UNITED STATES STRATEGY ON WOMEN, PEACE, AND SECURITY
Table of Contents
The Strategic Challenge…………………………………………………………..4
The Theory of Change: A National Strategy on Women, Peace and Security………………………………………………………………… 5
Line of Effort 1………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6
Line of Effort 2………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 8
Line of Effort 3………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 10
Line of Effort 4………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 12
Metrics and Targets………………………………………………………………15
Resourcing and Reporting………………………………………………………16 2
The United States is unapologetic in championing the principles upon which our country was founded: individual liberty, free enterprise, equal justice under the law, and the dignity of every human life. The President’s National Security Strategy (NSS) highlighted that these principles form the foundation of our most enduring alliances, since governments that respect citizens’ rights “remain the best vehicle for prosperity, human happiness, and peace.” Further, the NSS also noted that “governments that fail to treat women equally do not allow their societies to reach their potential [while] societies that empower women to participate fully in civic and economic life are more prosperous and peaceful.”
The Trump Administration is committed to advancing women’s equality, seeking to protect the rights of women and girls, and promoting women and youth empowerment programs. The United States Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS Strategy) responds to the Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017, which President Donald J. Trump signed into law on October 6, 2017.1 This is the first legislation of its kind globally, which makes the United States the first country in the world with a comprehensive law on WPS, and de facto, the first with a whole-of-government strategy that responds to such a domestic law. The WPS Strategy recognizes the diverse roles women play as agents of change in preventing and resolving conflict, countering terrorism and violent extremism, and building post conflict peace and stability. The WPS Strategy seeks to increase women’s meaningful leadership in political and civic life by helping to ensure they are empowered to lead and contribute, equipped with the necessary skills and support to succeed, and supported to participate through access to opportunities and resources.
Key departments and agencies that will implement the WPS Strategy include, but are not limited to, the Departments of State, Defense (DOD), and Homeland Security (DHS); and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This Administration will capitalize on the opportunity to link our new,
1 The WPS Strategy responds to the Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017 (Public Law 115-68-Oct. 6, 2017), which requires, within 1 year of the enactment of the Act, and again 4 years thereafter, the submission of a strategy to the appropriate Congressional Committees and its publication. The WPS Strategy supersedes the 2016 U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security; complements relevant laws, appropriations, and Executive Orders, including the State and Foreign Operations Acts and the National Defense Authorization Act; and satisfies Executive Order 13595.3
strategic approach to women, peace, and security to the NSS and other national strategic guidance on matters of peace and security, including the 2018 National Strategy for Counterterrorism; the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS); State, DOD, and USAID 2018 Stabilization Assistance Review; the 2018 Strategy to Support Women and Girls at Risk from Violent Extremism and Conflict; efforts to counter trafficking consistent with the NSS, including pursuant to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA); and National Security Presidential Memorandum (NSPM) 16: Promoting Women’s Global Development and Prosperity, which the President signed in February 2019, establishing the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative. In line with the NSS, the W-GDP Initiative seeks to empower women economically around the world, and in so doing, create conditions for increased stability, security, and prosperity for all.4
The Strategic Challenge
Around the world, conflict and disasters adversely and disproportionately affect women and girls, yet women remain under-represented in efforts to prevent and resolve conflict, and in post-conflict peace-building or recovery efforts. Research has shown that peace negotiations are more likely to succeed, and result in lasting stability, when women participate.2 The barriers to women’s meaningful participation are numerous, and include under-representation in political leadership, pervasive violence against women and girls, and persistent inequality in many societies.
Despite advancements in women’s social, political, and economic rights, women still enjoy fewer freedoms and opportunities than men worldwide. Instability and conflict magnify these challenges in places where malign actors frequently exploit individual, community, and societal vulnerabilities for their own gain. In these instances, women and girls are often targeted for various forms of violence, exploitation, and abuse. Oftentimes, their physical vulnerability can be directly traced back to their politically and socially disadvantaged place in society. 3
The United States recognizes the linkage between women’s empowerment and global peace and security. Social and political marginalization of women strongly correlates with the likelihood that a country will experience conflict. One metric indicates that 14 of the 17 lowest-scoring countries in the Index for Gender Discrimination of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development have experienced armed conflict in the last two decades. Global insecurity also affects the national security of the United States, as regions of conflict often provide safe haven for terrorists and other illicit actors; become proxies for broader wars between nation-states; and lead to massive population displacement, migration, and further regional instability.
