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Women's Refugee Commission Welcomes US National Action Plan on Women, Peace & Security

The Women’s Refugee Commission applauds the release of the first ever U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security and the accompanying Executive Order signed by President Obama that directs government agencies to implement it.

“In producing a National Action Plan, the United States is making a vital public commitment to support the full engagement of women in peace building and conflict prevention processes,” said Sarah Costa, Executive Director of the Women’s Refugee Commission. “The pledge in the National Action Plan to provide women and children with safe and equitable access to humanitarian assistance is also an essential building block for peace and stability.”

As an organization that strongly supported the adoption in 2000 of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, the Women’s Refugee Commission has advocated for a robust U.S. national action plan that helps ensure that women, including refugee women, are engaged as equal partners in peace and reconstruction initiatives and have equal opportunities to design, implement and benefit from assistance programs.

“The commitment to systematically integrate gender and protection issues into the U.S. response to crisis and disasters will help ensure that the needs of women and girls are much more effectively addressed from the very start of an emergency through to reconstruction and recovery,” Costa said.  “And given the high levels of gender-based violence in conflict-affected areas, we are particularly pleased that the National Action Plan reflects the urgent need to strengthen efforts to prevent gender-based violence and improve services for survivors,” added Costa.

The next step in the process is the development of specific implementation plans by the key agencies. The Women’s Refugee Commission and other civil society organizations look forward to working with these agencies on the components of their plans that will be essential for effective implementation.

“Our goal must be significant and concrete improvements in the everyday lives of conflicted-affected women—informed by those women, including the more than 20 million women and girls who have been displaced from their homes and communities by war,” Costa said.