Pursuant to Executive Order 13595 released by President Obama in 2011, the United States adopted its first Women, Peace and Security National Action Plan (NAP) in 2011. It included five strategic objectives: institutionalization, participation, protection, conflict prevention, and relief and recovery. A 2015 review of the U.S. NAP led to an update for the period of 2016-2019 to incorporate emerging foreign policy priorities, including issues such as atrocity prevention, building partnerships on Women, Peace and Security (WPS), and promoting NAPs around the world. The first U.S. NAP mandated action from the Department of Defence, Department of State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which developed implementation plans to adapt the U.S. NAP to their unique missions. The Departments of the Treasury and Justice indirectly supported the NAP.
The WPS Act of 2017, which was the first comprehensive legislation on Women, Peace and Security in the world, mandated the U.S. Strategy on Women, Peace and Security (2019-2023). This superseded the past U.S. NAP and, although it is known as a “strategy,“ it serves as the U.S. commitment to a NAP. The U.S. Strategy on Women, Peace and Security outlines three strategic objectives: participation, protection and equal access to assistance, and the improved institutionalization and capacity of the United States and partner governments to ensure Women, Peace and Security efforts are sustainable. The Women, Peace and Security Act and the U.S. Strategy on Women, Peace and Security mandate action from the Departments of Defence, Homeland Security, and State, and USAID. As mandated by the Women, Peace and Security Act, all four departments/agencies have implementation plans that respond to the Women, Peace and Security Act and Strategy in the context of their unique missions.
2012 Reports on implementation of the U.S. NAP:
2013 Reports on implementation of the U.S. NAP
2014 Report on implementation of the U.S. NAP
Gender equality policies
- WPS Act of 2017 (P.L. 115-68)
- Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-428)
- E.O. 13595 Instituting a National Action Plan on WPS
- E.O. 14020 Establishing the White House Gender Policy Council
Department policies – Relevant thematic policies
- U.S. Strategy to Support Women and Girls at Risk from Violent Extremism and Conflict
- United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally