DKI APCSS prioritizes the US Government’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) as an imperative component of inclusion in the security sector. We are at the forefront of US Department of Defense efforts to further its objectives.

Women, Peace and Security is a global initiative to promote gender inclusive strategies in response to evolving national and transnational threats. The gendered innovations in policy formulation reflect the shift in the traditional understanding of state security in view of its relationship with community security. WPS is an emergent peace and security agenda advancing the critical role women play in defining, understanding and addressing complex security challenges alongside men, as equal stakeholders. In acknowledging the importance of women’s participation in advancing these objectives, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously adopted its landmark resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in October 2000. Since then, ten supporting resolutions have been adopted to promote the role of women in: conflict prevention and resolution, peace negotiations, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. Notably, the UN resolutions also highlight the important role men play in enabling the inclusive agenda across the tiers of government, civil society and grassroots communities.

Latest WPS News

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WPS Conversations

Gendered Security

Ms. Beth Eggleston, Director of the Humanitarian Advisory Group (HAG) and Ms. Pip Henty, HAG leader and mobilizer

APCSS Prioritizes WPS by Director Pete Gumataotao

Understanding Gendered Security by Dr. James Minnich

Women in Leadership by Dr. Saira Yamin

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Thought Leaders

Shanchita Haque, a minister with the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations.

Dr. Lailufar Yasmin, Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka

Ammara Aamer Khattak, Additional Director, Pakistan Civil Services Academy, Lahore.

Ambassador Kaythi Soe, Embassy of Myanmar in the Czech Republic

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WPS Fellow’s Project in Myanmar

Ms. Aye May (Advanced Security Cooperation course 14-3) established a local NGO called Northern Shan State Women Organizations Network (NSSWON) comprising 23 local organizations in 2015.  The NSSWON offers capacity building programs on women’s leadership; gender-based violence and human trafficking awareness and support for victims; women’s rights based advocacy for legislative reform; and WPS education. 

In 2018, the NSSWON successfully conducted a historic workshop to improve civil-military relations in Myanmar.  This was the first time a local ethnic minority NGO was permitted to discuss Myanmar’s democratic transition process.  Funded by USAID, the event was officially authorized and registered with the assistance of the Myanmar DKI APCSS alumni network.  Four DKI APCSS alumni also served as speakers and facilitators.  Over 100 women from 11 different ethnic minority groups attended the event.  The participants developed realistic action plans and specific activities they could implement to develop common understanding and build trust between their ethnic communities and the local military and militia units operating in their areas. 

NSSWON is leading the #Timesup movement in Myanmar.  The movement is aimed to encourage and motivate women to take on leadership positions within the community and to change laws that impede women’s full participation in all governance aspects of the community.   

National Action Plans on Women, Peace, and Security: Around the World and in the US

As signatories of UNSCR 1325, all 193 member states of the United Nations are legally obligated to advance its objectives. Over 70 states have National Action Plans aligned with this effort and more are being crafted. The United States unveiled its first National Action Plan in 2011 with the enduring and foundational principle that states and societies are more peaceful and prosperous when women are empowered to realize their full potential through full and equal rights and opportunities. In October 2017, the passage of the Women, Peace and Security Act demonstrated the US government’s commitment to gender inclusion as a pathway to global peace and stability through a legislative framework.

Our Women, Peace and Security efforts include:

  1. Increasing the percentage of female course participants
    Since 2012, DKI APCSS has taken robust steps to achieve at least 25% enrollment of women in its courses and workshops. The results show a notable rise in our enrollment trends by gender (refer to graph) inspiring us to increase female participation to 33% or one-third. The increased attention to and participation of women have created greater awareness in course attendees of the value of inclusion in security sector institutions. Participants leave our engagements with an increased appreciation of the security imperatives for and contributions of women, creating more opportunities, assisting in their career progression, and enhancing national and international security. Senior male leaders around the Asia-Pacific region in military, justice, law enforcement and other security professions have actively increased female recruitment and are placing women in a broader variety of positions.
  2. Integrating WPS in the curriculum
    Course offerings include a special emphasis on Women, Peace and Security as a core theme in plenary settings and elective offerings.  WPS is integrated in teaching a wide range of topics such as humanitarian assistance and disaster response, terrorism and transnational crime, governance, and global climate change.
  3. Facilitating the development of Fellow’s Projects specific to WPS
    A Fellow’s Project is a key component of our in-resident courses. It is an opportunity for course participants to use knowledge gained at DKI APCSS to develop strategies to address security challenges in their countries and regions. A Fellow’s Project may be designed by course participants individually, or collaboratively by country-specific inter-agency and regional cohorts.

    Examples of recent Fellow’s Projects designed for implementation in the region include:

    • Building the capacity of women in grassroots de-radicalization programs
      Problem: The roots of radicalization are sometimes traced within the home and community environment.
      Outcomes and impact: Create awareness and give mothers in vulnerable communities the tools to partake in family-based de-radicalization efforts to counter the spread of extremist narratives.
    • Deployment of women border security guards
      Absence of women security guards at border check points prevents adequate security screening of female refugees, enabling the flow of illicit materials by transnational criminal groups and terrorists.
      Outcomes and impact: Improved security screening of refugees, including females, mitigates trafficking of weapons, drugs, and humans across the border, reducing terrorist and criminal activity.
    • Advancing mixed gender teams in peacekeeping operations
      Problem:International peacekeeping troops that are predominantly male are sometimes perceived as a threat by the communities they are mandated to protect. Service delivery and operational effectiveness is deterred by limited capacity to engage with the local communities.
      Outcomes and impact: Gain greater access to and build better relationships with local communities by having mixed gender teams; provide access to healthcare for women and children with respect to local customs; women in local communities are more likely to report gender-based sexual violence to female peacekeepers; conflict with local communities is reduced during disarmament operations requiring peacekeepers to search their home.
    • Developing National Action Plans on WPS
      Problem: Country does not have a policy framework on gender inclusion in security sector governance.
      Outcomes and impact: Design a policy framework aligned with UN norms to advance greater inclusion of women in the security sector through civilian and military inter-agency cooperation, promote awareness and importance of community security as a fundamental element of state security, create plans for creating a pool of women in security sector institutions, building their capacity and policies to retain and advance them to leadership positions.
  4. Conducting workshops and dialogues on WPS
    DKI APCSS organizes multilateral workshops in the Asia-Pacific region to highlight the value of inclusion for more effective security sector governance, and the development of regional norms and networks.
  5. Integrating WPS into our research
    Faculty and alumni research on the role of gender in a wide range of areas including counter terrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, national security policy formulation, and state-building in post-conflict environments.

WPS Milestones

WPS Strategic Frameworks and Implementation Plans