A Seat at the (Peace Negotiation) Table for Women

Bipartisan legislation designed to promote the role of women in peace negotiations and conflict prevention abroad has sailed through Congress and now sits on President Donald Trump's desk awaiting his signature.

The Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017, first introduced to the Senate by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Shelley Moore Caputo (R-WV) in May and passed on Monday, would require Trump to submit a government-wide strategy describing how the U.S. will strengthen women's participation in peace talks within a year, and whoever's president in four years time must do the same then, according to a summary of the bill on the GovTrack website. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Christopher Coons (D-DE) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) each joined the bill as co-sponsors shortly after its introduction.

"Around the world, women remain under-represented in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and post-conflict peace building efforts," the bill's text reads. "Women in conflict-affected regions have achieved significant success in moderating violent extremism, countering terrorism, resolving disputes through nonviolent mediation and negotiations and stabilizing societies by enhancing the effectiveness of security services, peacekeeping efforts, institutions and decision-making processes.

"It is the sense of Congress that... the United States should be a global leader in promoting the meaningful participation of women in conflict prevention, management, and resolution, and post-conflict relief and recovery efforts."

In a statement Tuesday, Shaheen said, "[Women] deserve to be fully represented at the negotiating table. This bipartisan legislation will ensure that U.S. diplomats, military personnel and development workers are trained to promote the inclusion of women in peacemaking processes and that the U.S. continues to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on the role of women in peace and security.”

Skopos Labs, which makes predictions on bill passage for GovTrack, says the bill has a 93 percent chance of being enacted. The White House press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this report about Trump's intentions.

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