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Policy Forum in the Department of State on Increasing Women's Roles in USG Peace-building, Post Conflict Reconstruction and Stabilization Initiatives

Office of International Women's Issues
The State Department
Washington, DC
June 27, 2007

On June 27, 2007 the Office of the Senior Coordinator for International Women's Issues (G/IWI) and the Office of the Coordinator for Stabilization and Reconstruction (S/CRS), jointly convened the first Policy Forum in the Department of State on Increasing Women's Roles in USG Peace-building, Post Conflict Reconstruction and Stabilization Initiatives.  The forum drew upon both internal USG expertise on this issue and expertise from NGO practitioners. It was followed by an interagency breakout session on implementation strategies.  

Participants represented 21 offices and bureaus from the Department of State as well as USAID, CIA, the Departments of Defense and Labor, U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM), Navy, and West Point.  

The panelists included: Ambassador Donald Steinberg, Vice President for Multilateral Affairs at the International Crisis Group, and former U.S. Ambassador to The Republic of Angola; Carla Koppell, the Director of the Initiative for Inclusive Security and the Washington D.C. Office of the Hunt Alternatives Fund; Beth Ellen Cole the Senior Program Officer at Center for Post-Conflict Peace and Stability Operations at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and Michele Schimpp the Director of the S/CRS Office of Best Practices and Sector Coordination at the U.S. Department of State. Andrea Bottner, Senior Coordinator of International Women's Issues moderated.

Those gathered proposed that failure to bring women into peace negotiations and reconstruction planning in a meaningful way leaves a critical resource untapped. USG post-conflict work has shown that women's participation early in peace negotiations and post-conflict reconstruction leads to a more sustainable peace and more effective reconstruction and reform efforts.  Additionally, women have distinctive insights into the drivers of conflict and are critical to successful implementation of conflict management, micro-economic, and law reform. 

The group proposed a set of recommendations to assess, involve, and implement the inclusion of women in peace initiatives and post-conflict reconstruction. G/IWI is currently working to implement these recommendations with the individuals from the interagency who came together at the forum to support increased roles for women in USG peace-building efforts.

Panelists from left to right: Andrea Bottner, Senior Coordinator of International Womens Issues; Ambassador Donald Steinberg, Vice President for Multilateral Affairs at the International Crisis Group; Beth Ellen Cole, Senior Program Officer at Center for Post-Conflict Peace and Stability Operations at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP); Carla Koppell, Director of the Initiative for Inclusive Security; and Michele Schimpp, Director of the S/CRS Office of Best Practices and Sector Coordination.
Panelists from left to right: Andrea Bottner, Senior Coordinator of International Women's Issues; Ambassador Donald Steinberg, Vice President for Multilateral Affairs at the International Crisis Group; Beth Ellen Cole, Senior Program Officer at Center for Post-Conflict Peace and Stability Operations at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP); Carla Koppell, Director of the Initiative for Inclusive Security; and Michele Schimpp, Director of the S/CRS Office of Best Practices and Sector Coordination.


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