Stories from Our Community

Elliott School Women Take on UN Resolution 1325

November 04, 2016

NEW YORK – Professor Aisling Swaine, director of the Center for Gender Equality in International Affairs, and associate professor of practice of international affairs, recently invited three Elliott School women to accompany her to attend the UN Security Council’s open debate on Women, Peace, and Security, October 25, at the UN Headquarters in New York City. The trip was sponsored by resources from the Dean’s Fund, a fund dedicated to enhancing the student experience through financial support for projects such as Global Capstone, student research, and student travel.

This is the sixteenth year that the Security Council has marked the adoption of Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security through an open debate.  Last year, on the fifteenth anniversary, a record-breaking 133 states made statements – the largest attended open debate in the history of the Security Council. The resolution is one of the council’s most popular thematic agenda items.

“​I was thrilled to participate at the UN Security Council's Open Debate on the Women, Peace, and Security agenda. ​However, I am disappointed that since the signing of Resolution 1325, member states have provided more lip service to the agenda rather than take concrete steps towards implementation,” reflected Elliott school senior Jasmine Noel.

The students both followed and live tweeted the events throughout the day as nation after nation rose to deliver prepared remarks. Things got heated at one point as GW’s Global Equality for International Affairs (GEIA) handle tweeted out, “#Ukraine alleges #Russian forces committing violence against civilian women & children, sexual violence, rape, & human trafficking #UNSCR1325.”

The topic of women, conflict, and security is the focal  point of the GW chapter of Women in International Security (WIIS), an organization dedicated to advancing the leadership and professional development of women in  the fields of international peace and security. 

According to its new president, Lorena Tapias De Pombo, a senior at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, majoring in international affairs and political science, with a concentration in security policy, the major work and goal of WIIS is to introduce its members to the security field, develop career ideas and professional aspirations, network about what challenges might present themselves, and attend workshops and other events.

The chapter hosts events that immerse young women in the world of international politics and exposes them to like-minded professionals in the field. Most importantly, Tapias De Pombo notes that she hopes to create a community of women who will develop a network in order to build closer relationships and provide support to all of the group members. Currently, more than 50 women are active in the GW WIIS Chapter and the number continues to grow.