This Strategy promotes the meaningful inclusion of women in processes to prevent, mediate, resolve, and recover from deadly conflict or disaster. While the United States maintains a deep commitment to promoting women’s equality, we recognize that fully achieving that goal globally has proven elusive. Much remains to be done, both to enhance the equality of women and girls, and to secure the meaningful inclusion of women in preventing and resolving conflict, and in post-conflict peace building and recovery.
2 Valerie Hudson, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Mary Caprioli, and Chad F. Emmett, Sex and World Peace (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012). 3 Report of the United Nations Secretary-General on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, March 23, 2018, S/2018/250, Section 11, p. 4 5
The WPS Strategy acknowledges a tremendous amount of untapped potential among the world’s women and girls to identify, recommend, and implement effective solutions to conflict. At its core, the WPS Strategy recognizes the benefits derived from creating opportunities for women and girls to serve as agents of peace via political, economic, and social empowerment. The WPS Strategy therefore aims to make meaningful progress around the world to empower women in preventing conflict and building peace, while endeavoring to rectify the disproportionate, adverse impacts of armed conflict on women and girls.4 The United States embraces these concepts and recognizes the powerful role that women can play as peacemakers and political agents in societies that are transitioning out of conflict and toward peace. It is therefore crucial that ongoing United States efforts to engage in preventing and mitigating conflict around the world strategically factor in the participation, perspectives, and interests of women, including those from under-represented groups.
This Strategy defines women’s political empowerment and equality as the end state whereby women can meaningfully participate in preventing, mediating, and resolving conflict and countering terrorism, in ways that promote stable and lasting peace, including in conflict-affected areas.
To work toward this end state, the WPS Strategy identifies three separate, yet interrelated, strategic objectives that must be achieved. These strategic objectives aim to make demonstrable progress (defined below) by 2023:
- Women are more prepared and increasingly able to participate in efforts that promote stable and lasting peace;
- Women and girls are safer, better protected, and have equal access to government and private assistance programs, including from the United States, international partners, and host nations; and
- United States and partner governments have improved institutionalization and capacity to ensure WPS efforts are sustainable and long-lasting.
The WPS Strategy also identifies four lines
The Theory of Change: A National Strategy on Women, Peace and Security
4 Security Council Resolution 1325, October 31, 2000, S/RES/13256
of effort, which are the separate-yet-interrelated ways to synchronize and prioritize United States actions to achieve the strategic objectives. Importantly, actions (tasks) completed within each of the lines of effort will focus on improving women’s empowerment and equality in one or more of the conflict phases: preventing conflict and preparing for disasters; managing, mitigating, and resolving conflict and crisis; and post-conflict and post-crisis efforts in relief and recovery.
LINE OF EFFORT 1: Seek and support the preparation and meaningful participation of women around the world in decision-making processes related to conflict and crises;
LINE OF EFFORT 2: Promote the protection of women and girls’ human rights; access to humanitarian assistance; and safety from violence, abuse, and exploitation around the world;
LINE OF EFFORT 3: Adjust United States international programs to improve outcomes in equality for, and the empowerment of, women; and
LINE OF EFFORT 4: Encourage partner governments to adopt policies, plans, and capacity to improve the meaningful participation of women in processes connected to peace and security and decision-making institutions.
Further, we acknowledge that we will likely not be able to advance WPS principles in every corner of the globe. As with all matters of national security, the United States will continue to engage selectively, and in ways that advance America’s national interests. The United States Government will also serve as responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars, seeking to optimize investments and ensure accountability. When and where the United States does choose to engage, the WPS Strategy will help inform how the United States approaches and prioritizes its involvement, including in coordination with like-minded partners, to secure more effective and lasting gains.
