S. 1141 requires the President to submit a government-wide “Women, Peace, and Security Strategy” within one year of enactment, and again four years later, describing how the U.S. will promote and strengthen women’s participation in peace negotiations and conflict prevention overseas.
The bill also requires the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Department of Defense to train personnel in matters related to the President’s strategy. Additionally, the bill encourages the State Department and USAID to establish guidelines by which overseas personnel will consult with stakeholders regarding efforts to resolve conflict and promote women’s participation in the mediation and negotiation process. Finally, the bill requires the State Department to brief the appropriate congressional committees on training regarding the participation of women in conflict resolution and requires the President to evaluate and report to Congress on the strategy’s impact.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Oct 7, 2017.
(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The expanded summary of the Senate passed version is repeated here.)
Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017
(Sec. 3) This bill expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) the United States should be a global leader in promoting the participation of women in conflict prevention, management, and resolution and post-conflict relief and recovery efforts; (2) the political participation and leadership of women in fragile environments, particularly during democratic transitions, is critical to sustaining democratic institutions; and (3) the participation of women in conflict prevention and conflict resolution helps promote more inclusive and democratic societies and is critical to country and regional stability.
(Sec. 5) The President, within one year after enactment of this bill and again four years later, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees and make public a Women, Peace, and Security Strategy, which shall:
be aligned with other nations' plans to improve the participation of women in peace and security processes, conflict prevention, peace building, and decision-making institutions; and include goals and evaluation plans to ensure strategy effectiveness. Such a strategy shall include a specific implementation plan from each relevant federal agency.
The President is urged to promote women's participation in conflict prevention.
It is the sense of Congress that the President should: (1) provide technical assistance and training to female negotiators, peace builders, and stakeholders (non-governmental and private sector entities engaged in or affected by conflict prevention and stabilization, peace building, security, or related efforts); (2) address security-related barriers to women's participation; (3) encourage increased women's participation in U.S.-funded programs that provide foreign nationals with law enforcement, rule of law, or military education training; (4) support appropriate local organizations, especially women's peace building organizations; and (5) expand gender analysis to improve program design.
(Sec. 6) The Department of State shall ensure that personnel responsible for, or deploying to, countries or regions considered to be at risk of undergoing, or emerging from, violent conflict obtain training in the following areas, each of which shall include a focus on ensuring participation by women:
conflict prevention, mitigation, and resolution; protecting civilians from violence, exploitation, and trafficking in persons; and international human rights law. The Department of Defense shall ensure that relevant personnel receive training in:
conflict prevention, peace processes, mitigation, resolution, and security initiatives that addresses the importance of participation by women; and gender considerations and participation by women, including training regarding international human rights law and protecting civilians from violence, exploitation, and trafficking in persons. (Sec. 7) The State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development shall establish guidelines for overseas U.S. personnel to consult with stakeholders regarding U.S. efforts to:
prevent, mitigate, or resolve violent conflict; and enhance the success of mediation and negotiation processes by ensuring the meaningful participation of women. The State Department is urged to work with international, regional, national, and local organizations to increase the participation of women in international peacekeeping operations.
(Sec. 8) The State Department, within one year after the first strategy's submission, shall brief the appropriate congressional committees on training regarding the participation of women in conflict resolution.
The President, within two years after each strategy's submission, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that evaluates the implementation of such strategy and the impact of U.S. diplomatic efforts and foreign assistance programs to promote the participation of women.