WPS Strategy responds to the Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017 (Public Law 115-68-Oct. 6, 2017), which requires,
within 1 year of the enactment of the Act, and again 4 years thereafter, the submission of a strategy to the appropriate Congres-
sional Committees and its publication. The WPS Strategy supersedes the 2016 U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and
Security; complements relevant laws, appropriations, and Executive Orders, including the State and Foreign Operations Acts
and the National Defense Authorization Act; and satisfies Executive Order 13595.

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UNITED STATES STR ATEGY ON WOMEN, PEACE, AND SECURIT Y

strategic approach to women, peace, and security         Protection Act (TVPA); and National Security
to the NSS and other national strategic guidance         Presidential Memorandum (NSPM) 16: Promoting
on matters of peace and security, including the          Women’s Global Development and Prosperity,
2018 National Strategy for Counterterrorism;             which the President signed in February 2019,
the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS); State,         establishing the Women’s Global Development
DOD, and USAID 2018 Stabilization Assistance             and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative. In line with
Review; the 2018 Strategy to Support Women and           the NSS, the W-GDP Initiative seeks to empower
Girls at Risk from Violent Extremism and Conflict;       women economically around the world, and in so
efforts to counter trafficking consistent with the       doing, create conditions for increased stability,
NSS, including pursuant to the Trafficking Victims       security, and prosperity for all.

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UNITED STATES STR ATEGY ON WOMEN, PEACE, AND SECURIT Y

                         The Strategic Challenge

A
        round the world, conflict and disasters                      between women’s empowerment and global
        adversely and disproportionately affect                      peace and security. Social and political margin-
        women and girls, yet women remain                            alization of women strongly correlates with the
under-represented in efforts to prevent and                          likelihood that a country will experience conflict.
resolve conflict, and in post-conflict peace-                        One metric indicates that 14 of the 17 lowest-
building or recovery efforts. Research has shown                     scoring countries in the Index for Gender Discrim-
that peace negotiations are more likely to succeed,                  ination of the Organization for Economic Co-Op-
and result in lasting stability, when women partic-                  eration and Development have experienced
ipate.2 The barriers to women’s meaningful partic-                   armed conflict in the last two decades. Global
ipation are numerous, and include under-rep-                         insecurity also affects the national security of
resentation in political leadership, pervasive                       the United States, as regions of conflict often
violence against women and girls, and persistent                     provide safe haven for terrorists and other
inequality in many societies.                                        illicit actors; become proxies for broader wars
                                                                     between nation-states; and lead to massive
Despite advancements in women’s social,                              population displacement, migration, and further
political, and economic rights, women still                          regional instability.
enjoy fewer freedoms and opportunities than
men worldwide. Instability and conflict magnify                      This Strategy promotes the meaningful inclusion
these challenges in places where malign actors                       of women in processes to prevent, mediate,
frequently exploit individual, community, and                        resolve, and recover from deadly conflict or
societal vulnerabilities for their own gain. In these                disaster. While the United States maintains
instances, women and girls are often targeted                        a deep commitment to promoting women’s
for various forms of violence, exploitation, and                     equality, we recognize that fully achieving that
abuse. Oftentimes, their physical vulnerability                      goal globally has proven elusive. Much remains to
can be directly traced back to their politically and                 be done, both to enhance the equality of women
socially disadvantaged place in society. 3                           and girls, and to secure the meaningful inclusion
                                                                     of women in preventing and resolving conflict,
The United States recognizes the linkage                             and in post-conflict peace building and recovery.

