Washington leading push to bring women to negotiating tables worldwide

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - President Trump recently signed into law legislation calling for more participation of women in international affairs. An effort spearheaded by Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD), it requires the administration to increase the role of women in peace treaties and conflict resolution.

Rep. Noem says women help guide communities in times of conflict, so they should be part of conflict resolution and prevention.

“It aims to empower half the population of the world,” said Kent Davis-Packard, coordinator of Women Lead at the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies.

An effort to give women a seat at the negotiating table is now law of the land. Signed by President Donald Trump, it’s called the Women, Peace and Security Act. Its mission is to ensure women play an increased role in international affairs. Davis-Packard says peace agreements are 64 percent less likely to fail when women play a key role.

“This is not about women. This is about human security. So you ask if the Women, Peace and Security Act is an important or relevant act. I think it is the hope of the world,” said Davis-Packard.

The legislation calls on the administration to submit plans to Congress for promoting the presence of women in negotiations across the world. Davis-Packard says it will require big cultural changes in some parts of the world.

“The only remedy for that is consciousness change. And how do you raise consciousness? It’s the same thing as slavery. It happens, actually, through suffering,” said Davis-Packard.

Noem says this isn’t just symbolic action. She says she is confident it will have an impact.

“We want successful peace negotiations so that we don’t continue to have these kind of conflicts all over the world,” said Noem.

She says women often run businesses, take care of families and lead communities in times of conflict. Thus, she says they should be involved in preventing conflict and negotiating peace.

“They’re collaborative and if we really want to meet the needs of those areas that are having these kind of conflicts having women at the table makes sense,” said Noem.

President Trump has a year to submit his implementation strategy to Congress.