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 developed the Women’s Leadership for Peace programme.

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 supports 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 also targets 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 ensures that the Women’s Leadership for Peace programme provides a cross-cutting and world-class approach to women’s leadership training, with a sharp focus on regional context.

The Programme builds 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 continues to work with relevant regional and national level partners to identify and train women in emerging leadership positions, foster change, and accelerate gender parity.

The Programme invests in embedding and establishing the necessary architectures and frameworks to engender change in mindsets, behaviors, and cultures, support women’s career progression, enhance leadership skills and build networks to drive change. Participants are encouraged to act as multipliers in their local and national contexts, further supporting women beyond the cohort of the Programme.

Women’s Leadership for Peace Portfolio

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

#SheLeads4Peace Summer School

In August 2022, the Youth and Women Empowerment Team successfully ran the first edition of the #SheLeads4Peace Summer School, a condensed version of the Women’s Leadership for Peace Programme. A cohort of 24 women from 10 different countries gained an inside look into International Geneva while building vital skills to lead for peace.

Through interactive discussions with women from all levels in a variety of fields within the sustaining peace ecosystem, participants analyzed the various challenges and opportunities that come with being a woman leading for peace. Ensuring the programme’s sustained and continued impact, the two-week course allowed participants to build relationships with each other and guest speakers, which will provide a network of support beyond the training. The success of this programme adds to the ever-growing Women's Leadership for Peace portfolio and highlights to the importance of empowering young women to become the next generation of peace leaders. 

A special thanks to our partners and contributors:

Senior Women Talent Pipeline

In December 2022, the Youth and Women Empowerment team held an iteration of its Women’s Leadership for Peace Programme in partnership with the Senior Women Talent Pipeline, a UN Secretariat initiative which provides recruitment support to a pool of pre-screened senior women leaders interested in a career in UN Peace Operations. The weeklong course held at the Rwanda Peace Academy provided participants with a thorough contextual basis of key challenges faced by senior leadership in UN Peace Operations. By the end of the programme, participants were able to apply key UN leadership principles to real-world leadership challenges. Through peer-to-peer learning and exchanges with experts, participants were better placed to identify their own strengths and weaknesses in relation to their leadership profile. This programme responded directly to the unique challenges faced by women in the peace and security space, recognising the importance of women’s meaningful participation in leadership roles at all levels for the promotion of stable and lasting peace. 

Are you interested in this programme? Stay tuned!

UNITAR continues to grow the Women’s Leadership portfolio so stay tuned for more innovative programming!

In the meantime, make sure you are following UNITAR on social media (TwitterFacebookLinkedInInstagram) 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, if you are interested in collaborating, or want to run the course for your organization please contact

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