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Shaheen & Capito’s Bipartisan Legislation Passes the Senate that Promotes Women’s Participation in Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding

(Washington, DC)—U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the only woman on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after the Senate passed her bipartisan legislation to 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. The Women, Peace and Security Act, introduced with Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), would further the commitments contained in the United States’ National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security.

“Women and girls are disproportionally affected by violence and armed conflict around the world, yet far too often they are under-represented at the negotiation table,” said Shaheen. “This bipartisan legislation makes ending violence against women and girls a top diplomatic, development, and foreign assistance priority, empowering more women and allowing them to more effectively affect change in our world.  I look forward to working with the House to move this legislation and put women at the forefront of American foreign policy and peacebuilding around the world.”

“Women are effective problem-solvers and mediators, yet they are often excluded from peacekeeping and mediation efforts,” Senator Capito said. “As women continue to assume more leadership roles in international affairs, this legislation will help build on that momentum and promote their inclusion in peace processes.”

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 women’s participation in peace and security efforts for years to come.