“When it comes to war, one of the groups most negatively impacted is often ignored: women.

Studies have long shown that women bear enormous burdens in violent conflicts. A new exhaustive report by the United Nations takes this understanding even further, and speaks to the importance of women’s empowerment in fomenting peace and prosperity.

The Global Study, released on Oct. 12, commemorates the 15th anniversary of U.N. Security Council resolution 1325, which called for increased women’s rights and addressed the impact of violent conflicts on women. At a formidable 418 pages, the Global Study, also titled “Preventing Conflict, Transforming Justice, Securing the Peace,” exhaustively explores the relation between violent conflict and women’s rights, drawing from examples of wars from around the world.

Summarizing the Global Study, U.N. Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said it “shows that women’s participation and inclusion makes humanitarian assistance more effective, strengthens the protection efforts of our peacekeepers, contributes to the conclusion of peace talks and the achievement of sustainable peace, accelerates economic recovery, and helps counter violent extremism.”

“The recognition that peace is inextricably linked with gender equality and women’s leadership was a radical step for the highest body tasked with the maintenance of international peace and security,” said Mlambo-Ngcuka.

“Peace is only sustainable if women are fully included, and that peace is inextricably linked with equality between women and men,” the Global Study states. More than half of peace processes lapse back into conflict within five years, according to the report. Its in-depth analysis of 40 peace processes since the end of the Cold War, however, found that, “in cases of women’s participation and strong influence, an agreement was almost always reached. Furthermore, strong influence of women in negotiation processes also positively correlated with a greater likelihood of agreements being implemented.”

Read the full piece here

Feminism makes the world safer and richer: New U.N. report confirms