2
  Valerie Hudson, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Mary Caprioli, and Chad F. Emmett, Sex and World Peace (New York: Columbia
University Press, 2012).
3
  Report of the United Nations Secretary-General on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, March 23, 2018, S/2018/250, Section 11, p. 4

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UNITED STATES STR ATEGY ON WOMEN, PEACE, AND SECURIT Y

                  The Theory of Change:
              A National Strategy on Women,
                    Peace and Security

T
       he WPS Strategy acknowledges a                                preventing, mediating, and resolving conflict
       tremendous amount of untapped potential                       and countering terrorism, in ways that
       among the world’s women and girls to                          promote stable and lasting peace, including in
identify, recommend, and implement effective                         conflict-affected areas.
solutions to conflict. At its core, the WPS Strategy
recognizes the benefits derived from creating                        To work toward this end state, the WPS Strategy
opportunities for women and girls to serve as                        identifies three separate, yet interrelated, strategic
agents of peace via political, economic, and social                  objectives that must be achieved. These strategic
empowerment. The WPS Strategy therefore aims                         objectives aim to make demonstrable progress
to make meaningful progress around the world                         (defined below) by 2023:
to empower women in preventing conflict and
building peace, while endeavoring to rectify the                     ■■   Women are more prepared and increasingly
disproportionate, adverse impacts of armed                                able to participate in efforts that promote
conflict on women and girls.4 The United States                           stable and lasting peace;
embraces these concepts and recognizes the
powerful role that women can play as peace-                          ■■   Women and girls are safer, better protected,
makers and political agents in societies that are                         and have equal access to government and
transitioning out of conflict and toward peace. It is                     private assistance programs, including from
therefore crucial that ongoing United States efforts                      the United States, international partners, and
to engage in preventing and mitigating conflict                           host nations; and
around the world strategically factor in the partic-
ipation, perspectives, and interests of women,                       ■■   United States and partner governments have
including those from under-represented groups.                            improved institutionalization and capacity
                                                                          to ensure WPS efforts are sustainable and
This Strategy defines women’s political empow-                            long-lasting.
erment and equality as the end state whereby
women can meaningfully participate in                                The WPS Strategy also identifies four lines

4
    Security Council Resolution 1325, October 31, 2000, S/RES/1325

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UNITED STATES STR ATEGY ON WOMEN, PEACE, AND SECURIT Y

of effort, which are the separate-yet-interre-            investments and ensure accountability. When
lated ways to synchronize and prioritize United           and where the United States does choose to
States actions to achieve the strategic objec-            engage, the WPS Strategy will help inform how
tives. Importantly, actions (tasks) completed             the United States approaches and prioritizes
within each of the lines of effort will focus on          its involvement, including in coordination with
improving women’s empowerment and equality                like-minded partners, to secure more effective
in one or more of the conflict phases: preventing         and lasting gains.
conflict and preparing for disasters; managing,
mitigating, and resolving conflict and crisis;
and post-conflict and post-crisis efforts in relief       Line of Effort 1:
and recovery.
                                                          Support the preparation and meaningful
LINE OF EFFORT 1: Seek and support the prepa-             participation of women around the
ration and meaningful participation of women              world in informal and formal decision-
around the world in decision-making processes             making processes related to conflict
related to conflict and crises;                           and crisis.

LINE OF EFFORT 2: Promote the protection of               The Goal
women and girls’ human rights; access to human-
itarian assistance; and safety from violence,             Increase women’s meaningful participation in
abuse, and exploitation around the world;                 political, civic, and military processes to prevent
                                                          and resolve conflicts, prepare for disasters, and
LINE OF EFFORT 3: Adjust United States interna-           set conditions for stability during post conflict
tional programs to improve outcomes in equality           and post-crisis efforts.
for, and the empowerment of, women; and
                                                          The Problem
LINE OF EFFORT 4: Encourage partner govern-
ments to adopt policies, plans, and capacity to           In spite of the growing evidence of a direct
improve the meaningful participation of women             correlation between the equality and empow-
in processes connected to peace and security              erment of women and a nation’s stability,
and decision-making institutions.                         women remain critically under-represented in
                                                          conflict prevention, conflict-resolution, and
Further, we acknowledge that we will likely not           post-conflict peace building efforts. The voices
be able to advance WPS principles in every corner         and concerns of women affected by violence
of the globe. As with all matters of national             during conflict — those who will carry much
security, the United States will continue to              of the burden for healing and rebuilding their
engage selectively, and in ways that advance              communities in peacetime — are routinely absent
America’s national interests. The United States           from, or overlooked at, the negotiating table.
Government will also serve as responsible                 Despite numerous examples of women who
stewards of taxpayer dollars, seeking to optimize         have provided leadership to prevent and resolve

