Added: Deaundra Wunder - Date: 13.04.2022 00:53 - Views: 38723 - Clicks: 1607
These policy areas encompass a wide range of very different issues, and, in my view, our scorecard on them is mixed in terms of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. The United States and its closest allies have taken some steps to empower women and other marginalized populations in their governments and militaries. And I am pleased to note that an increasing of my foreign interlocutors are women or individuals from other marginalized populations. Before addressing these disparities in more detail, I would first like to say a few words about the importance of diversity and its relevance to international security.
President Biden has made clear through a of bold and ambitious initiatives that prioritizing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility is a U. As Secretary Blinken has often noted, diversity and inclusion makes us stronger, smarter, more creative, and more innovative. And that diversity gives us a ificant competitive advantage on the world stage. It is time to change that reality. We all have a responsibility to cultivate a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible workplace culture where every individual can thrive.
The Department, and the U. Government as a whole, can only effectively advocate on behalf of the American people when it looks like the country it represents. These are American values, albeit ones we struggle daily to realize. But I believe we should also work to help them become universal ones. People of all nations deserve governments that represent and reflect the richness and diversity of their citizens. And while we cannot tell other governments or their citizens which ro to walk, we can, I hope, agree upon the ultimate destination of a more equitable future for all and offer each other encouragement along the way.
National security experts now consider policy areas as diverse as climate change, food and water security, and health security as central to their work. Although armed conflict and humanitarian disasters adversely and disproportionately affect women and girls, women remain underrepresented in efforts to prevent and resolve conflict and in post-conflict peacebuilding or recovery efforts.
According to the United Nations, between andwomen made up just 2 percent of mediators, 4 percent of witnesses and atories, and 9 percent of negotiators in formal post-conflict peace talks. Research has also shown that peace negotiations are more likely to succeed, and result in lasting stability, when women participate.
The systemic barriers to their meaningful participation include political under-representation in leadership, pervasive gender-based violence, and persistent economic inequality. One statistical measure of this effect is that 14 of the 17 countries that the Organization for Economic and Cooperation Development scored lowest on its Index for Gender Discrimination have experienced armed conflict in the last two decades.
This type of insecurity negatively impacts both U. They become arenas for proxy wars or even wars between nation-states. And they lead to massive population displacement, migration, and further regional instability. Our journey down the road towards a more equitable future for all requires that we provide women and other marginalized populations with the tools and capabilities they need to engage meaningfully in crisis situations. Whether they the conversation before, during, or after a conflict has arisen, their active participation at all levels makes a stable and lasting peace easier to achieve.
The specific tools and strategies we apply will vary based on local conditions and local culture, and the voices of the women on the ground, but it is long past time that women and other marginalized populations have a seat at the table. For many years the United States has been a leader in the struggle for gender equality. Since then, we have consistently placed women at the center of our arms control and disarmament teams.
We have also led the way in putting women at the forefront at the negotiating table. One of my predecessors, former Under Secretary Rose Gottemoeller, did outstanding work during her tenure as the U. And she completed that groundbreaking nuclear treaty in a short period of time.
We will continue to engage Russia in deliberate and robust discussions that can lay the groundwork for future arms control and risk reduction measures. This work illustrates the vital contributions to peace and international security that women can make when they are given the opportunity, and when governments make gender equality a policy priority, as the United States has done. For more than two decades, my agency, the Department of State, has made gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls a key component of U.
This reflects American values and contributes to advancing democracy and human rights, economic development, and international peace and security. The Department has also worked to ensure that gender equality objectives are fully integrated into Department and interagency strategy, planning, and posture documents.
As the first comprehensive national law of its kind, the WPS Act has promoted the meaningful participation of women in all aspects of overseas conflict prevention, management, and resolution, and post-conflict relief and recovery efforts. Taken together, these measures demonstrate U. Government efforts to address the underlying causes of conflict and fragility, prevent violence and atrocities, and promote stability through strategic policy guidance and training.
We hope that other nations will take note of our example and consider their own national legislation. We have made ificant progress, but we also know that many best practices have yet to be fully realized.
Support for STEAM is essential if we are to successfully encourage women and other marginalized populations to be engaged in the international security field. Women and other marginalized populations participation in the science and technology workforce remains a vast untapped source of potential economic growth for all nations. Our policies can be improved with more varied voices at the table. Women and girls globally should have equal opportunities to pursue an education and vocation in STEAM. Before I conclude I wanted to offer some more personal reflections on the challenges women still face when they pursue careers in international security and weapons of mass destruction arms control, especially in relation to nuclear security.
I have confronted some of these challenges myself, and others have been documented by fellow women national security leaders who are also seeking positive change. First, too many women and other marginalized populations still encounter a toxic mix of implicit and explicit biases. Negative attitudes towards and false perceptions of individuals based on their gender or ethnic identity are out of place in governments and institutions founded upon the meritocratic principle.
Harassment and discrimination, which sadly remain prevalent, have no place in the workplace. This problem is especially acute for women, people of color, and individuals of marginalized populations, due to intersectionality, or the concept that experiences of discrimination can reinforce each other. It can be harder to excel when faced with the explicit and implicit bias towards someone who is young, a person of color, or LGBTQ, while also doing the challenging work of international security. Sadly, too many potential future leaders leave the international security field early because they feel alienated, or because they see the lack of faces that look like them in these areas of work.
This loss of precious human capital can and must stop. It can be rectified, however, through strong leadership, effective mentorship, and individual empowerment. It also requires no small bit of courage to step up and invest in the people on your team.
It has been my responsibility, and also my privilege, to mentor the next generation of peace and national security professionals and work to increase the representation of women and all minorities who are seeking careers in these fields. I am pleased that this message is getting out and more and more senior leaders are taking on the responsibility.
Finally, let me offer a cautionary example. Certainly, we should value the wisdom that has been passed down by generations of experts, but no individual should ever self-censor or withhold well thought out ideas from the group out of fear of being judged unfairly or experiencing retaliation for expressing an alternative perspective.
Failing to acknowledge this tendency, and fight against it on a daily basis, can lead to costly group think, and other errors of policy and judgment that too comfortable majorities regularly fall prey to. Expanding the circle of leadership is the essential first step to making this happen. I would like to close on an encouraging note.
Our diversity is our strength and it will lead to better, more innovative policy outcomes over the long term. The recent attention to this issue is helping to lead positive change, and both leadership and staff are discovering the crucial importance of allyship, or the investment of time and effort in mutual support and ability as a regular part of the typical workday.
This rethinking of both how we work and how we perceive each other as colleagues is building stronger teams and making our offices more pleasant places to work. In addition to managing the foreign policy component of U. As the founder and former executive director of the NGO Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security, I will continue to advocate tirelessly for the inclusion of women, girls, and individuals of marginalized populations, at all levels and in all aspects of international security, peace building, disarmament, arms control, and nonproliferation.
This is a fight worth undertaking, and one that we cannot let rest. I call on all of us here to me on the journey towards a more equitable future for all. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites. Share Share this on:. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility DEIA President Biden has made clear through a of bold and ambitious initiatives that prioritizing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility is a U.
Personal Reflections Before I conclude I wanted to offer some more personal reflections on the challenges women still face when they pursue careers in international security and weapons of mass destruction arms control, especially in relation to nuclear security. Conclusion I would like to close on an encouraging note. Thank you. Back to Top.Need a woman in my arms
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