“Policy Placement” and Iraq: Women in Combat

   •    April 21, 2008

This article was originally published by Huffington Post.

Although the importance of women in national security is impossible to quantify, anecdotes like Team Lioness suggest that perhaps women bring an additional perspective to a situation — one that sees the extra value in social networks and relationships, one that empathizes with the human need to feel safe when the world is random and chaotic. To learn to see the world as linked rather than ranked is probably the most helpful skill we can learn as we move away from the past 50 years of Cold War strategy.

Just in time for this discussion, the Initiative for Inclusive Security last week released the research results from 3 years of study about women’s leadership in Rwanda in its post-genocide era. Rwanda is first in the world in numbers of women elected to the legislature (the USA is 71, Iraq is 33, Afghanistan 27). Rebuilding the country after a violent catastrophe has been the task—and the results so far are promising when held up next to the shifts needed for security strategies that rely on pro-action and persuasion rather than re-action and coercion.

Read the full article.

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