Advancing Human Security
WLP promotes a holistic, human-centered vision of security that prevents conflict, creates inclusive civil spaces, and protects the lives and livelihoods of all members of society.
Curriculum for practitioners and activists
Research on women's experience
Workshops on women and peacebuilding
Since the tragic events of 9/11, the concept of “security” has become more polarized—with proponents of state security too often pitted against proponents of human rights. The result has been that the aspiration of security itself has become highly politicized, impeding a critical component of human progress. WLP is working to reintroduce an all-encompassing vision of human security, which links human rights and human development in policy initiatives at the local and international levels. We are promoting an approach to human security that is inclusive of social, economic, cultural, civil, and political rights.
Training on Human Security Advocacy
WLP conducts grassroots workshops and national and regional training of trainers institutes (TOTs) that explain human security and highlight how it can be used to address a range of human welfare and policy priorities in communities experiencing stress and violence. The value of the human security approach is that it sets a bar across a multitude of criteria (including physical safety, adequate food, sufficient housing, and accessible healthcare, among others) below which the survival of people in a given community, or from a given class or group, is seriously at risk. At the same time, the human security approach contextualizes the causes of threats, and in so doing provides advocates with a way to demonstrate the needs and vulnerabilities of those who are threatened. WLP’s human security training for advocates and policy makers demonstrates how to use a human security approach in their advocacy for women’s advancement.
Empowering Women for Peacebuilding
Several times over the last decade, the UN Security Council has revisited the question of how best to address women’s rights in times of conflict, resulting in over half a dozen Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) on Women, Peace, and Security. The first of these resolutions was passed in 2000, five years after the close of the Bosnian war and the end of hostilities in Rwanda, in both of which rape was widely used as a weapon of war. The resolution recognized the disproportionate and unique impact of violent conflict on women, and called for women’s participation in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peacekeeping, and peace-building. Subsequent UNSCRs have addressed women’s participation as well as victimization in violent conflicts, and called for closing the gap between words and action among the UN Member States in implementing the Women, Peace, and Security agenda.
WLP’s partners, particularly in countries suffering violent conflict or neighbors to countries in violent conflict, have been intensely engaged in national and regional efforts to involve women in policymaking regarding victims and refugees of war, peace negotiations, and post-conflict reconstruction. WLP believes that it is critical to have women engaged in post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction efforts, and in building local civil society organizations that promote democracy and social and economic development. Toward this aim, we are conducting training of trainer institutes (TOTs) in Jordan, Lebanon, and Nigeria, on leadership, peacebuilding, and human rights, and we are supporting women’s advocacy on peace and security at the international level. Participants in the trainings include refugees from Syria and elsewhere, women from the refugee host countries, and women from regions in Iraq, Libya, and Nigeria that are experiencing violent conflict and/or its aftermaths.
Our goal is to empower women to take on leadership roles in the peace and recovery efforts in their home countries, and to introduce them to international mechanisms for human rights advocacy, such as the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review. Participants in the trainings go on to conduct their own WLP peacebuilding trainings, and are able to bring their local human rights and humanitarian concerns to the attention of international bodies.