Last Thursday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing to discuss the importance of women in building a long lasting peace in post-conflict societies, emphasizing women’s role in peace efforts and calling for the inclusion of women in its efforts of conflict resolution overseas.
The committee created a goal to ensure that Afghan women participate meaningfully in the ongoing peace talks in Afghanistan amidst debate of US’s withdrawal of troops. The Senators demanded the inclusion of women in the ongoing peace talks in Afghanistan under the guidelines of the Women, Peace and Security Act of 2017 and the Administration’s following strategy.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen, the only woman on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has led recent efforts in Congress to fight for women’s inclusion in Afghan peace talks. Earlier last week, the White House launched the first national strategy on women, peace and security.
The strategy is mandated by the bipartisan Women, Peace and Security Act of 2017 which focuses on preventing and resolving conflict through increasing women’s participation in the mediation process.
Research on peace talks finds that when women participate, meaningfully, in peace negotiations, the peace agreements are 64 percent less likely to fail and 35 percent more likely to last at least 15 years. Specifically in conflict zones, women are successful in mediating conflict, violence, and extremism, and are successful in stabilizing communities and peacekeeping efforts. Many Afghan women have resolved rising issues between civilians and the Taliban and hold a crucial role in creating a sustainable and prosperous peace in the country.
Media Resources: Politico 02/05/2019, Diplomatic Courier 2/27/19, Feminist NewsWire 02/28/19