In March 2021, President Biden released Executive Order 14020, Establishment of the White House Gender Policy Council, which mandated a whole-of-government strategy to promote gender equality, and corresponding Department and Agency Action Plans within nine months of the Strategy’s release. The U.S. National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality was released in October 2021, with the aim of advancing gender equity and equality, including the importance of women’s meaningful participation across all facets of security, leadership, and development in our domestic and foreign policy. This year’s Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Congressional Report—the first full year of the Biden-Harris Administration—reflects a robust commitment to the application of WPS into our foreign policy and national security, as well as unparalleled commitments to enhancing gender equity and equality for women in the security sector in our own country.
The Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017 (P.L. 115-68) codified the United States Government’s (USG) longstanding, sustained commitment to the principles of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda. This is the second iteration of the WPS Congressional Report and includes input from each of the four departments and agencies involved in the Strategy: the Departments of State, Defense, and Homeland Security, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. It evaluates the USG’s progress in advancing the U.S. Women, Peace, and Security Strategy launched in 2019, and the agency-specific Implementation Plans to measure and report on progress related to the WPS Strategy’s four Lines of Effort: 1) Participation; 2) Protection; 3) Internal Capabilities; and 4) Partnerships.