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UNITED STATES STR ATEGY ON WOMEN, PEACE, AND SECURIT Y

conflict at local, national, and regional levels,                  The WPS Strategy Approach
persistent inequality and marginalization often
prevents women from realizing their full potential                 Departments and agencies will tailor their
and influence as negotiators, mediators, and                       engagements and programs in ways that help
decision makers. The United Nations (UN)                           women around the world be more prepared
reports that between 1992 and 2011, women                          for, and able to participate in, decision-making
made up just 2 percent of mediators, 4 percent                     processes related to conflict and crisis.
of witnesses and signatories, and 9 percent of
negotiators in formal post-conflict peace talks.5                  Illustrative activities in support of the above goal
                                                                   could include (and noting primarily in which conflict
The first step in advancing WPS principles                         or crisis phase(s) the activities would be focused):
requires that we empower women and girls with
the tools and capabilities they need to engage                     ALL PHASES:
meaningfully in conflict and crisis situations,
whether before, during, or after these events, and                 ■■   Encourage the increased, meaningful partici-
then encourage their meaningful participation                           pation of women in security-sector initiatives
in efforts to promote stable and lasting peace.                         funded by the United States Government,
Increasing women’s capacity to participate                              including programs that provide training to
meaningfully in peace and political processes                           foreign nationals regarding law enforcement,
provides them with the distinct advantage to be                         the rule of law, and professional military
prepared to contribute to a range of formal and                         education. United States courses that histor-
informal peace proce sses, dialogues, and negoti-                       ically attract only male international students
ations that determine the fates of their families                       from certain countries or regions should
and communities.                                                        consider ways to incentivize the inclusion of
                                                                        female students as well.
The factors that preclude women’s meaningful
participation vary from one country to the next.                   ■■   Integrate women’s perspectives and interests
Legal, structural, and other barriers also often                        into conflict prevention, conflict-resolution,
interact with deeply entrenched social norms                            and post conflict peace-building activities and
to undermine women’s influence and represen-                            strategies, including women from under-rep-
tation. For the United States to be successful                          resented groups, via consultation with local
in its efforts, it is critical that we understand                       women leaders in the design, implementation,
local barriers before setting out a program to                          and evaluation of United States initiatives;
overcome them. The design of efforts must go
hand-in-hand with research, and implementers                       ■■   Encourage the inclusion of women leaders
must seek the continuous input of the women                             and women’s organizations in the prevention
they are trying to serve.                                               and resolution of conflict, and in post-conflict

5
    UN Women, “Women’s Participation in Peace Negotiations: Connections between Presence and Influence,” (October 2012) p. 3.

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UNITED STATES STR ATEGY ON WOMEN, PEACE, AND SECURIT Y

     peace-building efforts. Where appropriate,                      Line of Effort 2:
     United States diplomatic, military, and devel-
     opment interventions will lead by example                       Promote the protection of women and
     through inclusion of American women in such                     girls’ human rights, access to aid,
     efforts, and will engage local women leaders                    and safety from violence, abuse, and
     as vital partners, including through support                    exploitation around the world.
     that advances their meaningful political
     participation and empowerment, capacity,                        The Goal
     credibility, and professional development; and
                                                                     Women and girls’ security, human rights, and
■■   Use relevant analysis and indicators, including                 needs are protected – by their governments,
     the collection of sex-disaggregated data, to                    augmented as appropriate with regional or other
     identify and address barriers to women’s                        security sector forces – so they can meaningfully
     meaningful participation in the prevention                      contribute locally, nationally, and globally.
     and resolution of conflict, and in post-con-
     flict peace-building efforts and programs,                      The Problem
     including early warning systems related to
     conflict and violence.                                          Women and girls bear unique, and sometimes
                                                                     disproportionate, impacts of armed conflict.6
PREVENTING CONFLICT AND PREPARING                                    In many conflict-affected and fragile settings
FOR       DISASTERS:Provide, as appropriate,                         around the world, malign actors deliberately
technical assistance and training to female                          target and attack women and girls, often
negotiators, mediators, peace-builders, and                          with impunity, for various forms of violence,
stakeholders.                                                        including, but not limited to, physical and sexual
                                                                     violence, torture, mutilation, trafficking, and
MANAGING, MITIGATING, AND RESOLVING                                  slavery. While women and girls sometimes
CONFLICT AND CRISIS: Provide, as appro-                              voluntarily join terrorist organizations, some
priate, logistical support to female negotiators,                    may be coerced or manipulated into becoming
mediators, peace-builders, and stakeholders,                         terrorists or foreign terrorist fighters themselves.
particularly during democratic transitions, which                    Post-conflict, women and girls continue to
is critical to sustaining democratic institutions,                   experience high levels of violence and insecurity.
creating more inclusive democratic societies, and                    Most survivors never receive justice, and,
contributing to long-term stability.                                 instead, face considerable challenges in gaining
                                                                     access to the medical, psychosocial, legal, and
POST-CONFLICT AND POST-CRISIS RELIEF                                 economic support that is necessary to help them
AND RECOVERY: Support, as appropriate, local                         heal, recover, and rebuild their lives. These
women’s peace-building organizations.                                patterns have been shown to have devastating

