Women Continue to Drive Democratic Change and Social Equality

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Under Secretary Maria Otero for Democracy and Global Affairs today said women continue tp drive democratic change and social equality.

At the Women in Security Network of the Peace Research Institute in Norway, Ms. Otero said the role of women-as leaders, first responders and victims-is key to global progress.

She said the United States is elevating civilian security-and the role of women in security- in their own foreign policy. She said women figure largely in the equation to peace and security.

Ms. Otero stressed that by refining and strengthening their civilian tools, the US government will better advance its foreign policy goals in concert with its military.

She stressed that leading through civilian power means:

  • directing and coordinating the resources of all America’s civilian agencies to prevent and resolve conflicts;
  • helping countries lift themselves out of poverty into prosperous, stable, and democratic states;
  • and build global coalitions to address global problems.

    Ms. Otero stated that as part of the changes underway, she will oversee the reorganization of Department of State entities united under the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights to:

  • Prevent and respond to crisis, conflict and instability;
  • Promote rule of law through security and justice sector reform;
  • Manage refugee and humanitarian crises;
  • Counter transnational threats such as narcotics, crime, and insurgency;
  • Promote effective, accountable democratic governance and vibrant civil societies; and
  • Advance human rights.

    “Of course, no matter where our civilian security efforts take place, we are ever mindful of the role of women. Whether we are facing political repression, war, climate change, or natural disaster, women and young people are on the front lines-as both victims and first responders.” -Ms. Otero

    She highlighted that despite bearing the brunt of society’s political and economic challenges, women continue to drive democratic change and social equality.

    Ms. Otero said she has participated in “The Role of Women in Global Security” Conference in Copenhagen. In the conference, the participants in the conference observed that ten years after the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1325, some improvements have been made, but women remain underrepresented in public office, at the negotiating table, and in peacekeeping missions.

    She emphasized the need to be doing a better job of incorporating women into peace building efforts at every step of the way, including in post-conflict disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR), security sector reform, and the rule of law activities.

    “Because, as we pave a path for women to become change agents in their own societies, we tip the balance away from more violence and towards more equitable and positive solutions.” -Ms. Otero

    She underscored that the United States’ increased focus on civilian security, conflict prevention-and the role of women in both-is an important opportunity for increased collaboration between U.S. and Norway.

  • Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.