J Street welcomes the bipartisan passage of the Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017. Introduced in the House by Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) and in the Senate by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the bill passed the House in May and the Senate this past Friday. If signed into law, it would ensure that the United States will promote meaningful participation of women in conflict resolution and mediation decisions.
For far too long, international conflict negotiations, including Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, failed to consistently include women at the table. The Women, Peace, and Security Act takes significant strides to change that.
The bill requires the president to provide reports to Congress evaluating women’s participation in US foreign affairs, instructs the Department of Defense to train personnel in strategies for ensuring participation of women and mandates that the US Agency for International Development coordinate with relevant organizations to increase women’s participation in peace negotiations.
Studies show that when women participate in conflict mediation and negotiations, agreements are more likely to be achieved and peace agreements last longer. The Women, Peace, and Security Act sends an important signal to those of us committed to promoting peace in Israel, the Palestinian territory and beyond that the US is taking steps towards greater egalitarianism – and success – at the negotiating table. We urge President Trump to promptly sign the Women, Peace, and Security Act into law when it reaches his desk.