Gender and Peacebuilding Initiative
Under the leadership of Kathleen Kuehnast, the Gender and Peacebuilding Initiative organises educational and training programs, events and publications in order to allow women to gain access to leadership positions and raise awareness on gender issues.
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Headquarted in Washington D.C. (Gender Equality in the United States of America of America), the fledgling Gender and Peacebuilding Initiative is the operating arm of the United States Institute of Peace that focuses on gender related issues. It was created in 2009. The institute is actively involved in a wide array of functions including: delivering grants and fellowships, arranging training, educational programs and working groups, arranging events and crafting publications.
The institute’s primary objective is to concentrate on gender related issues by:
- creating awareness and understanding of the impact of gender related issues by arranging to have experts in the areas of gender, conflict and peacebuilding;
- analysing the full effects of gender related factors in order to influence policy making; and
- providing comprehensive education and training in order to increase the role women play in peacebuilding initiatives.
The institution is currently focusing its efforts in three areas: building Iraqi women’s leadership capacity, sustainable economies, and religion and peacemaking.
Building Iraqi Women’s Leadership Capacity
With collaborative efforts from the U.S. Embassy in Iraq’s Constitutional and Legislative Affairs branch, the Gender and Peacebuilding Initiative looks to increase the percentage of women in leadership roles in Iraq . Striving to increase women’s capacity in both the government and civil society, the initiative uses the “Toolkit for Women’s Leadership on Collaborative Problem Solving” to reach results. The toolkit boasts the ability to train women in media applications and speechmaking. By improving the rate of representation of women in the Iraqi council of representative, provincial council and Iraqi NGOs, Iraqi women will have a louder voice in Iraq.
By using economic strategies conceived by the Center for Sustainable Economies’, the initiative hopes to focus on women’s potential roles in creating long-term sustainability.
Religion and Peacemaking
The institution has combined religion and peacemaking in several projects which include:
- Textbooks which are now being written in Pakistan that combine conflict management with Islamic teachings and also highlights ignorance rooted in prejudice of women. These publications are a direct result of workshops held by the Pakistan Peace Education Textbook and Teacher Training Project.
- 20 madrasa teachers in Afghanistan have been trained to teach conflict resolution to their students by the Peace Education for Religious Schools in Afghanistan Project.
- 60 Protestant and Catholic Women in Colombia have been assembled by the Women’s Ecumenical Peacemaking Project to use networking opportunities through the churches to contribute to the impact of religious peacemakers.
- United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325
- Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
- Women in Government (WIG, United States of America)