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2002 Public Policy Highlights

The goal of Women Waging Peace is to change the public policy paradigm so women are fully integrated throughout formal and informal peace processes to prevent violent conflict, stop war, and sustain peace in fragile regions.

Policy shapers increasingly understand the importance of women's roles in efforts to create sustainable peace. Top-level officials at the US Department of State have made the inclusion of women's expertise in all phases of the peace process a priority; this implicit acceptance of "Waging's" mission at high levels of the US government is an important benchmark. Other policy advances include:

  • In meetings with a variety of policymakers, Women Waging Peace is advocating the creation of a fund for African women's leadership in peace negotiations and peace building to support the New Economic Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). Canadian G8 representatives have been very receptive to this idea, and the UK government has expressed interest as well. A meeting with policymakers and Waging network members from Africa will take place at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government during our fourth annual Colloquium in November 2002.
  • Conferences of Waging network members in Europe and Latin America culminated in meetings with some 150 regional and national policymakers. In Vienna, officials from the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE), the UN, the European Parliament, the Austrian Government, and numerous embassies and ministries met with women from Armenia and Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, Russia, and the Yugoslav successor states. Roundtable discussions focused on measures for the implementation of policies adopted by the UN (specifically Security Council Resolution 1325), the G8, the European Union, and the OSCE to help ensure the full inclusion of women in the peace process. In Guatemala City, women from Guatemala, Colombia, and the US met with policy shapers to discuss the essential role of women in creating the conditions for sustainable peace and their participation in the political and civil sectors during the reconstruction of communities affected by war.
  • The International Crisis Group (ICG), which uses field-based analyses from five continents to promote the prevention and resolution of deadly conflicts, has agreed to include the perspective of women peace builders in their research and analysis. Waging will be a source of information and assistance to ICG analysts, who author 90 reports each year on the state of conflicts around the world.
  • The Women Waging Peace Policy Commission, a group of research and policy experts, was created in 2001 to produce a substantial analytical body of information about women's contributions to peace processes. Researchers have interviewed scores of women active in peace processes and local, national, and regional officials in El Salvador, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Uganda. These case studies, and a dozen more to be conducted in 2003, will allow for crosscutting analysis, providing the hard evidence requested by policy shapers about the effectiveness of women's involvement in conflicts around the world.
  • The US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs has received Waging's input for a "best practices" cable highlighting ways US Embassies and Missions abroad can include women peace builders in their work. We compiled specific examples of embassies bringing women into official peace processes, hosting seminars and experts' meetings on women and security, organizing and supporting conferences and educational programs, promoting the activities of women peace builders, and organizing gatherings of women parliamentarians in fragile democracies to help them create coalitions across deadly political divides.
  • Women Waging Peace co-sponsored a conference with the Woodrow Wilson Center in September 2002 on the role of women in conflict prevention. A radio interview with Ambassador Swanee Hunt was broadcast from the conference, and a video of discussions at that conference will be broadcast to Department of State Embassies around the world in late October.
  • The Inter-American Commission on Women (CIM) of the Organization of American States invited Hattie Babbitt, director of Waging's Washington office and former US Ambassador to the OAS, to address their August 2002 meeting to explore an Inter-American counterpart to UN Resolution 1325. Delegates to CIM passed a resolution in support of increasing women's involvement in peace processes in the region, and Waging staff is working with them to foster the adoption and implementation of a hemispheric resolution by the OAS.
  • Women Waging Peace helped organize the "National Day of Dialogue," an initiative sponsored by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). Other congressional leaders, including Congresswoman (and House Whip) Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), spoke at the event, held on Capitol Hill in May 2002. Waging sponsored the participation of two women peace builders: Israeli Terry Greenblatt and Palestinian Maha Abu-Dayyeh Shamas. Participants generated US and international policy recommendations on governance and political participation, peace and security, protection of women, and civil society and peace building.
  • The UNIFEM report on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 will be presented by Executive Director Noeleen Heyzer at the Waging Harvard Colloquium on November 8, to some 100 policymakers and NGO leaders.

In our policy-oriented efforts, Women Waging Peace is part of a group of like-minded institutional partners working toward the same objective or related goals. For more information, go to www.womenwagingpeace.net.


Policy Initiatives
  Policy Highlights
G8 Involvement
Policy Day
Policy Commission
If you are a policy shaper and are interested in becoming involved with Women Waging Peace, please e-mail us at information@
womenwagingpeace. net and tell us about your work and your organization and in what capacity you'd like to become involved.