The U.S. Naval War College (NWC) hosted the virtual symposium Women, Peace and Security (WPS) on April 14-15. The primary aim of the symposium is to facilitate the implementation of DoD’s WPS Strategic Framework and Implementation Plan (SFIP) by sharing diverse methods, experiences and ideas from people who are actively engaged in implementing the WPS agenda.
“The Women, Peace, and Security symposium is a valuable lens for understanding not only the roots of security and insecurity, but also levers for promoting security. The symposium at the Naval War College is an important opportunity to realize this value and to make use of it in military strategy, planning and operations,” said Valerie M. Hudson, Ph.D., distinguished professor and George H.W. Bush Chair Director, Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University. “WPS brought together major thought leaders not only from the military but also from academia and other agencies and departments of the government. New connections have been made, and this will lead to fruitful collaborations across professional boundaries.”
The U.S. Government enacted the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Act of 2017 on October 06, 2017. In response to the WPS Act, the U.S. Strategy on WPS was issued in June 2019. The WPS strategy recognizes the diverse roles women play as agents of change in preventing and resolving conflict, countering terrorism and violent extremism, and building post conflict peace and stability.
“Our goal is to synergize our subject matter experts here today and tomorrow, leveraging their expertise to improve efforts to advance women, peace and security through education, military, operations, and military and civilian institutions, and to take those recommendations that are presented and build on the progress we have made,” said Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield, U.S. Naval War College president.
The symposium consisted of four panels where they discussed WPS in areas of education, wargaming and institutions.
“The symposium afforded robust opportunities to discuss how wargaming, simulations and exercises are evolving to include discussion of gender. Including these factors in humanitarian response planning affords greater opportunities to protect vulnerable people in conflict settings,” said Hank Brightman, Ph.D., NWC’s EMC Informationist endowed chair and core professor. “It is only recently that women and other vulnerable populations have been fully considered in the development of major wargames, simulations and exercises. Such awareness is critical for effective military planning and the development of future policy.”
“I was impressed with the commitment to WPS from the military leadership, and the depth of thought that those tasked with implementing the WPS Act of 2017 have undertaken,” Hudson remarked.
NWC has been at the forefront of exploration into national and international issues involving WPS, working toward the goal of empowering women in conflict prevention and peace. The WPS Symposium will continue with another event next year.
The SFIP aims to organize and align the Department’s implementation of the WPS Strategy within the National Security Strategy (NSS) and the National Defense Strategy (NDS). These overarching, long-term objectives are as follows: The Department of Defense exemplifies a diverse organization that allows for women’s meaningful participation across the development, management and employment of the Joint Force, women in partner nations meaningfully participate and serve at all ranks and in all occupations in defense and security sectors, partner nation defense and security sectors ensure women and girls are safe and secure and that their human rights are protected, especially during conflict and crisis.
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