As Congress argues over the 2020 defense authorization bill, there is one issue that should provide common ground: the benefits of investing in women’s contributions to security. The House has already passed a set of provisions requiring the Defense Department to better draw on women; these should become part of the bill ultimately sent to the White House.
This would be just the latest bipartisan action in the area. In 2017, lawmakers worked across the aisle to pass the Women, Peace and Security Act, the world’s most comprehensive law to support women’s participation in peace and security efforts—and which is further reinforced by policies of both the Donald J. Trump and Barack Obama administrations. All this reflects a growing body of research that shows how the inclusion of women in peace and security processes helps to reduce conflict, prevent terrorism, and advance stability.