Line of Effort 1:
Support the preparation and meaningful participation of women around the world in informal and formal decision-making processes related to conflict and crisis.
Increase women’s meaningful participation in political, civic, and military processes to prevent and resolve conflicts, prepare for disasters, and set conditions for stability during post conflict and post-crisis efforts.
In spite of the growing evidence of a direct correlation between the equality and empowerment of women and a nation’s stability, women remain critically under-represented in conflict prevention, conflict-resolution, and post-conflict peace building efforts. The voices and concerns of women affected by violence during conflict — those who will carry much of the burden for healing and rebuilding their communities in peacetime — are routinely absent from, or overlooked at, the negotiating table. Despite numerous examples of women who have provided leadership to prevent and resolve 7
conflict at local, national, and regional levels, persistent inequality and marginalization often prevents women from realizing their full potential and influence as negotiators, mediators, and decision makers. The United Nations (UN) reports that between 1992 and 2011, women made up just 2 percent of mediators, 4 percent of witnesses and signatories, and 9 percent of negotiators in formal post-conflict peace talks.5
The first step in advancing WPS principles requires that we empower women and girls with the tools and capabilities they need to engage meaningfully in conflict and crisis situations, whether before, during, or after these events, and then encourage their meaningful participation in efforts to promote stable and lasting peace. Increasing women’s capacity to participate meaningfully in peace and political processes provides them with the distinct advantage to be prepared to contribute to a range of formal and informal peace proce sses, dialogues, and negotiations that determine the fates of their families and communities.
The factors that preclude women’s meaningful participation vary from one country to the next. Legal, structural, and other barriers also often interact with deeply entrenched social norms to undermine women’s influence and representation. For the United States to be successful in its efforts, it is critical that we understand local barriers before setting out a program to overcome them. The design of efforts must go hand-in-hand with research, and implementers must seek the continuous input of the women they are trying to serve.
The WPS Strategy Approach
Departments and agencies will tailor their engagements and programs in ways that help women around the world be more prepared for, and able to participate in, decision-making processes related to conflict and crisis.
Illustrative activities in support of the above goal could include (and noting primarily in which conflict or crisis phase(s) the activities would be focused):
- Encourage the increased, meaningful participation of women in security-sector initiatives funded by the United States Government, including programs that provide training to foreign nationals regarding law enforcement, the rule of law, and professional military education. United States courses that historically attract only male international students from certain countries or regions should consider ways to incentivize the inclusion of female students as well.
- Integrate women’s perspectives and interests into conflict prevention, conflict-resolution, and post conflict peace-building activities and strategies, including women from under-represented groups, via consultation with local women leaders in the design, implementation, and evaluation of United States initiatives;
- Encourage the inclusion of women leaders and women’s organizations in the prevention and resolution of conflict, and in post-conflict
5 UN Women, “Women’s Participation in Peace Negotiations: Connections between Presence and Influence,” (October 2012) p. 3.8
peace-building efforts. Where appropriate, United States diplomatic, military, and development interventions will lead by example through inclusion of American women in such efforts, and will engage local women leaders as vital partners, including through support that advances their meaningful political participation and empowerment, capacity, credibility, and professional development; and
■ ■Use relevant analysis and indicators, including the collection of sex-disaggregated data, to identify and address barriers to women’s meaningful participation in the prevention and resolution of conflict, and in post-conflict peace-building efforts and programs, including early warning systems related to conflict and violence.
PREVENTING CONFLICT AND PREPARING FOR DISASTERS: Provide, as appropriate, technical assistance and training to female negotiators, mediators, peace-builders, and stakeholders.
MANAGING, MITIGATING, AND RESOLVING CONFLICT AND CRISIS: Provide, as appropriate, logistical support to female negotiators, mediators, peace-builders, and stakeholders, particularly during democratic transitions, which is critical to sustaining democratic institutions, creating more inclusive democratic societies, and contributing to long-term stability.
POST-CONFLICT AND POST-CRISIS RELIEF AND RECOVERY: Support, as appropriate, local women’s peace-building organizations.
Line of Effort 2:
Promote the protection of women and girls’ human rights, access to aid, and safety from violence, abuse, and exploitation around the world.
