Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Liberia)
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf served as president of Liberia from 2006 to 2017 and was the first elected female head of state in Africa. 

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf came to power at the end of the devastating civil war that saw former leader Charles Taylor jailed by an international court for war crimes. She is credited with returning the country to postconflict stability over the last decade, presiding over a period of economic revival and, for the first time in Liberia in seven decades, peacefully transferring power to a new elected leader. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her work to ensure women’s participation in peace-building around the world.

Women and Foreign Policy Program

The Women and Foreign Policy program works to analyze how elevating the status of women and girls advances U.S. foreign policy objectives. The program informs policymakers, opinion leaders, and the general public about issues related to gender equality and U.S. foreign policy through scholarship, roundtable discussions, briefings, and the Women Around the World blog.

How Women’s Participation in Conflict Prevention
How Women’s Participation in Conflict Prevention and Resolution Advances U.S. Interests
Despite growing international recognition of women’s role in security, their representation in peace and security processes has lagged.
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Sexual violence rape war
Countering Sexual Violence in Conflict
Sexual violence in conflict is not simply a gross violation of human rights—it is also a security challenge.
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