Shaheen and Capito: U.S. Must Promote Women's Participation in Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding

**Bipartisan Legislation Introduced Today Would Codify U.S. Commitment to Women's Leadership in Peace and Security Efforts Worldwide**

May 16, 2017

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) today introduced the Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017 to promote the inclusion and participation of women in conflict resolution. The bipartisan legislation would codify in law the commitments contained in the United States’ National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, and ensure the United States promotes women’s meaningful inclusion and participation in mediation and negotiation processes undertaken in order to prevent, mitigate, or resolve violent conflict. 

“Women are disproportionally affected by violence and armed conflict around the world, yet far too often they are under-represented in the peace process,” said Senator Shaheen. “We know that when women are at the table in peace talks, conflict prevention, and conflict mediation, it increases the likelihood that these negotiations will succeed. Our legislation will help ensure that women have a meaningful role in security and peace around the world.”

“Women should be key stakeholders in security and peacekeeping. This is not simply a diplomatic issue, but an issue of national security,” said Senator Capito. “This bill will give our diplomatic and security forces another tool in promoting secure and stable environments for men and women in countries that have been affected by war and conflict.”

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, between 1992 and 2011, women represented fewer than 4 percent of signatories to peace agreements and 9 percent of negotiators.  In 2015, only 3 percent of UN military peacekeepers and 10 percent of UN police personnel were women.

The National Action Plan released in December 2011 expresses the United States’ commitment to empower women as equal partners in preventing conflict and building peace around the globe. The Women, Peace, and Security Act would ensure that the goals and objectives of the National Action Plan are integrated into future foreign policy decisions and that the United States continues to lead in promoting to women’s participation in peace and security efforts for years to come.