6
    Security Council Resolution 2106, S/RES/2106, 24 June 2016

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UNITED STATES STR ATEGY ON WOMEN, PEACE, AND SECURIT Y

effects on societies, and lead to continued cycles                 slavery, and recruiting women to become
of insecurity and instability.7                                    terrorists themselves have become a hallmark
                                                                   of terrorist groups, trapping thousands of
Breakdowns in the rule of law and forced                           women and girls in cycles of repression and
displacement from conflict and disaster expose                     violence. Ongoing efforts to address the adverse
refugees and internally displaced persons, partic-                 impact of terrorism and violent extremism are
ularly women and girls, to additional risks of                     therefore more effective and sustainable when
violence and exploitation. Women cannot fully                      we empower women and girls to be active partic-
participate in the prevention or resolution of                     ipants and leaders in preventing and responding
conflict or participate in recovery efforts if they                to terrorism and political violence.
themselves are victims of violence or intimi-
dation, and pervasive violence against women                       The WPS Strategy Approach
and girls undermines the recovery of entire
communities and countries affected by violence                     Departments and agencies will support
or disaster.                                                       countries’ local and regional efforts to seek to
                                                                   ensure women and girls are protected from
In situations of conflict and crisis, during which                 all forms of violence, and benefit equally from
populations rely on humanitarian assistance and                    governmental and non-governmental assistance
other aid to meet their basic needs and begin the                  and development programs.
challenging process of recovery, the United States
Government must design our efforts to address                      Illustrative activities in support of the above goal
the distinct needs of women and girls, including                   could include the following:
women’s economic security, safety and dignity.
Women cannot participate in the prevention or                      ALL PHASES: Address security-related barriers
resolution of conflict or recovery from disaster if                to the protection of women. This includes the
they cannot meet their basic needs or provide for                  following:
their children.
                                                                   ■■   Identify and reduce obstacles or barriers not
Data also indicates that the consequences                               codified in formal rules or regulations but that
of terrorism and terrorism-related violence                             nonetheless reflect sex-based discrimination,
in conflict uniquely affect women and girls.                            sex-based bias, or lack of recognition for
Women are often the first targets of terrorism                          women’s rights;
and violent extremist ideologies, which restrict
their rights and can lead to increases in violence                 ■■   Address the use of violence, intimidation, or
against them. Terrorists often advocate for,                            harassment to prevent women from partici-
and carry out, the enslavement of women and                             pating in decision-making or related political,
girls. Tactics such as human trafficking, sexual                        diplomatic or military processes;

7
  According to the UN Secretary General’s 2018 Report on Conflict-related Sexual Violence, the accumulation of unresolved
crimes fuels new cycles of violence, vengeance and vigilantism, which are inimical to reconciliation. Report of the Secre-
tary-General on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, Sec. 20 p. 7, S/2018/250 (March 23, 2018).

