“Governments that fail to treat women equally do not allow their societies to reach their full potential [while] societies that empower women to participate fully in civic and economic life are more prosperous” – US National Strategy on WPS 2019
The SOUTHCOM’s Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Program recognizes the diverse roles women play as agents of change in preventing and resolving conflict, countering terrorism and violent extremism as well as building post-conflict peace and stability in our Hemisphere.
WPS is centered on four pillars: Participation, Prevention, Protection, and Relief and Recovery. This foundation provides unique engagement opportunities to strengthen bilateral relationships with regional partners through collective efforts that reinforce women’s empowerment, meaningful participation in decision-making, protection from violence, and access to resources.
Inclusiveness increases mission effectiveness and drives positive outcomes. With women making up over 50% of the population, they bring unique and necessary skills to security forces. We know that when we invest in a woman, she changes not only her own life, but also that of her family and community. Add that change in a key institution, such as the military, and she will change that institution and her country.
While structural changes to recruitment, training, and promotion systems are critical, we must also acknowledge the contributions of talented women across the security sector. We have made it our mission to empower women by highlighting those who are breaking barriers in our region. We want to make those that are invisible, visible.
About Our Team
The WPS Program falls under the direct oversight of the SOUTHCOM Civilian Deputy to the Commander, Ambassador Jean Manes. The WPS Team’s main responsibilities include:
Advising the Commander and staff on the integration of gender perspectives in military operations, activities, and investments (OAIs) across the continuum of defense and security sectors in our region.
Ensuring we accurately represent the roles of women and men in our plans and exercises.
Encouraging our partners to implement policies, plans, and structural changes that enhance the meaningful participation of women in decision-making processes related to peace and security.
Building relationships, networks, and mutual understanding to enable collaboration.
Important WPS Documents
UN Security Council Resolution 1325
Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017
The United States National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security
United States Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security
DoD Women, Peace, and Security Strategic Framework and Implementation Plan