My Career: From Bumbling Neophyte to Pioneering Diplomat

Posted by on March 17, 2019
My Career: From Bumbling Neophyte to Pioneering Diplomat

History can be told only in stories. Here are a few of mine. The purpose of sharing these accounts — particularly during Women’s History Month — is to show that women, like men, can grow from bumbling neophytes to competent leaders. For me, that has meant losing my balance and losing my way. Occasionally, I’ve […]

Denying Women a Seat at Taliban Talks is a Huge Mistake

Posted by on February 12, 2019
Denying Women a Seat at Taliban Talks is a Huge Mistake

By Swanee Hunt and Wazhma Frogh After September 11, the United States justified deep engagement in Afghanistan in part due to the Taliban’s harsh repression of women. Now, after sustaining 2,351 deaths and more than 20,000 injuries, and spending north of a trillion dollars, the United States is negotiating peace with the draconian regime it […]

When Only Men Sit at the Negotiating Table, Ceasefires Fall Apart

Posted by on August 27, 2018
When Only Men Sit at the Negotiating Table, Ceasefires Fall Apart

In recent decades, a growing body of research has shown that when women’s groups are able to meaningfully influence peace processes, the resulting agreements are stronger and more likely to last.In recent decades, a growing body of research has shown that when women’s groups are able to meaningfully influence peace processes, the resulting agreements are […]

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Mind The Gender Capability Gap

Posted by on July 9, 2018
Mind The Gender Capability Gap

It’s a strategic blind spot for the Pentagon, but gender and warfare are inextricably intertwined. Let’s train our forces to face that. In 2009, frustrated that several male insurgents had escaped a cordoned area by disguising themselves as Afghan women in burqas, U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Matt Pottinger established the first U.S. Female Engagement Team […]

Three Lessons From the Women Who Rebuilt Tunisia’s Constitution

Posted by on May 10, 2018
Three Lessons From the Women Who Rebuilt Tunisia’s Constitution

Constitution-reform processes provide states and citizens a rare opportunity to define a new vision for a country. They can chart a route out of conflict toward a more equitable and just society. But this bright horizon is too often unrealized, hampered by the fact that women make up only 19 percent of constituent assemblies in countries […]

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Inclusion Riders for War and Peace

Posted by on April 27, 2018
Inclusion Riders for War and Peace

At the 2018 Academy Awards, Oscar winner Frances McDormand explained in two words how movies can be more diverse: inclusion riders. These contractual provisions allow film industry leaders to demand a more representative cast and crew. This approach is one worth considering well outside of Hollywood—including in the context of ending war and building peace. […]

Women, Peace, and Security at the Domestic Level

Posted by on April 26, 2018
Women, Peace, and Security at the Domestic Level

Another chemical weapons attack in Syria, a caravan of Central American migrants fleeing conflict — these stories not only dominate our news, but also reinforce existing American perceptions that conflict happens abroad, not here at home. Thanks to the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Act, which Congress passed in October of last year, the United States is […]

Five Strategies for Increasing Women’s Influence in Constitution Making

Posted by on April 26, 2018
Five Strategies for Increasing Women’s Influence in Constitution Making

By Nanako Tamaru Women’s participation in peace and security processes is vital for lasting peace. This message has been echoed again and again by the international community and expressed through UN Security Council Resolutions, the Sustainable Development Goals, and countless other declarations and strategic plans. Yet, despite this global consensus, women have remained marginalized in […]

The Crucial Role of Women as Peacemakers

Posted by on March 12, 2018
The Crucial Role of Women as Peacemakers

A number of years ago, Ambassador Swanee Hunt was invited to speak at a conference in Kigali, Rwanda. The topic was women building peace in Africa, and women from all over the continent attended. She was invited to speak at the time about her involvement in the women’s movement here in the United States. “I […]

Rising Because They Have To

Posted by on March 8, 2018
Rising Because They Have To

In 1994, Rwanda lost a huge portion of its male population when the ruling Hutu government murdered 500,000 to 1 million of its citizens, including an estimated 77 percent of the Tutsi population. The genocide left an enormous void, widened by the number of Rwandans who had fled or been imprisoned — and women stepped up […]

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