(Washington, DC)— Last night, the House of Representatives unanimously passed the Women, Peace and Security Act, Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s (D-NH) bipartisan bill that advocates for women’s engagement and participation in conflict resolution and peace-building around the world. Senator Shaheen, the only woman on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, reintroduced the legislation with Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). The bill passed the Senate in August and will now head to the President’s desk.
“Women are significantly underrepresented in the peace-building and conflict resolution process, yet they are disproportionately impacted by violence and armed conflict,” said Senator Shaheen. “They deserve to be fully represented at the negotiating table. This bipartisan legislation will ensure that U.S. diplomats, military personnel and development workers are trained to promote the inclusion of women in peacemaking processes and that the U.S. continues to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on the role of women in peace and security.”
“Women bring so much to the table when it comes to solving problems and resolving conflicts, and our bipartisan legislation will promote their inclusion in peacekeeping and mediation efforts,” Senator Capito said. “I’m proud to have worked with Senator Shaheen to introduce this important measure in the Senate, and now that the House has passed it, I am hopeful President Trump will sign it into law.”
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 US continues to advocate for women’s inclusion and engagement in the peace-building process to prevent, moderate and resolve violent 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.
Senator Shaheen has been a leading voice in the Senate on women’s global issues. Last month, the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs annual appropriations bill included Senator Shaheen’s amendment to repeal the Global Gag Rule and to allocate federal dollars for international family planning and reproductive health programs. She has also introduced the Keeping Girls in School Act, which would focus attention on the challenges adolescent girls around the world face in accessing a quality education. Additionally, Senator Shaheen met with Malala Yousafzai yesterday afternoon. Malala Yousafzai is a global women’s education activist who was shot by the Taliban in 2012 because of her activism against Taliban law that banned girls from attending school. In 2014, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work, becoming the youngest Nobel Laureate in history.