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UNITED STATES STR ATEGY ON WOMEN, PEACE, AND SECURIT Y

■■   Champion efforts to prevent and respond                       recruitment. This includes promoting voices
     to sexual abuse and exploitation by peace-                    of pluralism and tolerance, undermining the
     keepers and relief workers; and                               power of terrorist ideologies; undercutting
                                                                   terrorist recruiting; and raising awareness of
■■   Encourage countries’ local law-enforcement                    radicalization and recruitment dynamics via
     and judicial systems to appropriately address                 outreach, training, and international exchanges.
     gender-based violence against women and
     girls, especially as part of transitional justice        POST-CONFLICT AND POST-CRISIS RELIEF
     processes and initiatives.                               AND RECOVERY:

PREVENTING CONFLICT AND PREPARING                             ■■   Design United States diplomatic, military, and
FOR DISASTERS:                                                     development interventions in conflict- and
                                                                   disaster-affected areas to maximize protection
■■   In coordination with broader United States                    for women and girls, and seek to ensure
     efforts to provide humanitarian assistance                    women and girls receive equal access to
     and disaster relief, ensure women and girls                   justice, humanitarian assistance, appropriate
     have safe and equal access to humanitarian                    medical care, and psycho-social support for
     assistance, including food, shelter, and                      survivors of violence, exploitation, and abuse,
     heath security targeted at saving lives. This                 including for their children; and
     includes efforts to increase access to humani-
     tarian assistance in line with the Unites States         ■■   Design humanitarian-assistance programs to
     Government’s interpretation of the laws of                    reduce risks faced by women and girls in crisis
     armed conflict and International Human                        and conflict, and to meet the specific needs of
     Rights Law;                                                   women and girls who have experienced or are
                                                                   at risk of violence, exploitation, and abuse.
■■   Support solutions to prevent and respond
     to violence against women and girls. This
     includes collecting and analyzing sex-dis-               Line of Effort 3:
     aggregated data for the purpose of devel-
     oping and enhancing early warning systems                Adjust United States international pro-
     of conflict and violence; supporting multi-              grams to improve outcomes in equality
     lateral efforts, including at the UN, to address         for, and the empowerment of, women.
     violence in conflict, including sexual violence,
     human trafficking, and slavery; and integrating          The Goal
     efforts to combat drivers of violence against
     women and girls into conflict and efforts to             The United States maintains its role as a leader
     prevent atrocities; and                                  on the world stage in promoting the meaningful
                                                              participation of women in preventing, managing,
■■   Empower women as partners in preventing                  and resolving conflict, and efforts in post-conflict
     terrorism and countering radicalization and              relief and recovery.

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UNITED STATES STR ATEGY ON WOMEN, PEACE, AND SECURIT Y

The Problem                                                         opment personnel to advance the goals of this
                                                                    strategy through an ongoing process of training,
The United States has long proven its commitment                    education, and professional development in
to address injustice against women and girls in                     partnership with specialists who can provide
conflict areas, alongside our broader commitment                    insight and understanding to this challenging field.
to help those in need and those trying to build a
better future for their families. Through engage-                   Illustrative activities in support of the above goal
ments with partners and at multilateral organiza-                   could include the following:
tions such as the United Nations, the United States
has won recognition from friends and competitors                    ALL PHASES:
alike as a champion of women’s empowerment
across the phases of conflict and crisis resolution.                ■■   Train United States diplomatic, military, and
                                                                         development personnel, as appropriate,
As noted in the NSS, the competitions, rivalries,                        on the needs and perspectives of women in
and challenges that face the United States are                           preventing, mediating, and resolving conflict,
real and ongoing. As the United States responds                          including women from under-represented
to growing political, economic, and military                             groups; on protecting civilians from violence,
competitions around the world, we must also                              exploitation, and trafficking in persons; and,
ensure we mitigate conflict at its source –                              in accordance with the United States Govern-
including the role that systemic inequality faced                        ment’s understanding, on International
by women and girls serves as a known driver of                           Humanitarian Law and International Human
conflict.8 Just as the United States Government is                       Rights Law;
modernizing and integrating our tools to counter
terrorism and protect the homeland, we will also                    ■■   Support research into, and the evaluation
update our policies, training, and approaches                            of, effective strategies and the development
to emphasize the relationship between women                              and sharing of best practices for ensuring the
and security, helping ensure our WPS efforts are                         meaningful participation by women, to include
sustainable and long-lasting. This will include                          exchanges with international partners;
giving consideration to the unique security
requirements of both females and males, while                       ■■   Expand and apply gender analysis, as appro-
finding opportunities to promote the equal rights                        priate, to improve the design and targeting of
and opportunities of women and girls.                                    United States Government programs;9

