Ivanka Trump went to Congress earlier this month to launch a new White House strategy supporting a proven but overlooked approach to ending wars: the participation of women. The Donald J. Trump administration’s embrace of this approach underscores its broad bipartisan support: the strategy follows Congress’s 2017 passage of the most comprehensive law in the world in support of women’s contributions to security and reinforces U.S. commitments first instituted by the Barack Obama administration in 2011.
I saw the potential for this policy while serving at the White House and the U.S. Departments of State and of Defense, where I helped draft and implement the first-ever U.S. strategy for promoting women’s contributions to peace. But previous administrations and the now nearly eighty nations with similar promises have struggled to make the inclusion of women standard practice in security efforts. Is the Trump administration’s new strategy a sign that the United States will finally make its own security work more effective by including women? Only time will tell: the real assessment will occur in conflicts around the world, from Afghanistan to Colombia to Yemen.
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