Michael Waltz, Lois Frankel look to increase women’s involvement in global security work

The duo has formed the Women, Peace and Security Caucus.

U.S. Reps. Lois Frankel and Michael Waltz are launching a new caucus aimed at getting women more involved in international security efforts.

The newly-formed Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Caucus will be behind that push. Frankel and Waltz want to include more women in peace negotiations between nations. The pair also wants to up the number of women serving in peacekeeping and security forces.

“In societies where women thrive, governments, economies and communities are stronger,” Waltz said in a statement announcing the effort.

“As a Green Beret, I’ve seen the importance of women in peace processes all around the world. Peace agreements last longer when women are included in negotiations — and our world is ultimately a safer place because of gender equality.”

In 2017, President Donald Trump signed the Women, Peace and Security Act into law. The bill had similar aims to the WPS Caucus by helping to train women to serve in those security posts. A 2000 U.N. Security Council resolution served as the inspiration for that legislation.

The caucus will be open to members of both parties “dedicated to fully implementing” the 2017 law.

“Social and political marginalization of women strongly correlates with the likelihood a country will experience conflict. When girls and women are healthy, educated, and financially secure, their communities are more prosperous and peaceful,” Frankel added in a statement of her own.

“As mothers, wives, women are uniquely situated to detect early signs of radicalization in youth. And research shows that when women and civil society groups participate in a peace process, the resulting agreement is much less likely to fail and more likely to last at least fifteen years.”

Sahana Dharmapuri is the Director of the Our Secure Future. That organization also seeks to implement the goals laid in the 200 U.N. resolution. Dharmapuri praised the creation of the caucus.

“The Co-Chairs will lead Members on both sides of the aisle who are extremely supportive of advancing the role of women in building peaceful, stable societies around the world,” Dharmapuri said.

We will fully support the Caucus and its efforts to seek better national security policies and to provide the necessary Congressional oversight. Our Secure Future is happy to help strengthen the links between Congress and their staff and civil society organizations working on this issue.”

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


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