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.

Launch event – Women’s Leadership for Peace: Working towards gender equality in a male-dominated field

On March 11th 2021, UNITAR officially launched the Women’s Leadership for Peace programme. For more information on the event, including a recording, check out the event page here


Expression of Interest for a Summer School Format of the Course

Having received many requests for the Women's Leadership for Peace programme to be offered in different formats, UNITAR is pleased to share its intentions to run two iterations of the programme, in a condensed version, during the summer 2021.  

One iteration of this innovative summer programme will be run for a cohort of outstanding young women leaders who aspire to shape the future of this planet by pursuing a career in peace and security. 

A parallel iteration of the programme will be offered, tailored to the growth potential of women, working in mind middle management in the peace and security field, keen to further build their leadership pathways.

If either of the two tracks sound interesting to you, we encourage you to fill out this Expression of Interest Form so that we make sure we offer a course that really meets your needs – similarly, if you would be interested in a course that is tailored for a different target audience, please let us know! Where possible, we ask you to share your thoughts with us no later than Sunday 9th May 2021. 

Thank you! 


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. 

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!

For more information, please contact

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