A growing body of evidence shows that women offer unique contributions to making and keeping peace in countries around the world– and those contributions lead to better outcomes not just for women, but for entire societies. Yet, too many peace negotiations and processes exclude women. Further, sexual violence in conflict can be both a cause and consequence of a societal breakdown, and is increasingly recognized as a facet of many conflicts. Even in places where wars have officially come to an end, or where there is simmering low intensity conflict, women and girls are often still affected by high levels of violence and insecurity. In addition, widespread impunity and breakdown in the rule of law can contribute to high rates of gender based violence, including domestic violence.

The United States’ first-ever National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security (NAP), was released in December 2011, accompanied by Executive Order 13595, which together aim to ensure that women participate equally in preventing conflict and building peace in countries threatened and affected by war, violence, and insecurity. The NAP outlines U.S. government commitments toward: ensuring that women participate more fully in peace negotiations and reconstruction; protecting women and children from harm and abuse in conflict affected areas; promoting women’s roles in conflict prevention; and addressing the needs of women and girls in disaster and crisis response.

In August, 2012, the Department of State released the U.S. Department of State Implementation Plan of the National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security: The plan provides guidance for how the Department, both in Washington and at U.S. embassies and consulates, can advance efforts under the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security. The Department’s implementation of the NAP demonstrates its commitment to furthering the promotion of gender equality in service of U.S. foreign policy and national security. The Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues leads the oversight and coordination of the NAP and the Department’s Implementation Plan. More

-09/08/14 Women Leaders Promoting Peace and Security Arrive in United States; Office of the Spokesperson
-06/23/14 DipNote: Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict: Turning Commitment Into Action
-06/13/14 Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence in Conflict; Office of the Spokesperson
-06/09/14 Let There Be No Hiding Place For Rapists in War
-06/08/14 Secretary of State John Kerry Travel to London; Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki
-05/28/14 DipNote: Our Outrage Must Be a Call to Action
-03/28/14 Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment at the Department of Defense, a Blog by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel
-03/19/14 Women Leaders Creating a Safer Honduras
-03/09/14 Serbia's Growing Role as a UN Peacekeeping Troop Contributor
-03/06/14 Women Key to Peace and Security
-12/02/13 Making Progress: USAID Implementation of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security
-10/18/13 Remarks at the Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace, and Security; U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power, U.S. Mission to the United Nations
-06/24/13 Remarks by Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo, U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, At a Security Council Open Debate on Women and Peace and Security: Sexual Violence in Conflict
-06/24/13 Video of Remarks by Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo, U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, At a Security Council Open Debate on Women and Peace and Security: Sexual Violence in Conflict
-04/11/13 G8 Foreign Ministers' Meeting Statement; Office of the Spokesperson
-04/11/13 United States Announces $10 Million in Support for G-8 Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative; Office of the Spokesperson
-02/08/13 What is the United States' Role in Addressing Sexual Violence in Libya and Syria?; Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Patricia Haslach, Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations
-04/12/12 G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting Chair's Statement; Office of the Spokesperson
-12/19/11 Executive Order Instituting a National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security
-12/01/11 U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security