U.S. Seeks To Boost Women’s Participation in Peace Processes

Washington is trying to find ways to connect women globally, including in the post-Soviet region, in a hope to boost their contributions to preventing and resolving conflicts, a key American diplomat on global women’s issues told reporters, TURAN's U.S. correspondent reports.

The Trump administration on Thursday released the long-awaited implementation plans for its Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Strategy, which will take “significant steps” to promote leadership, involvement, and safety of women around the world.

Speaking to reporters during a virtual briefing organized by the State Department's Foreign Press Center, Kelley Currie, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, called the strategy a “priority issue”, adding that the administration has built "concrete and specific deliverables" that can be used to evaluate progress of implementing the plan.

Despite women’s contributions to preventing and resolving conflicts, their participation in conflict resolution in some parts of the world, including in the Caucasus, is limited by a number of factors, such as cultural pressures, lack of resources, etc.

Asked how the U.S. can help women's involvement into peace processes in the post-Soviet region, including in the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement, Currie told TURAN's correspondent that Washington is trying to cultivate and connect the next generation of women, and "we’ve worked hard throughout - since 1990, it’s been part of our policy to support women’s leadership and to support women’s economic development in the post-Soviet states."

As an example, she mentioned this year's recipients of annual International Women of Courage Award. Both Azerbaijani and Armenian recipients got their awards from the secretary or State, and then continued their time in the U.S. as a part of the International Visitors program.

"Even things like that, where we help to bring these two – they were really both quite remarkable women, and we got to know them a little bit, and they got to know each other during this time period," Currie said.

The WPS implementation plans issued by four U.S, agencies, including the State Department and USAID, lay out how they will meet several strategy objectives by 2023, including increasing women's participation in peace efforts and ensuring equal access to government and private assistance programs.

“Our plan is, we think, going to help transform our foreign policy apparatus and the way we do business. That’s the goal,” Currie added.

According to USAID Acting Administrator John Barsa, the agency has already spent over $200 million in the past two years in programming aligned with the WPS strategy.

"Through this work, we are already seeing the impact of including women in conflict prevention and resolution," he told reporters.

Alex Raufoglu

Washington D.C.


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