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  • Author: Shannon Zimmerman
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Women In International Security (WIIS)
  • Abstract: The majority of countries have gender-blind foreign policies. While this may seem like a good thing, such policies fail to acknowledge and address existing gendered discrimination, inequalities, and violence. They also fail to take active steps to include women and other marginalized groups. Feminist foreign policy, in contrast, is designed to take into account and address these existing imbalances. On September 12, 2019, Women In International Security (WIIS)–Australia and the Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (APR2P) convened a workshop to assess whether Australia has a feminist foreign policy and, if not, what steps could be taken to advance such a policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Gender Issues, Women, Feminism, Responsibility to Protect (R2P)
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Luisa Ryan, Shannon Zimmerman
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Women In International Security (WIIS)
  • Abstract: At the UN Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial Conference, Canada announced the launch of the Elsie Initiative on Women in Peace Operations. Through tailored technical support, the initiative aims to help troop-contributing countries recruit and retain female soldiers. It is one of the first initiatives to directly address the lack of female personnel at the deploying country level. As one of the co-hosts of the 2017 UN Peacekeeping ministerial, the United States is in a strong position to partner in the work of the Elsie Initiative. By so doing, it can entrench the concept of gender parity in its current UN peacekeeping training programs and deployments and better lead knowledge-sharing efforts with partner militaries. The Elsie Initiative also gives the United States an opportunity to reinforce partnerships that enhance global security while bolstering its leadership in gender parity and UN reform. Efforts such as the Elsie initiative to improve the effectiveness of peace operations will directly benefit US national interests by strengthening alliances and enabling recipient countries to take an increasing role in providing for collective and regional security.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Women
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Velomahanina T. Razakamaharavo, Luisa Ryan, Leah Sherwood
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Women In International Security (WIIS)
  • Abstract: United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 expressed a global commitment to the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda. Many policy statements and guidance on gender mainstreaming have followed in the 17 years since UNSCR 1325’s passage, yet peace operations on the ground appear little affected. They continue to overlook the many roles women play in conflict and conflict resolution, fail to engage fully with women’s organizations, and fail to include women fighters in reintegration and security sector reform programs. They even perpetrate exploitation: Sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) continues to be widespread within peace missions themselves, despite increased SEA and conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) training for operation forces. Further, peace operations have failed to address the more inclusive Gender, Peace and Security (GPS) agenda and the broader role gender plays in conflict dynamics. For example, while missions may seek to address the effects of conflict-related sexual violence on women and girls, they may miss similar impacts for male victims and their families. Improved gender training could help ameliorate this mismatch between policy rhetoric and practice. This policy brief outlines current gender training practice, identifies gaps, and recommends ways to strengthen training in order to help peace operations personnel better understand how to apply a gender lens to their missions.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Gender Issues, United Nations, Peacekeeping, Women, Gender Based Violence
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Spencer Beall
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Women In International Security (WIIS)
  • Abstract: While the cybersecurity industry will require approximately six million workers to meet its projected job demand by 2019, many positions will remain unfilled without more female cybersecurity professionals. Currently, women comprise only 11 percent of global cybersecurity professionals. Women’s underrepresentation in cybersecurity is not just an economic workplace issue, but also has a profound impact on the type of technologies being developed and hence impacts everyone in the digital age. The report will explore some of the main barriers that impede women’s entry, professional advancement, and retention in cybersecurity, including the pervasive gender discrimination in technology professions. Next, I will examine three core reasons why it is essential to get more women in cybersecurity, namely (1) to maximize innovation potential; (2)to expand usability of digital products to meet the needs of all consumers; and (3) to strengthen the global economy by fulfilling the cybersecurity industry’s rapidly growing job demand. Recommendations on how to dismantle the gender gap in cybersecurity and how to create in the digital age a global workforce that is safer, more efficient, and more prosperous are presented.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Security, Women, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, Jeannette Gaudry
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Women In International Security (WIIS)
  • Abstract: As the idea that women can and should play pivotal roles in preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) gains greater traction, decision makers and scholars must keep striving toward a more nuanced understanding of the historical, cultural, and gendered contexts that enable extremist movements and organizations to grow. Without study, research, discussion, and stronger links with local actors and scholars to gain contextual understanding, U.S. analysts and policymakers risk creating a catalog of programs and policies internationally that include and empower women but fail to stem the tide of extremism and violence. Increasing women’s empowerment and strengthening their roles in community life, peace, and security are important steps, but even these can fail or backfire without deep cultural understanding.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Violent Extremism, Women, Violence
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, Jeannette Gaudry
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Women In International Security (WIIS)
  • Abstract: In recent years, policymakers and international actors have begun to recognize the important role of women and women’s organizations in preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE). In October 2015, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2242, which linked the women, peace and security (WPS) and the P/CVE agendas and called for synergies between efforts aimed at countering violent extremism and those furthering the WPS agenda. In 2016, the US government incorporated P/CVE in its National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. The idea that women can be powerful allies in the fight against violent extremism is based primarily on two interrelated observations. First, women often function at the heart of their communities and are thus best placed to recognize early warning signs of radicalization. Effective P/CVE programs will capitalize on this. Second, a community that hopes to address extremism effectively must include the broadest possible range of perspectives in its programming. Because society, economies, and war affect them in gender-specific ways, women bring different perspectives to discussions and plans affecting security. That said, women-centric P/CVE programming is in its infancy. An initial review of these programs points to five main problems, which are explored in this policy brief.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Terrorism, United Nations, Counter-terrorism, Women
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, Michael E. Brown
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Women In International Security (WIIS)
  • Abstract: Political leaders regularly make grand, public statements about the importance of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda for promoting national and international security, but their policy actions have fallen far short of their rhetorical declarations. There are two main reasons for this. First, political leaders are the point persons for their male-dominated security establishments. These establishments do not prioritize women and gender issues in national and international security affairs. Second, the WPS agenda has been framed as a “women’s” issue, which makes it easier for the establishment to marginalize the WPS cause.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, National Security, Peace Studies, International Security, Peacekeeping, Women
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, Jeannette Gaudry
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Women In International Security (WIIS)
  • Abstract: As the idea that women can and should play pivotal roles in preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) gains greater traction, decision makers and scholars must keep striving toward a more nuanced understanding of the historical, cultural, and gendered contexts that enable extremist movements and organizations to grow.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Gender Issues, Terrorism, Culture, Women, Violence, Political Movements
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, Michael E. Brown
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Women In International Security (WIIS)
  • Abstract: In March 2016, WIIS launched the Women, Terrorism, and Violent Extremism program. With the generous support of the Embassy of Liechtenstein in Washington, D.C., WIIS will facilitate a series of expert roundtables to explore the role of women in terrorist and violent extremist organizations, including the gendered dimensions of radicalization. These round tables will provide a forum for bringing together an international group of experts and policymakers from the counter-terrorism and Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) communities. Key takeaways and recommendations of expert roundtables will be captured and disseminated in the form of policy briefs. The first Policy Brief draws on the first roundtable discussion, held on March 20, 2016. This roundtable featured four noted experts: Ms. Sanam Anderlini, Co-founder and Executive Director of the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN); Dr. Kathleen Kuehnast, Senior Gender Advisor at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP); Dr. Paul Pillar, former official of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and now a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution; and Dr. Lorenzo Vidino, Director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Terrorism, Women, Radicalization, Violence, Peace
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Global Focus