Women and girls’ security, human rights, and needs are protected – by their governments, augmented as appropriate with regional or other security sector forces – so they can meaningfully contribute locally, nationally, and globally.
Women and girls bear unique, and sometimes disproportionate, impacts of armed conflict.6 In many conflict-affected and fragile settings around the world, malign actors deliberately target and attack women and girls, often with impunity, for various forms of violence, including, but not limited to, physical and sexual violence, torture, mutilation, trafficking, and slavery. While women and girls sometimes voluntarily join terrorist organizations, some may be coerced or manipulated into becoming terrorists or foreign terrorist fighters themselves. Post-conflict, women and girls continue to experience high levels of violence and insecurity. Most survivors never receive justice, and, instead, face considerable challenges in gaining access to the medical, psychosocial, legal, and economic support that is necessary to help them heal, recover, and rebuild their lives. These patterns have been shown to have devastating
6 Security Council Resolution 2106, S/RES/2106, 24 June 20169
effects on societies, and lead to continued cycles of insecurity and instability.7
Breakdowns in the rule of law and forced displacement from conflict and disaster expose refugees and internally displaced persons, particularly women and girls, to additional risks of violence and exploitation. Women cannot fully participate in the prevention or resolution of conflict or participate in recovery efforts if they themselves are victims of violence or intimidation, and pervasive violence against women and girls undermines the recovery of entire communities and countries affected by violence or disaster.
In situations of conflict and crisis, during which populations rely on humanitarian assistance and other aid to meet their basic needs and begin the challenging process of recovery, the United States Government must design our efforts to address the distinct needs of women and girls, including women’s economic security, safety and dignity. Women cannot participate in the prevention or resolution of conflict or recovery from disaster if they cannot meet their basic needs or provide for their children.
Data also indicates that the consequences of terrorism and terrorism-related violence in conflict uniquely affect women and girls. Women are often the first targets of terrorism and violent extremist ideologies, which restrict their rights and can lead to increases in violence against them. Terrorists often advocate for, and carry out, the enslavement of women and girls. Tactics such as human trafficking, sexual slavery, and recruiting women to become terrorists themselves have become a hallmark of terrorist groups, trapping thousands of women and girls in cycles of repression and violence. Ongoing efforts to address the adverse impact of terrorism and violent extremism are therefore more effective and sustainable when we empower women and girls to be active participants and leaders in preventing and responding to terrorism and political violence.
The WPS Strategy Approach
Departments and agencies will support countries’ local and regional efforts to seek to ensure women and girls are protected from all forms of violence, and benefit equally from governmental and non-governmental assistance and development programs.
Illustrative activities in support of the above goal could include the following:
ALL PHASES: Address security-related barriers to the protection of women. This includes the following:
- Identify and reduce obstacles or barriers not codified in formal rules or regulations but that nonetheless reflect sex-based discrimination, sex-based bias, or lack of recognition for women’s rights;
- Address the use of violence, intimidation, or harassment to prevent women from participating in decision-making or related political, diplomatic or military processes;
7 According to the UN Secretary General’s 2018 Report on Conflict-related Sexual Violence, the accumulation of unresolved crimes fuels new cycles of violence, vengeance and vigilantism, which are inimical to reconciliation. Report of the Secretary-General on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, Sec. 20 p. 7, S/2018/250 (March 23, 2018).10
- Champion efforts to prevent and respond to sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers and relief workers; and
- Encourage countries’ local law-enforcement and judicial systems to appropriately address gender-based violence against women and girls, especially as part of transitional justice processes and initiatives.
PREVENTING CONFLICT AND PREPARING FOR DISASTERS:
- In coordination with broader United States efforts to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, ensure women and girls have safe and equal access to humanitarian assistance, including food, shelter, and heath security targeted at saving lives. This includes efforts to increase access to humanitarian assistance in line with the Unites States Government’s interpretation of the laws of armed conflict and International Human Rights Law;
- Support solutions to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls. This includes collecting and analyzing sex-disaggregated data for the purpose of developing and enhancing early warning systems of conflict and violence; supporting multilateral efforts, including at the UN, to address violence in conflict, including sexual violence, human trafficking, and slavery; and integrating efforts to combat drivers of violence against women and girls into conflict and efforts to prevent atrocities; and
- Empower women as partners in preventing terrorism and countering radicalization and recruitment. This includes promoting voices of pluralism and tolerance, undermining the power of terrorist ideologies; undercutting terrorist recruiting; and raising awareness of radicalization and recruitment dynamics via outreach, training, and international exchanges.