The WPS Strategy Approach                                           ■■   Conduct assessments of new initiatives,
                                                                         including perspectives from affected women,
The United States Government must equip and                              including women from under-represented
empower its diplomatic, military, and devel-                             groups;

8
  See Mary Caprioli, “Primed for Violence: The Role of Gender Inequality in Predicting Internal Conflict,” International Studies
Quarterly 49, No. 2 (2005): 161–178.
9
  The WPS Strategy incorporates the definition of “gender analysis” outlined in the Women’s Economic Empowerment and
Entrepreneurship Act, namely, to undertake analysis of “quantitative and qualitative information to identify, understand, and
explain gaps between men and women.”
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UNITED STATES STR ATEGY ON WOMEN, PEACE, AND SECURIT Y

■■   Develop public-private partnerships; leverage                 The Problem
     non-Federal entities such as non-govern-
     mental organizations, faith based organiza-                   Around the world, a wide range of factors prevent
     tions, and businesses; and foster relationships               women from participating meaningfully in efforts
     between non-Federal partners and partner                      that promote stable and lasting peace. Some
     governments to increase burden-sharing and                    of these factors stem from biases based on
     ensure the sustainability of programs;                        normative perceptions about the roles of women
                                                                   and men. However, others are consequences
■■   Target assistance strategically, by identifying               of legal, regulatory, and structural barriers
     a limited set of cases in which United States                 designed to prevent women from having a formal
     Government WPS programs have a signif-                        say in how issues related to peace and security
     icant opportunity for measurable impact and                   are brokered in their societies. These barriers
     avoiding duplication, reduced impact, and                     are often supported by imbalanced or corrupt
     wasted resources; and                                         systems of power and influence that neglect and
                                                                   exploit women at the cost of effective governance
■■   Demonstrate and quantify the tangible                         and lasting peace.
     outcomes and impact of its assistance under
     the WPS.                                                      Research indicates that when women are involved
                                                                   in peace negotiations, they are more likely to
                                                                   raise social issues that help societies reconcile
Line of Effort 4:                                                  and recover. Furthermore, studies suggest that
                                                                   when women meaningfully participate in peace
Encourage partner governments to adopt                             negotiations, the likelihood that the resulting
policies, plans, and capacity to improve                           peace plan will last more than 2 years increases
the meaningful participation of women in                           by 20 percent, and the likelihood that it will last
processes connected to peace and security                          more than 15 years increases by 35 percent.10
and decision-making institutions.                                  Considering that more than half of all peace
                                                                   agreements fail within 5 years, the inclusion of
The Goal                                                           women in conflict resolution arguably saves lives
                                                                   and limits the devastating economic costs of war.
Partner governments are reforming policies,
programs, and plans to increase women’s                            Experience further indicates that when women
meaningful participation in processes connected                    participate in security sector roles, they achieve
to peace and security and decision-making insti-                   substantive and lasting gains in peace and
tutions.                                                           security. For example, female peacekeepers are
                                                                   more likely to gain admission to geographic and

10
  Laurel Stone, “Annex II: Quantitative Analysis of Women’s participation in Peace Processes,” Reimagining Peacemaking:
Women’s Roles in Peace Processes (New York: International Peace Institute, 2015) (study of 156 peace agreements, controlling
for other variables).

