Senate bill boosts women's role in conflict resolution

New legislation from Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) would codify an administration commitment to promote the participation of women in negotiations to prevent and resolve violent conflicts around the world.

In 2011, the administration released a "National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security." That plan said violence can be "more effectively avoided ... when women become equal partners in all aspects of peace-building and conflict prevention."

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It also said the administration is committed to integrating the views of women into all U.S. diplomatic, security and development efforts.

Despite that commitment, Boxer and Kirk said women are still under-represented in international peace talks, and that their bill is needed to ensure women play a larger role in these efforts.

"For too long, women have been left out of peace negotiations — even though they are disproportionately affected by these conflicts," Boxer said Thursday. "It is critical that women are full and active partners in the resolution of conflicts around the world."

"This bill would empower women and ensure that they are part of the process to build lasting peace in regions afflicted by war, instability and violence," Kirk added.

The bill is also sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.). 

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