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


Apply Now for #SheLeads4Peace Summer School!

Calling all young women peacebuilders! UNITAR is pleased to announce that applications for the #SheLeads4Peace Summer School are now open! 

The #SheLeads4Peace Summer School is a world-class programme led by experts from the world of peace and multilateralism. It is designed to allow participants to explore what being a leader for peace means to them and what they can do to contribute to realising the change they want to see in their own communities and the world. Participants will build and gain confidence in their leadership skills as well as receive guidance and advice from professionals on how to navigate starting a career in peace and security. This experiential course will draw young women from all over the world to create a network of strong women working towards a common goal. 

Join us in Geneva August 1-12, 2022 to gain practical and professional skills to master effective leadership for peace. 

Don’t miss your chance to be a part of an impressive international cohort of women changemakers, submit your application here

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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