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Georgetown Celebrates Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day

March 6, 2018 – A discussion on the new federal law mandating integration of a gender perspective in certain government programs and policies kicked off Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security’s (GIWPS) events in honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day.

"We know that integrating women in peace and security processes is the right thing, and the smart thing to do, but now it's legally mandated,” said Rebecca Turkington, GIWPS program manager, at the March 1 panel co-hosted by Georgetown’s Center for Security Studies.

Congress passed the Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017, which mandates diplomatic, military and development programs and policies include a gender perspective this past October.

Michelle Barsa, Commander Suzanne Mainor and Elizabeth Lape spoke about their years of experience working in U.S. defense and development agencies at the "Implementing Women, Peace & Security in Practice” event about working to mainstream women, peace and security at tactical, operational and strategic levels in U.S. defense and security policy.

The event is one of nine GIWPS is hosting in March, with many other Georgetown entities holding events for Women’s History Month.

Global Index

GIWPS is relaunching its global Women, Peace, and Security Index this month at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the world's largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization.

Created by GIWPS in collaboration with the Peace Research Institute of Oslo, the index draws on recognized international data sources to rank 153 countries on the condition of women and their empowerment in homes, communities, and societies more broadly.

It first launched in October 2017 at the United Nations.

International Women’s Day

In celebration of International Women's Day and the 62nd session of the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women, GIWPS is hosting several events in New York and Washington. Melanne Verveer, GIWPS executive director, serves as the OSCE Special Representative for Gender and will deliver a speech at the OSCE’s International Women’s Day Proceedings on March 8.

“International Women’s Day should not be a one-day celebration but a day to reflect and renew our commitment to women’s progress – to gender equality and women’s empowerment,” Verveer said. “It is fundamentally the right thing to do. It is also the smart thing to do if we want to create economic opportunity, social progress and peace and security.”

Additional Events

Other GIWPS events include a panel discussion in New York on March 15 on the link between the GIWPS index and the work of practitioners, co-sponsored by the Government of Norway and the International Peace Institute.

Verveer and GIWPS will participate in three side events to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women session, on topics ranging from violence against women to opportunities for rural women and girls in Ukraine at the United Nations March 13-23.

The institute also will host a special screening on March 12 of the new acclaimed documentary Wave Goodbye to Dinosaurs, about the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition that won two seats at the historic peace talks nearly 20 years ago.