Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2014
The Women, Peace, and Security “WPS” Act (S. 1942 /H.R. 2874) has been re-introduced in the U.S. Congress to promote women's meaningful inclusion and participation in peace and security processes in order to prevent, mitigate, or resolve violent conflict. This bill will enable Congress to exercise oversight over full implementation of the U.S. National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace, and Security that was enacted by executive order in December 2011.
Senate: The bipartisan Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2014 (S. 1942) was introduced in the Senate on January 16, 2014.
House of Representatives: On July 31, 2013, the Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2013 [sic] (H.R. 2874) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“The goal of this National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security is simple as it is profound: to empower half the world’s population as equal partners in preventing conflict and building peace in countries threatened and affected by war, violence and insecurity. Achieving the goal is critical to our national and global security.”
U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security; December 2011
The U.S. National Action Plan (U.S. NAP) on Women, Peace, and Security represents 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. The U.S. NAP includes implementation commitments and outcomes for the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Defense, and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as well as other relevant federal agencies.
The Women, Peace, and Security Act (WPS Act) would...
- Require the Secretary of State to work with counterparts at the Pentagon and USAID to provide Congress with an annual report on women, peace, and security that includes an overview of how U.S. taxpayer dollars are being spent to promote women’s inclusion and participation as directed by the U.S. NAP;
- Institute comprehensive training programs on the value of women’s participation in such areas as conflict prevention for all relevant diplomatic, defense, and development personnel;
- Encourage the United States to assist women mediators and negotiators by eliminating barriers to their equal and secure participation in peace processes and to support partner governments that demonstrate a commitment to recruiting and retaining women in leadership roles;
- Require the head of each relevant agency of the Federal Government to identify common indicators to evaluate the impact of United States foreign assistance on women’s meaningful inclusion and participation and revise approaches to ensure improved outcomes.
Why is the WPS Act a necessity?
The U.S. is currently advocating for an end to active conflicts in places like Syria, Afghanistan, the Central African Republic (CAR), and the Middle East. In recent history, peace agreements have fallen apart at a startling rate, returning societies to war before they’ve wholly recovered from strife. Research and experience increasingly point to one major explanation: the failure to include a broad range of stakeholders, especially women, in peace processes. Robust implementation of the U.S. NAP is a means to ensuring sustainable peace and lasting stability in the aftermath of violent conflict, and preventing violent conflict in unstable areas or those prone to natural disasters. Passing the WPS Act will capacitate Congress to hold the Administration accountable for implementation of the policy and coordinate the funding that has already been employed to resource it.