UN Photo/Mark Garten

Recognising the importance of having women in positions of leadership and the critical role that women must play in efforts to promote stable and lasting peace, UNITAR has launched a new Women’s Leadership for Peace programme, supported through UNITAR’s Strategic Framework Fund.

Despite the increasing prevalence of gender strategies within the peace and security architecture, women remain hugely under-represented; yet, women’s voices remain critical to achieving sustained peace. The Women’s Leadership for Peace programme is designed to address this significant gap in international peace and security contexts, aiming to improve gender balance in peace and security settings. While it will support with the realisation of change that has been called for through UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the subsequent Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, the Women’s Leadership for Peace programme will also target female leaders working in the peace and security architecture outside of the WPS agenda.

With a dual focus on Goal 5 (Gender equality) and Goal 16 (Just, peaceful and inclusive societies), it is a priority for UNITAR to address the trend that women tend to be poorly represented in formal and informal mechanisms and institutions for negotiating and sustaining peace. Through effective partnerships, UNITAR will ensure that the Women’s Leadership for Peace programme provides a cross-cutting and world-class approach to women’s leadership training, with sharp focus on regional context.

The Programme will build upon UNITAR’s experience in delivering capacity-building offers linked to women’s empowerment, gender equality, and leadership, by drawing on the expertise offered by the Division for Peace and Division for Multilateral Diplomacy. UNITAR will continue to work with relevant regional and national level partners to identify and train women in emerging leadership positions, to foster change and accelerate gender parity.

In addition to the leadership course, the Programme will consist of a comprehensive series of e-Learning opportunities and a mentorship programme. Furthermore, a buddy system will be established to strengthen women’s networks globally. The Programme will invest in embedding and establishing the necessary architectures and frameworks to engender change in mindsets, behaviours and cultures, to support women’s career progression, enhance leadership skills and build networks to drive change. Participants will be encouraged to act as multipliers in their local and national contexts, further supporting women beyond the cohort of the Programme.

UNITAR is currently undertaking a comprehensive gap analysis and needs assessment exercise to ensure that curricula and content development will be cutting edge and responsive to identified challenges and barriers facing women. UNITAR will build on existing partnerships and will seek to work with relevant, regional partners and stakeholders, including from academia, civil society, international organisations, national institutions and the private sector to scale up programming.

Our search for Champions

UNITAR is currently seeking Champions in the field of Women’s Leadership for Peace to support the development of effective partnerships and strengthening of networks, to ensure the Programme effectively reaches targeted participants in all contexts. Nominations of inspiring and instrumental Champions will be gratefully received – please let us know your suggestions here.

For more information, please contact sheleads4peace@unitar.org.

Are you interested in this programme? Stay tuned!

UNITAR is currently designing the Women's Leadership for Peace programme with the plan to launch its first components in early spring 2021. So please check this page again in the new year for more information.

In the meantime, make sure you are following UNITAR on social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram) and subscribed to our newsletters to keep up-to-date with all our activities - this is also how we will share with you all the exciting announcements and updates that we have as UNITAR continues to develop this transformational project!

Women's Leadership for Peace: Working towards gender equality in a male-dominated field


11th March 2021, 3-5pm CET (GMT+1), online. Save the date and register here.

On the 11th March 2021, during the week of International Women's Day, UNITAR is pleased to be officially launching the ground-breaking Women's Leadership for Peace programme. More information on the event available here.


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