With the generous support of the Embassy of Liechtenstein in Washington, D.C., WIIS facilitates a series of expert roundtables to explore the gender dimensions of key security challenges. These roundtables provide a forum to bring together a diverse group of experts and policymakers to advance gender considerations in security policy deliberations. WIIS reflects and disseminates key roundtable takeaways and expert recommendations through policy briefs and framing papers.

2021 Roundtables

9 December 2021: Afghanistan: Humanitarian Emergency and Gender Discrimination

The Taliban’s seizure of power in August 2021 marked a drastic setback to the rights and safety of women in Afghanistan. Under the Taliban, women and girls are excluded from societal space, education, and political decision-making. High levels of gender-based violence (GBV) and the restriction of women’s rights are coupled with the rapidly worsening humanitarian situation. Barriers for male survivors of sexual assault in Afghanistan, including the access to and quality of healthcare facilities and services, have further increased. The Taliban have reportedly perpetrated violence and sexual assaults against members of the LGBTQI+ community. Many individuals have been forced to go into hiding, relying on friends and families for basic necessities.

On December 9, 2021, at 11 AM (EST),  WIIS and the Embassy of Liechtenstein, Washington D.C.  held a virtual policy roundtable examining the current situation facing some of the most vulnerable individuals in Afghanistan from a political, social, legal, economic, and humanitarian perspective as well as the role of the international community in response to the crisis.

2 December 2021: Gender and Conflict: Inclusive Responses within the WPS Agenda

In October 2000, the United Nations Security Council passed Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325), creating the “Women and Peace and Security” (WPS) agenda, drawing attention to women and girls during conflict. Nine WPS Resolutions followed and expanded the agenda to better respond to women and girls experience of violence as a result of armed conflict, and their inherent right to participate in peace negotiations and reconstruction efforts. In April 2019, the ninth WPS resolution 2467 for the first time recognized the specific targeting of men and boys in conflict and post conflict settings urging appropriate responses for male survivors and urges member states “to strengthen policies that offer appropriate responses and challenge cultural assumptions about male invulnerability”.

On December 2, 2021 at 1:00 PM, WIIS and the Embassy of Liechtenstein, Washington DC for a virtual roundtable which brought together academic experts, and policymakers:

  • Highlight the causes and gendered impacts of conflict related sexual violence on all individuals;
  • Discuss how the adoption of a comprehensive and inclusive gender perspective can build complement and strengthen prevention, protection and participation;
  • Explore how heteronormative approaches can be addressed by the inclusion of sexual orientation, gender identity and or expression within the WPS framework.

22 September 2021: Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Under Threat: Conflict and Authoritarianism, Closing Civic Space and Covid

Women and gender champions are facing unprecedented levels of violence and repression. Wars and authoritarian regimes are threatening Women, Peace and Security activists and survivors. In Afghanistan, the Taliban are threatening the human rights of women and children, while other authoritarian regimes are restricting civil spaces and social cohesion. Some governments have also used COVID-19 to restrict civil space and engage in increased levels of repression against civilian populations. Gender-based violence is rising alongside the highest increase in early/forced child marriage and child trafficking documented in over 25 years. Meanwhile, social safeguards to protect women and children from violence have weakened, including limiting access to social safe haven spaces. Now, more than ever, it is vital to examine these current, intersecting challenges.

WIIS and the Embassy of Liechtenstein, Washington DC held a policy roundtable discussion on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, at 12 pm EDT here expert panelists will examine these issues and make recommendations for moving forward.

21 June 2021: A Gender Framework from Arms Control & Disarmament

 WIIS and the Embassy of the Principality of Liechtenstein, Washington DC held a virtual policy roundtable discussion on Monday, June 21, 2021 at 11 am EST on the role of gender in arms control and disarmament including the 3-p framework proposed by Chantal de Jonge Oudraat and Jana Wattenberg in their policy brief “A Gender Framework for Arms Control and Disarmament

30 March 2021: New Technologies and Cybersecurity: The Role of Gender

WIIS and the Embassy of the Principality of Liechtenstein, Washington DC held a virtual policy roundtable discussion on the ways in which a critical gendered approach can be implemented in the cybersecurity and technology field moving forward.

2020 Roundtables

15 December 2020: Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery: The Roles of Finance and Tech

WIIS and the Embassy of the Principality of Liechtenstein, Washington DC held a virtual policy roundtable discussion on the efforts to combat human trafficking and modern slavery, with a focus on the roles of the financial and technology sectors.

26 October 2020: Book Launch – The Gender & Security Agenda: Strategies for the 21st Century

Women In International Security (WIIS) and the Embassy of Liechtenstein, DC held a virtual discussion with the authors of ”The Gender & Security Agenda: Strategies for the 21st Century‘. The events was recorded and is accessible here.

