Case Studies of Current and Past Peace Processes
This qualitative analysis documents how women participate in peace processes—whether in official negotiating roles or through grassroots efforts—and why their inclusion advances security.
Current Peace Efforts

Overthrown in 2001 by the U.S.-led military campaign, the Taliban has since waged an insurgency against the internationally backed Afghan government, which has resulted in widespread displacement and destruction, including significant physical threats and restrictions for Afghan women. The self-proclaimed Islamic State has also launched devastating attacks on civilians and state institutions with increasing frequency in recent years.

The seemingly intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict is rooted in a dispute over the land that makes up present-day Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. Beginning in the 1980s, women have mobilized civil society efforts to build peace, yet few women have managed to achieve official roles in peace negotiations.

Since Myanmar gained independence from the British in 1948, various armed ethnic groups seeking greater autonomy from the government have fought the world’s longest-running civil war. Tens of thousands have been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced by ongoing sectarian violence between the Buddhist community and the persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority. Women and girls have suffered a range of abuses, including sexual violence, abductions, forced labor, and trafficking.

South Sudan became the newest country in the world in 2011, but has been plagued by civil war since 2013, causing mass displacement, widespread food insecurity, and high levels of violence and human rights violations that may amount to war crimes.

Sudan has been plagued by intermittent civil wars since its independence in 1956. To the west, conflict in Darfur since 2004 has resulted in hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths, high levels of sexual violence, widespread destruction, and the displacement of millions of people. To the south, the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement paved the way for South Sudan’s secession in 2011, but conflict continues between the Sudanese government and armed groups in Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile regions (known as the “Two Areas”). 

In 2011, protests against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime quickly escalated into a full-scale armed conflict between anti-government rebel groups and the Syrian government. There has been significant intervention by outside parties, particularly as the self-proclaimed Islamic State expanded from Iraq into Syria.

Yemen continues to be devastated by fighting between government loyalists and Houthi rebels that was sparked by the 2011 uprising that removed President Ali Abdullah Saleh from office and transferred power to his deputy, Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi. As Hadi’s transitional government struggled with corruption and dysfunction, ethnic Houthi rebels from northern Yemen exploited the central government’s weak influence and, in 2014, seized Sanaa, the capital, and forced Hadi to flee to Saudi Arabia.

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.
Read the report
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.
Read the report