POST-CONFLICT AND POST-CRISIS RELIEF AND RECOVERY:
- Design United States diplomatic, military, and development interventions in conflict- and disaster-affected areas to maximize protection for women and girls, and seek to ensure women and girls receive equal access to justice, humanitarian assistance, appropriate medical care, and psycho-social support for survivors of violence, exploitation, and abuse, including for their children; and
- Design humanitarian-assistance programs to reduce risks faced by women and girls in crisis and conflict, and to meet the specific needs of women and girls who have experienced or are at risk of violence, exploitation, and abuse.
Line of Effort 3:
Adjust United States international pro-grams to improve outcomes in equality for, and the empowerment of, women.
The United States maintains its role as a leader on the world stage in promoting the meaningful participation of women in preventing, managing, and resolving conflict, and efforts in post-conflict relief and recovery. 11
The United States has long proven its commitment to address injustice against women and girls in conflict areas, alongside our broader commitment to help those in need and those trying to build a better future for their families. Through engagements with partners and at multilateral organizations such as the United Nations, the United States has won recognition from friends and competitors alike as a champion of women’s empowerment across the phases of conflict and crisis resolution.
As noted in the NSS, the competitions, rivalries, and challenges that face the United States are real and ongoing. As the United States responds to growing political, economic, and military competitions around the world, we must also ensure we mitigate conflict at its source – including the role that systemic inequality faced by women and girls serves as a known driver of conflict.8 Just as the United States Government is modernizing and integrating our tools to counter terrorism and protect the homeland, we will also update our policies, training, and approaches to emphasize the relationship between women and security, helping ensure our WPS efforts are sustainable and long-lasting. This will include giving consideration to the unique security requirements of both females and males, while finding opportunities to promote the equal rights and opportunities of women and girls.
The WPS Strategy Approach
The United States Government must equip and empower its diplomatic, military, and development personnel to advance the goals of this strategy through an ongoing process of training, education, and professional development in partnership with specialists who can provide insight and understanding to this challenging field.
Illustrative activities in support of the above goal could include the following:
- Train United States diplomatic, military, and development personnel, as appropriate, on the needs and perspectives of women in preventing, mediating, and resolving conflict, including women from under-represented groups; on protecting civilians from violence, exploitation, and trafficking in persons; and, in accordance with the United States Government’s understanding, on International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law;
- Support research into, and the evaluation of, effective strategies and the development and sharing of best practices for ensuring the meaningful participation by women, to include exchanges with international partners;
- Expand and apply gender analysis, as appropriate, to improve the design and targeting of United States Government programs;
- Conduct assessments of new initiatives, including perspectives from affected women, including women from under-represented groups;
8 See Mary Caprioli, “Primed for Violence: The Role of Gender Inequality in Predicting Internal Conflict,” International Studies Quarterly 49, No. 2 (2005): 161–178.12
- Develop public-private partnerships; leverage non-Federal entities such as non-governmental organizations, faith based organizations, and businesses; and foster relationships between non-Federal partners and partner governments to increase burden-sharing and ensure the sustainability of programs;
- Target assistance strategically, by identifying a limited set of cases in which United States Government WPS programs have a significant opportunity for measurable impact and avoiding duplication, reduced impact, and wasted resources; and
- Demonstrate and quantify the tangible outcomes and impact of its assistance under the WPS.
Line of Effort 4:
Encourage partner governments to adopt policies, plans, and capacity to improve the meaningful participation of women in processes connected to peace and security and decision-making institutions.
Partner governments are reforming policies, programs, and plans to increase women’s meaningful participation in processes connected to peace and security and decision-making institutions.
