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International security depends on the development of fresh, workable solutions to seemingly intractable conflicts. The goal of the Women Waging Peace initiative is to change the public policy paradigm to fully integrate women throughout formal and informal peace processes to prevent violent conflict, stop war, and sustain peace in fragile regions.

Recent policy statements from the UN Security Council, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the G8, and the European Union call for the inclusion of women at every stage of local and international efforts to prevent, manage, and resolve conflict. These groundbreaking statements have yet to be adequately implemented.

Leading policymakers must understand the importance of women's roles in creating sustainable peace. Hundreds of policy shapers — selected government officials, representatives of non-governmental organizations, academics, and major media professionals — have engaged in meetings with Waging network members and staff, inaugurating multiple actions to integrate women peace builders into the policy process.

Women's work in the field of security is largely unrecognized at institutional and public policy levels. Although some of the work of women peace builders is known anecdotally, scholarship regarding their expertise is scanty. Responding to the need for a strong academic foundation in this area, the Women Waging Peace Policy Commission was created in 2001 to focus on research and analysis as underpinnings for policy advocacy. The Commission's work will produce a substantial body of information about women's contributions to peace efforts. Case studies of selected conflict areas and comparative analyses based on those studies will be released in the next two years.

Women Waging Peace was launched in 1999 to allow women working in conflicts to connect with each other and with policy shapers. Members of the Women Waging Peace network come from every segment of society: they are activists, educators, health professionals, political figures, lawyers, entrepreneurs, military officers, religious leaders, and journalists. With varied backgrounds, perspectives, and skills, these women bring a vast array of expertise to the peacemaking process.

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