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Shaheen, Capito Call on Trump Admin to Adhere to Law & Provide Congress with U.S. Strategy to Bolster Women’s Leadership in Peace Negotiations and Conflict Resolution

Shaheen & Capito Wrote the Law Requiring the Admin to Provide Congress with the U.S. Strategy to Ensure Women Have a Seat at the Negotiating Table

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) sent a letter to the Trump administration yesterday, calling for the administration to adhere to Shaheen and Capito’s bipartisan Women, Peace and Security Act, which was signed into law on October 6, 2017. The letter, sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Kristjen Nielsen and U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Mark Green, calls on the administration to adhere to the requirement for a U.S. strategy to bolster women’s leadership in peace negotiations and conflict resolution. The law requires the administration to develop and submit to Congress a “United States Strategy to Promote the Participation of Women in Conflict Prevention and Peace Building” no later than one year after its enactment. More than one month past this deadline, the Senators requested the secretaries of the relevant agencies identified in the law to explain when the final strategy will be submitted to Congress and to clarify reasons for the delay.

The Senators wrote, “There is substantial and growing evidence to support the link between women’s involvement in peace processes and resulting conflict prevention and resolution. Therefore, we were pleased that last year Congress passed and the President signed into law the bipartisan Women, Peace and Security Act. As you know, this law creates a framework for a government-wide policy to promote the participation of women in conflict prevention, management, and resolution.” 

The Women, Peace and Security Act advances the priorities outlined in the United States’ National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, and ensures the U.S. continues to advocate for women’s inclusion and engagement in the peace-building process to prevent, moderate and resolve violent conflict.

In their letter the Senators continued, “The strategy required by the law will create the doctrine that U.S. policy is based upon for the next four years. We anticipate that this plan will include goals for women’s participation across a number of important areas as well as a detailed plans on achieving these goals. We are deeply concerned that the deadline for the report’s submission to Congress has passed without a forthcoming strategy.”

In addition to requesting the administration to explain the delay and when Congress can expect the final strategy, Shaheen and Capito also asked for clarification on the steps that have been taken to implement the requirements of The Women, Peace and Security Act into programs and policies. In the absence of a final strategy, the Senators requested a briefing on the strategy in its current form and the process for its completion. 

The letter can be read in full here. 

Senator Shaheen is a leading voice in the Senate defending global women’s issues. She introduced the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights (HER) Act, which would permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule, in January following President Trump's executive order. She also introduced the Keeping Girls in School Act to help address the unique barriers adolescent girls in developing countries face in accessing an education.