ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) --, ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) -- –
The Department of the Air Force recently released its Women, Peace, and Security, or WPS, Strategic Action Plan to operationalize WPS concepts across the Air and Space Forces.
WPS is a policy framework that acknowledges the critical roles women play in international peace and security efforts; it calls for the meaningful participation of women in all levels of decision-making to ensure the safety and security of all genders around the globe.
In the military, it is a framework used by operational planners to account for gender differences across multiple domains of social life and examines how military operations can have different effects based on this analysis.
"By implementing the Women, Peace and Security Strategic Action Plan across our department, we will develop diverse world-class teams capable of performing critical missions like Operation Allies Welcome where gender perspectives were critical to our success," said Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall.
The plan lists three objectives to implement the WPS policy framework, including training Gender Advisors, or GENADs, and Gender Focal Points, or GFPs, to implement principles across core DAF functions, employing the framework throughout doctrine and operations and integrating WPS into security cooperation activities with partner nations to support women’s meaningful participation in defense and security sectors.
Three distinct working groups have been established to advance and evaluate each objective.
Women, Peace, and Security concepts have already been implemented in vital operations worldwide. U.S. Northern Command successfully utilized its trained WPS team to provide gender perspectives to the overall crisis planning during OAW in 2021, when almost 80,000 Afghan refugees were safely evacuated to the United States.
They employed a cadre of Joint Staff Gender Focal Points and Gender Advisors to give gender-based considerations when setting up the camps for refugees and leveraged on-site gender advisory support at all eight Department of Defense safe havens tasked to provide housing, medical, and other support services to evacuees.
The initiative to advance WPS concepts worldwide began in 2000 when the United Nations recognized the disproportionate impact of wartime violence on women and girls. To address this, countries around the world started implementing National Action Plans to establish WPS programs.
Congress enacted The Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017 in response to Executive Order 13595, which mandated national WPS implementation. It was the first legislation of its kind to acknowledge the multifaceted roles of women throughout the conflict spectrum and identified the Department of Defense as a relevant Federal department responsible for implementing WPS.
Watch this video to learn more about Women, Peace, and Security.