A recently established program in the Department of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University which focuses on the links between the status of women and peace and security has received a $100,000 from the Compton Foundation.
Dr. Valerie Hudson, professor and George H. W. Bush Chair at the Bush School, directs the Program on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). Hudson says that this program is aimed at providing Bush School students with several opportunities to develop a better understanding of the relationship among issues related to women, peace, and security. In addition to an expanded curriculum, the program plans to engage with US policymakers on issues of women and national security as well as hold a follow-up conference to the successful Women’s Insecurity and National Security Conference: Why Women Matter, held last year.
The Compton Foundation provided the initial funding for the WPS, and this latest grant reinforces the Foundation’s commitment to fostering positive and sustainable models of change and to providing financial support to projects which offer those models. This new program complements the Foundation’s efforts to support programs that explore connections among issues related to peace and security.
Hudson noted that the WPS has a three-fold mission: teaching, research, and outreach. The concentration in WPS in the Department of International Affairs allows Bush School students and other interested TAMU graduate students to take courses and develop an emphasis in gender analysis as it relates to international affairs.
The program’s research arm, the WomanStats program, currently funded by the Minerval Initiative of the U.S. Department of Defense is studying the linkages among marriage patterns, marriage market obstruction, and national security. This specific project is part of a larger research agenda investigating the relationship between the security, situation, and status of women and the security of the states in which they live.
“This new grant will provide the financial support we need to expand the program’s curriculum offerings, reach out to policy makers, engage important networks, explore new research opportunities, and develop policy briefs,” Hudson said noting that WPS researchers regularly contribute to key policy journals.
In addition, program researchers have served as consultants to the United Nations, the US intelligence community, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the House Foreign Relations Committee, and other policymaking bodies.