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UNITED STATES STR ATEGY ON WOMEN, PEACE, AND SECURIT Y

population sectors traditionally closed to their                        women. This includes encouraging partner
male counterparts, which gives them unique                              governments to revise formal laws, rules,
access to information about the local security                          and regulations that disadvantage women
environment and potential risks. Women peace-                           as equal participants in all phases of conflict
keepers are also more likely to enjoy the trust                         and crisis resolution; support the effective
and confidence from the communities they                                implementation of laws, rules, and regulations
serve, and more likely to empower women to join                         that promote women as equal participants
security sector ranks, including the military and                       in all phases of resolving and responding to
law enforcement.11                                                      conflict and crisis; and adopt plans to improve
                                                                        the meaningful participation of women in
The WPS Strategy offers a foundation for                                processes connected to peace and security
long-lasting change. However, sustainability will                       and decision-making institutions;
require the support of the global community,
including non governmental entities, such as                       ■■   Assist partner governments to increase the
civil society and faith-based organizations, and                        opportunity for women to serve in security
private businesses, which have a long-term                              sector forces, including peacekeeping,
presence in country and often play a role in                            military, and law enforcement organizations.
helping to rebuild post-conflict and fragile states.                    This includes developing women’s technical
                                                                        and professional competencies so they can
The WPS Strategy Approach                                               better compete for security sector roles, and
                                                                        seeking to cultivate and promote qualified
Departments and agencies will aim to reduce                             women in peace operations, peacekeeping
barriers and enhance protections in partner                             missions, and national administrations,
countries’ policies, laws, regulations and                              including at senior leadership levels across all
practices that impede women’s ability to                                relevant areas, including political, diplomatic,
engage or participate in preventing conflict and                        development and military sectors, on par with
preparing for disasters; managing, mitigating,                          their male counterparts. This also includes
and resolving conflict and crisis; and post-con-                        encouraging partner governments to foster
flict and post-crisis relief and recovery.                              professional growth for women as security
                                                                        sector professionals via career counseling,
Illustrative activities in support of the above goal                    networking, targeted recruitment, and
could include the following:                                            mentoring programs;

ALL PHASES:                                                        ■■   Support, and coordinate with, other countries
                                                                        in their efforts to improve the meaningful
■■   Address host-nation barriers that discrim-                         participation of women in processes
     inate against the meaningful participation of                      connected to peace and security, conflict-pre-

11
  UN Women Policy Brief, Exploratory Options On Using Financial Incentives to Increase the Percentage of Military Women in UN
Peackeeping Missions (UN Women, 2015), http://wps.unwomen.org/resources/briefs/financial.pdf .

                                                              13
UNITED STATES STR ATEGY ON WOMEN, PEACE, AND SECURIT Y

     vention, peace-building, transitional justice,         boys as partners in support of the meaningful
     and decision-making institutions;                      participation of women in society.

■■   Confer with host governments and non-gov-              MANAGING, MITIGATING, AND RESOLVING
     ernmental organizations to reduce barriers             CONFLICT AND CRISIS: Encourage the devel-
     to and enhance the meaningful participation            opment of transitional justice and accountability
     of women in economic, political, and security          mechanisms that are inclusive of the experiences
     spheres, including the engagement of men and           and perspectives of women and girls, including
     boys in support of women’s equality; and               women from under-represented groups. Work
                                                            with willing partners to strengthen their national
■■   Promote the American values of individual              frameworks for justice and accountability with
     liberty, religious freedom, and equal treatment        the goal of ending impunity for all types of crimes
     under the law in our engagement with other             and atrocities, including gender-based violence
     nations to implement the WPS Strategy.                 in conflict. This includes supporting survivors
                                                            of violence by providing access to healing and
PREVENTING CONFLICT AND PREPARING                           recovery programs, combating norms that
FOR DISASTERS:        Support partner countries’            exacerbate violence in conflict, and seeking timely
training, education, and mobilization of men and            justice and accountability for crimes committed.

