Gender and National Security

Social science has brought the connection between gender and security into sharp focus—gender-based violence is one of the best predictors of both intra- and inter-state conflict.  And gender diversity is critical for brokering peace; research shows that peace processes in which women participate are more durable. For example, we know that ISIS is fueled by gender inequality and that women can be instrumental in providing early warning signs that a society is radicalizing.

Even with this robust research, American security policymakers still struggle to incorporate gender perspectives, both in terms of analysis and of inclusion. Women remain underrepresented in situation rooms and board rooms, in embassies, and on the front lines, and gender analysis is absent from many policy frameworks.  Overall, traditional masculine norms dominate the field.

New Models of Policy Change director Heather Hurlburt and Global Gender Parity Initiative director Elizabeth Weingarten have partnered to do groundbreaking research on how American policymakers and academics understand the gender dimensions of national security; to explore what has and has not worked about efforts to bring the United Nations' Women, Peace and Security initiatives to U.S. policymaking; and to break down barriers between national security professionals and the field of gender study. 

This initiative is supported by the Compton Foundation.