IPI together with the Government of Sweden and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, in cooperation with the Folke Bernadotte Academy, cohosted the annual Women, Peace, and Leadership Symposium at IPI on September 21st. The topic of this year’s symposium centered on “Achieving Sustainable Peace and Security through Gender-Responsive Leadership.”
A gender-responsive leader proactively uses her or his leadership and management skills to promote gender equality in the workplace as well as in the organization’s operations. Gender-responsive leadership is essential for building gender-equal peace and security organizations. It also supports more successful implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security agenda.
Presentations at the event focused on good practices, challenges, and opportunities around gender-responsive leadership and how leaders have incorporated this concept into their daily work to advance gender-equal peace and security.
The discussants identified major obstacles facing the WPS agenda, including a significant lack of resources, accountability, and political will. Speakers also recognized the problematic tendency to treat WPS issues as separate from other geopolitical issues. Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden Ann Linde emphasized the interconnectedness of WPS issues and other issues, including the climate, energy, and food crises, and conflict in Ukraine. “In all these situations, women and girls are among those who are affected the most,” said Linde. “This is why the Women, Peace and Security agenda is more important and more relevant than ever.”
The speakers concluded that the WPS agenda must be integrated across dimensions, prioritized in peace talks, and bolstered through accountability measures.
H.E. Ms. Ann Linde, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden
H.E. Ms. Yōko Kamikawa, Member of the House of Representatives of Japan; Former Minister of Justice; and Former Minister of State for Gender Equality and Social Affairs, Japan
H.E. Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, SRSG and Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia
Ms. Kaavya Asoka, Executive Director of NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security
Dr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, IPI President and CEO