Amid deadly terrorist attacks and devastating conflicts, Republicans and Democrats just came together to pass a new law that could improve security around the world. Lawmakers realized that existing efforts to reduce conflict often overlook a critical strategy: including women. Recognizing that drawing on the talents and perspectives of women is essential for our nation’s security, they passed the Women, Peace, and Security Act to ensure the United States supports women’s participation in efforts to prevent terrorism and resolve conflict.
“Simply put, when women are at the negotiating table, peace is more likely,” observed House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA). “The benefits of women’s participation—and the risks of their exclusion—in all aspects of governance and peacemaking are too great to ignore.” Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), recognized that despite this, “far too often [women] are under-represented at the negotiation table.”
Where previous generations of lawmakers debated whether women had a place in security forces, the new law is founded on evidence of the unique contributions women bring to peace and security efforts.