Around the world, a wide range of factors prevent women from participating meaningfully in efforts that promote stable and lasting peace. Some of these factors stem from biases based on normative perceptions about the roles of women and men. However, others are consequences of legal, regulatory, and structural barriers designed to prevent women from having a formal say in how issues related to peace and security are brokered in their societies. These barriers are often supported by imbalanced or corrupt systems of power and influence that neglect and exploit women at the cost of effective governance and lasting peace.
Research indicates that when women are involved in peace negotiations, they are more likely to raise social issues that help societies reconcile and recover. Furthermore, studies suggest that when women meaningfully participate in peace negotiations, the likelihood that the resulting peace plan will last more than 2 years increases by 20 percent, and the likelihood that it will last more than 15 years increases by 35 percent.10 Considering that more than half of all peace agreements fail within 5 years, the inclusion of women in conflict resolution arguably saves lives and limits the devastating economic costs of war.
Experience further indicates that when women participate in security sector roles, they achieve substantive and lasting gains in peace and security. For example, female peacekeepers are more likely to gain admission to geographic and
10 Laurel Stone, “Annex II: Quantitative Analysis of Women’s participation in Peace Processes,” Reimagining Peacemaking: Women’s Roles in Peace Processes (New York: International Peace Institute, 2015) (study of 156 peace agreements, controlling for other variables).13
population sectors traditionally closed to their male counterparts, which gives them unique access to information about the local security environment and potential risks. Women peacekeepers are also more likely to enjoy the trust and confidence from the communities they serve, and more likely to empower women to join security sector ranks, including the military and law enforcement.11
The WPS Strategy offers a foundation for long-lasting change. However, sustainability will require the support of the global community, including non governmental entities, such as civil society and faith-based organizations, and private businesses, which have a long-term presence in country and often play a role in helping to rebuild post-conflict and fragile states.
The WPS Strategy Approach
Departments and agencies will aim to reduce barriers and enhance protections in partner countries’ policies, laws, regulations and practices that impede women’s ability to engage or participate in preventing conflict and preparing for disasters; managing, mitigating, and resolving conflict and crisis; and post-conflict and post-crisis relief and recovery.
Illustrative activities in support of the above goal could include the following:
- Address host-nation barriers that discriminate against the meaningful participation of women. This includes encouraging partner governments to revise formal laws, rules, and regulations that disadvantage women as equal participants in all phases of conflict and crisis resolution; support the effective implementation of laws, rules, and regulations that promote women as equal participants in all phases of resolving and responding to conflict and crisis; and adopt plans to improve the meaningful participation of women in processes connected to peace and security and decision-making institutions;
- Assist partner governments to increase the opportunity for women to serve in security sector forces, including peacekeeping, military, and law enforcement organizations. This includes developing women’s technical and professional competencies so they can better compete for security sector roles, and seeking to cultivate and promote qualified women in peace operations, peacekeeping missions, and national administrations, including at senior leadership levels across all relevant areas, including political, diplomatic, development and military sectors, on par with their male counterparts. This also includes encouraging partner governments to foster professional growth for women as security sector professionals via career counseling, networking, targeted recruitment, and mentoring programs;
- Support, and coordinate with, other countries in their efforts to improve the meaningful participation of women in processes connected to peace and security, conflict-pre
11 UN Women Policy Brief, Exploratory Options On Using Financial Incentives to Increase the Percentage of Military Women in UN Peackeeping Missions (UN Women, 2015), http://wps.unwomen.org/resources/briefs/financial.pdf .14
vention, peace-building, transitional justice, and decision-making institutions;
■ ■Confer with host governments and non-governmental organizations to reduce barriers to and enhance the meaningful participation of women in economic, political, and security spheres, including the engagement of men and boys in support of women’s equality; and
■ ■Promote the American values of individual liberty, religious freedom, and equal treatment under the law in our engagement with other nations to implement the WPS Strategy.
PREVENTING CONFLICT AND PREPARING FOR DISASTERS: Support partner countries’ training, education, and mobilization of men and boys as partners in support of the meaningful participation of women in society.
