Washington, D.C. – Reps. Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) alongside House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY) today introduced H.R.2484, the Women, Peace, and Security Act.  This bipartisan legislation would require the U.S. to develop a comprehensive strategy to increase and strengthen women’s participation in peace negotiations and conflict prevention globally.

“Especially when the world is so volatile and security remains a constant concern, it’s critical we take full advantage of proven peace-building tactics, such as involving women in conflict prevention and resolution,” said Rep. Noem.  “We understand from research that peace agreements are much more likely to be sustained if women have a role in the negotiations.  The bipartisan Women, Peace, and Security Act ensures, through meaningful congressional oversight, that women gain this seat at the table.  I thank Rep. Schakowsky, Chairman Royce, and Ranking Member Engel for working to advance this critical national security tool.”

“It’s no surprise to women to hear that peace agreements last longer when women are involved in the negotiations and the implementation,” said Rep. Schakowsky. “The legislation that Rep. Noem and I are introducing today ensures that women have a meaningful role in peace building, conflict resolution, and conflict prevention around the world. The United States can be a world leader in promoting peace and lasting solutions to armed conflicts. I’m excited to propose this legislation along with Representatives Royce and Engel to make sure that we do just that.”

“As we’ve seen in Northern Ireland, Africa, Asia, and beyond, women play critical roles in ending brutal conflicts,” said Chairman Royce. “Unfortunately, their participation in peace negotiations continues to be limited. That is why I am proud to sponsor this bill, which will encourage women’s participation in negotiations to end conflicts and secure peace.”

“The Obama Administration’s 2011 National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security highlighted the benefits of involving women in conflict prevention and resolution.  In the years that followed, our country worked to put women at the center of our foreign policy.  We need to build on those successes,” said Ranking Member Engel. “This bipartisan bill finally cements the Obama Administration’s strategic policy plan and ensures that government personnel are fully trained on the unique strengths women bring to these critical issues. Not only is this policy the smart thing for our national security, but the right thing by including women in all aspects of our foreign policy.”

Research shows that peace agreement is 35 percent more likely to last at least 15 years when women are involved.  While some work has been done to include women at the negotiating table, this legislation would require a focused strategy with greater congressional oversight.  Companion legislation has been introduced in the Senate.