Courage Under Fire:

The Role of Women in Conflicts, Transitions, and Security

This year’s conference will focus on the role of women during armed conflicts, the aftermath of those conflicts, and the ensuing peace process. 

Panel 1: Women in Conflict Zones

Women serve important roles, and face specific challenges during armed conflicts. This panel will focus on the role of women during these moments of conflict, how they are affected, and whether their stories are being shared with the public and relevant figures within the U.S. government. An interesting dimension in this area is the role of cultural differences in gender relationships. We will have panelists such as academics, journalists, and government officials focused on these topics. 

Panel 2: Women as Agents of Change

In the recent uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, women were at the forefront of the protests. However, once the struggle was over, women were generally expected to return to their normal roles. Very few were present at the negotiations about new political orders, and now it seems likely that women will make few gains under the new regimes. Both researchers and practitioners argue that due to the unique experience of women – both during conflict and in the period of reconciliation – gender issues need to be given special emphasis during the transitional process. This panel will explore this issue further and will feature people working and researching in the field of transitional justice.

Panel 3: Implications for US Policy

This panel will focus on how the issues discussed over the course of the previous two panels, and perhaps other issues, do or should affect U.S. policy. Panelists include an academic, a former participant in the Marine Corps Lioness Program, and an official from the U.S. State Department.