MANAGING, MITIGATING, AND RESOLVING CONFLICT AND CRISIS: Encourage the development of transitional justice and accountability mechanisms that are inclusive of the experiences and perspectives of women and girls, including women from under-represented groups. Work with willing partners to strengthen their national frameworks for justice and accountability with the goal of ending impunity for all types of crimes and atrocities, including gender-based violence in conflict. This includes supporting survivors of violence by providing access to healing and recovery programs, combating norms that exacerbate violence in conflict, and seeking timely justice and accountability for crimes committed.15
Metrics and Targets
To track progress toward women’s ability to participate meaningfully in and contribute to preventing, mediating, and resolving conflict and countering terrorism, the Administration will commit to rigorously track and report on metrics across the interagency on an annual basis, and will seek meaningful change in all three strategic objectives by 2023. This will include reporting on training requirements for applicable United States Government personnel, as well as a summary and evaluation of this strategy’s implementation by departments and agencies; applicable interagency coordination completed; and the monitoring and evaluation tools, mechanisms, and common indicators to assess progress made within this strategy’s lines of efforts and to achieve the strategic objectives by 2023. Departments and agencies will coordinate this reporting with the reporting requirements of NSPM 16: Promoting Women’s Global Development and Prosperity, to ensure data tracking for the two efforts is complementary and non-duplicative. To the extent common metrics are reported and counted towards both efforts, departments and agencies will clearly indicate where that is the case.
The WPS Strategy understands “meaningful” as having a measurable, enduring impact on one or all of the identified strategic objectives, and in one or all phases of conflict or crisis prevention and resolution. “Meaningful” participation is not defined by a set proportion of women’s participation in every context. Instead, we will take relevant circumstantial factors into account, and, where necessary, apply lessons learned from the past, analytic rigor, and evidence-based research to inform targeted and effective policies and programming going forward. We will develop context-specific markers by which to measure progress on our efforts.
To fulfill our responsibility to be good stewards of national resources, programs carried out in furtherance of the WPS Strategy must measurably accomplish their goals. Departments and agencies must modify or reassess programs that fail to do so, and must harness learning to inform future planning and implementation. To ensure accountability, departments and agencies will provide measurable goals, benchmarks, and timetables for their proposed WPS initiatives as part of their implementation plans, in addition to estimating resource requirements. 16
Resourcing and Reporting
No later than 90 days after this Strategy goes into effect, departments and agencies will nominate criteria to the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA) for inclusion in a United States Government-wide WPS framework for monitoring and evaluating programs. Nominated criteria must include proposed measures of effectiveness in furthering each of the Strategy’s articulated goals. After the approval of the WPS monitoring-and-evaluation framework, relevant departments and agencies will use it to assess and report on progress and results under the WPS Strategy.
Within 120 days of the approval of this WPS Strategy, State, DOD, DHS, and USAID shall each develop, in coordination with the APNSA and Office of Management and Budget, and provide to the Congress a detailed, consolidated implementation plan that provides the following information with respect to their WPS Strategy implementation plan:
1) The anticipated technical, financial, and in-kind contribution of each department or agency;
2) Roles and responsibilities across the department or agency;
3) Processes required to support the WPS Strategy, such as new policy or doctrine, or capabilities assessments;
4) Corresponding timelines and milestones, with clear benchmarks and deliverables for each necessary action; and
5) Approved measures of effectiveness and associated methods of assessment that, at minimum, measure involvement both pre-and post intervention, to ensure the policies and initiatives are effective at achieving strategic goals.
Not later than 1 year after submission of this strategy, the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Defense and the Administrator of USAID, shall brief the appropriate Congressional Committees on existing, enhanced, or newly established training for relevant United States personnel on the participation of women in conflict-prevention and peace building.
Not later than 2 years after submission of this strategy, the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Defense and the Administrator of USAID shall submit to the APNSA, and be prepared to brief the appropriate Congressional Committees on, a report that summarizes and evaluates departments’ and agencies’ implementation plans; describes the nature and extent of interagency coordination on implementation; outlines the monitoring and evaluation on policy objectives; and describes existing, enhanced, or newly established training. n