This week, two members of the Florida delegation announced the formation of the Women, Peace and Security Caucus “which will focus on the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda and the importance of women’s inclusion in security efforts to maintain peace worldwide.”
U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., launched the new caucus on Monday.
“The bipartisan caucus aims to support the implementation of the WPS agenda and ensure the WPS goals are considered national security and foreign policy priorities for the United States. In 2000, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 1325, linking gender equality to the maintenance of international peace and security. Last Congress, the United States became the first country to put the priorities of the UN Resolution into law by passing the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Act of 2017 (P.L. 115-68). As directed through the WPS Act, the White House released the National Strategy last June to achieve the policy goals set forth in the Act. The strategy aims to increase women’s participation in political, civic and security endeavors to prevent and resolve conflicts and create conditions for long-term peace around the globe,” Waltz’s office noted.
“Social and political marginalization of women strongly correlates with the likelihood a country will experience conflict. When girls and women are healthy, educated, and financially secure, their communities are more prosperous and peaceful,” said Frankel. “As mothers, wives, women are uniquely situated to detect early signs of radicalization in youth. And research shows that when women and civil society groups participate in a peace process, the resulting agreement is much less likely to fail and more likely to last at least fifteen years.”
“In societies where women thrive, governments, economies and communities are stronger,” said Waltz. “As a Green Beret, I’ve seen the importance of women in peace processes all around the world. Peace agreements last longer when women are included in negotiations – and our world is ultimately a safer place because of gender equality.”
The new caucus quickly garnered the support of some key groups.
“We in civil society are extremely grateful for Congresswoman Frankel’s and Congressman Waltz’s incredible leadership on Women, Peace and Security,” said Sahana Dharmapuri, the director of the Our Secure Future. “The co-chairs will lead members on both sides of the aisle who are extremely supportive of advancing the role of women in building peaceful, stable societies around the world. We will fully support the caucus and its efforts to seek better national security policies and to provide the necessary congressional oversight. Our Secure Future is happy to help strengthen the links between Congress and their staff and civil society organizations working on this issue.”
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