24 June 2020: Perspectives of the UN at 75

This roundtable focused on Perspectives of the UN at 75. This panel examined the successes and failures of the UN over the past 75 years and how best to move forward. We focused on a range of current issues including: gender equality, climate change, health and security.

22 April 2020: Combating Corruption in Environmental Crimes

Women In International Security (WIIS) and the Embassy of Liechtenstein held a conversation on Combating Corruption in Environmental Crimes. This unique and critical discussion engaged with the evolving frontline of environmental crime, and the role of women and gender in combating corruption. The diverse expertise of the speakers contributed to a range of perspectives on this complex topic

5 February 2020: A Woman’s Place: US Counterterrorism Since 9/11 Policy Roundtable

This policy roundtable focuses on gender and counterterrorism. A panel of experts in this field discussed the current state of countering violent extremism, the gender dimensions at play, and how to best move forward.We were joined by Dr. Joana Cook, author of the new book “A Woman’s Place: US Counterterrorism Since 9/11,” Seamus Hughes of the George Washington University Program on Extremism, and Lauren Protentis, communications and national security expert.

2019 Roundtables

25 July 2019: US Strategy on Women, Peace and Security Policy Roundtable

This policy roundtable discussed the Trump Administration’s June 2019 Strategy on Women, Peace and Security. A panel of expert scholars and civil society leaders critically evaluated this plan as well as strategize mechanisms to support a smooth and effective implementation process.

11 July 2019: Gender and Great Power Competition Policy Roundtable

On July 11, 2019, WIIS and the Embassy of Liechtenstein held a policy roundtable conversation. An expert panel examined the present state of great power competition, evaluated chief actors and dynamics, and explored the gender dimensions of this most pressing international security matter.

2 May 2019: Right Wing and Religious Violent Extremism Policy Roundtable

This policy roundtable focused on right-wing and religious violent extremism. Panelists explored the relationship between the global rise in right-wing/violent extremism and authoritarianism/ populism. Furthermore, the group discussed the role of gender and gender norms in explaining the movement.

6 March 2019: Women In Politics: Challenges and Opportunities

The fifth roundtable in the series continued November’s discussion of women in politics as the 116th Congress settled in. Women make up 24% of seats of the 116th Congress, cementing the legislature as the most gender-inclusive in US history. We heard from Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger and a panel of experts about the challenges and opportunities facing women in politics. We also discussed the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Act passed by the 115th Congress.

28 November 2019: Women In Politics 

The fourth roundtable in the series discussed the role of women in politics given the historic demographic achievements of the 116th Congress. A record number of women ran for and won US office in 2018. With a panel of expert panelists, we discussed what implications this trend has for future female participation in politics, both here in the United States and around the globe. Our panel furthermore explored both the obstacles and opportunities shaping the electoral landscape for women and considered what role political parties, states, and civil society actors can play in opening up the field to future female candidates.

2018 Roundtables

13 June 2018: Youth, Peace and Security

This roundtable discussion on the Youth, Peace and Security agenda and its intersections with the Women, Peace and Security agenda. Experts examined the genesis and significance of the YPS agenda (UNSCR 2250) as well as the 2018 report of the UN Secretary-General on Youth, Peace and Security. They also highlighted and discussed the conceptual, political and practical challenges of this agenda, including commonly held assumptions with regard to youth, the role of gender, and masculinity.

26 April 2018: Climate Change: The Gender Dimensions

The third roundtable in the series discussed the gender dimensions of climate change. The discussion examined how climate change impacts men and women, to what extent national and international policies have integrated these gender dimensions, and identified gaps. The experts also discussed the state of research and how the Women, Peace and Security Agenda intersects with scholarship and programs addressing climate change.

15 March 2018: People on the Move: The Gender Dimensions of Migration, Refugee Crises, and Human Trafficking

The second roundtable in the series discussed the movement of people and the gender dimensions and effects of voluntary and forced migration. The discussion asked if the current  international and national legal and political frameworks and institutions adapt to the changing nature of the movement of people in the 21st century.  Additionally, gender has historically been neglected by policymakers when considering how to address the many problems that migrants and refugees face, particularly how to combat human trafficking. Although the situation is improving, the gender dimensions of each phenomenon – and how they intersect – are still woefully understudied and dismissed. The discussion focused on how the Women, Peace and Security Agenda intersect with the migratory and refugee and human trafficking agendas.

2017 Roundtables

18 September 2017: Gender Dimensions of Security in the Horn of Africa

The first roundtable in the series discussed Gender, Peace, and Security. For this discussion, the discussion focused on gender dimensions of security challenges in Kenya and the Horn of Africa. Panelists examined the role of gender in traditional security challenges such as terrorism and armed conflict, as well as non-traditional, human security issues such as human rights and climate change. Experts discussed the gender-related violence against the record number of female candidates in Kenya’s recent elections and efforts to increase female political participation.

Policy Briefs

Read policy briefs from the series here and check back for updates on upcoming publications.