Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2015
The Women, Peace, and Security “WPS” Act (S. 224) has been reintroduced in the Senate to promote women's meaningful inclusion and participation in peace and security processes in order to prevent, mitigate, or resolve violent conflict.
This bill would codify, ensure robust implementation of and give congressional oversight to the U.S. National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace, and Security, which is a government-wide effort to strengthen the role of women in peace-building and conflict prevention processes; protect women and girls from gender-based violence; and ensure women and girls have equitable access to humanitarian assistance during crises and disasters.
Senate: The bipartisan Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2015 (S. 224) was introduced in the Senate on January 21, 2015.
Why is the WPS Act a Necessity?
The U.S. is currently advocating for an end to active conflicts in places like Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Nigeria. In recent history, peace agreements have fallen apart at a startling rate. Research and experience increasingly point to one major explanation: the failure to include a broad range of stakeholders, especially women, in peace processes.
Women are often the parties most able to bridge political, economic, social and cultural divides to build coalitions and promote peace and reconciliation, and to address the root causes that lead to insecurity. Yet they are most often excluded from the table. Inclusive peace and security processes are the only path to sustainable peace.
The Women, Peace, and Security Act (WPS Act) would...
- Ensure reporting on government implementation efforts by requiring the Secretary of State to work with counterparts at the Department of Defense and USAID to report annually to Congress on how U.S. taxpayer dollars are being spent to actively recruit and retain women in leadership roles and promote women’s inclusion and participation in conflict prevention, resolution, and peacebuilding processes.
- Encourage the U.S. to identify and support women mediators and negotiators by eliminating barriers to their equal and secure participation in peace processes as well as to support partner governments that demonstrate a commitment to recruiting and retaining women in leadership roles;
- Institute comprehensive training modules on the protection, rights, and specific needs of women in conflict; and on the prevention of violence against women and girls for all relevant diplomatic, defense, and development personnel.
- Require U.S. government agencies to monitor and evaluate the impact of U.S. foreign assistance on women’s meaningful inclusion and participation and revise approaches to ensure improved outcomes.