                                                       14
UNITED STATES STR ATEGY ON WOMEN, PEACE, AND SECURIT Y

                        Metrics and Targets

T
       o track progress toward women’s ability          The WPS Strategy understands “meaningful” as
       to participate meaningfully in and               having a measurable, enduring impact on one or
       contribute to preventing, mediating, and         all of the identified strategic objectives, and in
resolving conflict and countering terrorism, the        one or all phases of conflict or crisis prevention
Administration will commit to rigorously track          and resolution. “Meaningful” participation is not
and report on metrics across the interagency            defined by a set proportion of women’s partic-
on an annual basis, and will seek meaningful            ipation in every context. Instead, we will take
change in all three strategic objectives by             relevant circumstantial factors into account, and,
2023. This will include reporting on training           where necessary, apply lessons learned from the
requirements for applicable United States               past, analytic rigor, and evidence-based research
Government personnel, as well as a summary              to inform targeted and effective policies and
and evaluation of this strategy’s implemen-             programming going forward. We will develop
tation by departments and agencies; applicable          context-specific markers by which to measure
interagency coordination completed; and the             progress on our efforts.
monitoring and evaluation tools, mechanisms,
and common indicators to assess progress                To fulfill our responsibility to be good stewards
made within this strategy’s lines of efforts and        of national resources, programs carried out
to achieve the strategic objectives by 2023.            in furtherance of the WPS Strategy must
Departments and agencies will coordinate this           measurably accomplish their goals. Departments
reporting with the reporting requirements of            and agencies must modify or reassess programs
NSPM 16: Promoting Women’s Global Devel-                that fail to do so, and must harness learning to
opment and Prosperity, to ensure data tracking          inform future planning and implementation. To
for the two efforts is complementary and                ensure accountability, departments and agencies
non-duplicative. To the extent common metrics           will provide measurable goals, benchmarks, and
are reported and counted towards both efforts,          timetables for their proposed WPS initiatives as
departments and agencies will clearly indicate          part of their implementation plans, in addition to
where that is the case.                                 estimating resource requirements.

                                                   15
UNITED STATES STR ATEGY ON WOMEN, PEACE, AND SECURIT Y

                  Resourcing and Reporting

N
        o later than 90 days after this Strategy goes         4)   Corresponding timelines and milestones,
        into effect, departments and agencies will                 with clear benchmarks and deliverables for
        nominate criteria to the Assistant to the                  each necessary action; and
President for National Security Affairs (APNSA)
for inclusion in a United States Government-wide              5)   Approved measures of effectiveness and
WPS framework for monitoring and evaluating                        associated methods of assessment that, at
programs. Nominated criteria must include                          minimum, measure involvement both pre-
proposed measures of effectiveness in furthering                   and post intervention, to ensure the policies
each of the Strategy’s articulated goals. After the                and initiatives are effective at achieving
approval of the WPS monitoring-and-evaluation                      strategic goals.
framework, relevant departments and agencies
will use it to assess and report on progress and              Not later than 1 year after submission of this
results under the WPS Strategy.                               strategy, the Secretary of State, in conjunction
                                                              with the Secretary of Defense and the Admin-
Within 120 days of the approval of this WPS                   istrator of USAID, shall brief the appropriate
Strategy, State, DOD, DHS, and USAID shall each               Congressional Committees on existing, enhanced,
develop, in coordination with the APNSA and                   or newly established training for relevant United
Office of Management and Budget, and provide                  States personnel on the participation of women
to the Congress a detailed, consolidated imple-               in conflict-prevention and peace building.
mentation plan that provides the following infor-
mation with respect to their WPS Strategy imple-              Not later than 2 years after submission of this
mentation plan:                                               strategy, the Secretary of State, in conjunction
                                                              with the Secretary of Defense and the Adminis-
1)   The anticipated technical, financial, and in-kind        trator of USAID shall submit to the APNSA, and be
     contribution of each department or agency;               prepared to brief the appropriate Congressional
                                                              Committees on, a report that summarizes and
2)   Roles and responsibilities         across    the         evaluates departments’ and agencies’ implemen-
     department or agency;                                    tation plans; describes the nature and extent of
                                                              interagency coordination on implementation;
3)   Processes required to support the WPS                    outlines the monitoring and evaluation on policy
     Strategy, such as new policy or doctrine, or             objectives; and describes existing, enhanced, or
     capabilities assessments;                                newly established training. n

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