Women for Women International welcomes the launch of the 2023 updated U.S. Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Strategy and National Action Plan – as required by the 2017 WPS Act. Women for Women International’s work in fragile and conflict-affected contexts tells us that it is critical for the WPS agenda to be prioritized, integrated and implemented across all levels of security, diplomacy and peacebuilding to ensure inclusive and sustained peace and security.
Women in civil society are the foundation, institutional memory, and expertise upon which WPS relies, and Women for Women International values and looks forward to continuing our role as civil society partners, advocates, and conveners to ensure the achievement of the WPS vision across all pillars.
Women for Women International welcomes the WPS Strategy’s re-emphasis on the importance of preventing gender-based violence in conflict and engaging men and boys as allies. We also look forward to the realization of the Partnerships approach in Line of Effort 5 which sets out the importance of including and resourcing local women’s organizations as key partners in the implementation of the WPS Strategy.
However, we are disappointed to see a Strategy that does not reflect the urgency of the current global landscape and misses the opportunity to build on decades of evidence from civil society, experts, practitioners, and other WPS partners to truly advance, implement, and integrate WPS – including through a greater emphasis on conflict prevention.
It is our hope that the implementation of the U.S. WPS Strategy advances the integration of WPS as an approach – rather than a siloed gender equality program - to security, diplomacy, and peacebuilding. The vision of the WPS Agenda has always been to create a safer and more peaceful world for all, and for women in all their diversity to be enabled to play their critical roles in realizing that vision. The US government and international actors have made a commitment to realizing this vision, and as devastating conflicts and crises worldwide are at their highest levels in recent history, it is critical now more than ever that they fulfill this commitment.