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Issues: Women


An overwhelming amount of research has shown that countries where men and women are closer to enjoying equal rights are far more economically competitive and stable than those that do not guarantee equal rights.  The United States seeks to promote stability, peace, and development by committing to empower women politically, socially, and economically around the world.  To solidify this commitment, the United States launched several initiatives through the National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, aimed at ensuring women participate equally in preventing conflict and building peace in countries threatened and affected by war, violence, and insecurity, as well as securing universal human rights for women around the world.

Women News

USUN Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on the Situation in Afghanistan
Jun 21, 2017 | U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Michele Sison
In the context of these and other challenges Afghanistan continues to face, we strongly support the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, as an essential partner of Afghanistan and the international community. UNAMA plays a critical role in supporting peace and reconciliation, empowering women, defending the human rights of all Afghans, and coordinating humanitarian assistance. We look forward to the completion next month of the Secretary-General’s strategic review and to discussing ways to strengthen the mission’s efficiency, cost effectiveness, and core competencies. ...Read More
Press Release
HRC 35: Annual Full-Day Discussion on the Human Rights of Women – Morning Panel
Jun 13, 2017 | U.S. Delegation to the UN Human Rights Council
“Voices Against Violence: The Gender Based Violence Initiative” is a public-private partnership of the Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor and the Secretary’s Office on Global Women’s Issues. The program provides training on how to engage men and boys in combating gender-based violence; engages men to be advocates for gender equality; and aims to change perceptions of harmful gender norms. ...Read More
Press Release
Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteurs on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers and on Violence Against Women
Jun 12, 2017 | U.S. Delegation to the UN Human Rights Council
The U.S. remains concerned about the ongoing detention and arrests of lawyers, rights activists, and their colleagues around the world. In many cases, detainees have not been granted access to legal counsel. ...Read More
Press Release
Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children
Jun 9, 2017 | U.S. Delegation to the UN Human Rights Council
The U.S. Department of Justice launched the Labor Trafficking Initiative to strengthen efforts through training, enhanced intelligence models, and strategic outreach in order to improve identification of labor trafficking cases. Additionally, the Department of Labor (DOL) working closely with the Department of Justice, enhanced its protocols for detection and referral of potential labor trafficking cases. ...Read More
Press Release
Panel Discussion on Unaccompanied Migrant Children and Adolescents and Human Rights
Jun 9, 2017 | U.S. Delegation to the UN Human Rights Council

As delivered by Kathryn Keeley

Thank you for organizing this timely and important panel. The United States views the upcoming UN negotiation of the global migration compact as an opportunity to develop practical voluntary commitments to facilitate safe, orderly, and regular migration and to improve assistance to migrants in vulnerable situations, including unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents, who are at greater risk of becoming victims of human trafficking.

Unaccompanied migrant children and ...Read More

Press Release
Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on Discrimination Against Women in Law and Practice
Jun 8, 2017 | U.S. Delegation to the UN Human Rights Council

As Delivered by Michele Roulbet

Thank you Mr. Vice President. The United States thanks the Working Group for its work and the presentation. The Working Group’s report on good practices emphasizes that laws are essential in addressing discrimination against women. But they need to be accompanied by sustained implementation efforts, robust civil society advocacy, gender-sensitive discrimination education, and attitudinal and behavioral change to result in real improvements. Even quotas and other temporary measures meant to ...Read More

U.S. Efforts to Promote Women, Peace, and Security in Peacekeeping
May 8, 2017 | DipNote Bloggers

Women are pivotal in ending conflicts and promoting sustainable peace and security.  Because women and men experience conflict differently and understand peace differently, both need to be involved in peace and security efforts.  Recognizing the significant impact of conflict on women and the important role that they play in peace operations, the United States is committed to promoting women, peace, and security objectives through our Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI).

The integration of a ...Read More

UPR 27th Session-Intervention for Bahrain
May 1, 2017 | U.S. Delegation to the UN Human Rights Council
We commend Bahrain for maintaining institutions which promote accountability. We note a decrease in reports of excessive use of force, and the provision of human rights training for security forces. We acknowledge achievements in promoting women’s equality. We regret restrictions on peaceful assembly and association, including actions against political societies and Shia clerics, and obstruction of travel of human rights activists. ...Read More
Remarks at the 2017 Secretary of State's International Women of Courage Award Ceremony
Mar 29, 2017 | Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Thomas A. Shannon, Jr.
when you empower women in these developing parts of the world, you change the future of the country, because you change the cycle within the family. Women’s empowerment is not just a moral imperative; it is a strategic investment in our collective security. In short, when women do better, countries do better. Women’s security is a matter of international security. Without it, we all lose. ...Read More
International Women's Day
Mar 8, 2017 | Acting State Department Spokesperson, Mark C. Toner
From human rights to human security, women make the world a better place. We celebrate this today and look forward to recognizing a number of incredible women in person later this month. On March 29th, we will have the honor of presenting the 2017 International Women of Courage Awards. To date, this award has recognized nearly 100 women who have contributed to global stability, peace, and prosperity, often in the face of incredible adversity. ...Read More

Secretary Kerry on Human Rights

  • Secretary of State John Kerry's Remarks on the 2015 Human Rights Report "Societies that discriminate against women and minorities particularly have trouble competing against those that benefit from the contributions of all their citizens." --Secretary Kerry's remarks on the 2015 Human Rights Reports


  • Telling the stories of 20 women who are unjustly detained


  • Office of Global Women's Issues Newsletter

US Commitments to Women

  • Fact Sheet: U.S. Commitments to Women, Peace, and Security

Featured Photo

  • Thread First Lady Michelle Obama with 2014 International Women of Courage Awardee Ruslana Lyzhchko of Ukraine, March 2014.


  • Thread A Pivotal Moment for Women and Girls

    The challenges to women and girls are well known. Daunting barriers still prevent women’s full participation in the political and economic life of countries across the globe. In too many places girls are being denied the same education opportunities as boys.

Fact Sheet

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Fact Sheet

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Fact Sheet

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