May 2

Past Event

The Role of Women in Conflict Situations

Event Materials


Brookings Multimedia content requires JavaScript. Your browser either doesn't have JavaScript or doesn't have it enabled.

Instructions to enable JavaScript.


In conflict situations from Georgia to Colombia and Sri Lanka, women play critical roles during and after conflict, as combatants, survivors, heads of household, community leaders and peacebuilders. Many humanitarian, development and political actors are devoting increased attention to women in conflict situations, introducing a large number of resolutions, policies, programs and initiatives, including the U.S. government’s Women’s Nationality Initiative. The United Nations and Switzerland, amongst others, have recognized the importance of the role of women in these contexts by passing UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and implementing it in the framework of the Swiss Action Plan “Women, Peace and Security.” However, in many instances women’s diverse concerns and contributions still remain marginalized.

On May 2, the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement hosted a discussion on the intersections between conflict, displacement and peace—with a focus on the contributions women can make and the importance of incorporating gender perspectives into humanitarian and peacebuilding policies. Panelists included: Heidi Tagliavini, Swiss ambassador, former special representative of the secretary general and head of the international fact-finding mission on the conflict in Georgia; Chaloka Beyani, United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons and co-director of the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement; Carla Koppell, senior coordinator for gender equality and women's empowerment with USAID; and Claude Wild, Swiss ambassador and head of the Human Security Division in the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Switzerland. They reflected on efforts such as these to support women as agents of positive change in conflict situations. Brookings Senior Fellow Elizabeth Ferris, co-director of the Project on Internal Displacement, provided introductory remarks and moderate the discussion.

Event Agenda

  • Introduction and Moderator

  • Panelists

    • Chaloka Beyani

      UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of IDPs

      Co-Director, Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement

    • Heidi Tagliavini

      Ambassador and Former Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of the International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia

      Government of Switzerland

    • Claude Wild

      Ambassador and Head of Human Security Division, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

      Government of Switzerland


May 2, 2012

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM EDT

The Brookings Institution

Saul/Zilkha Rooms

1775 Massachusetts Avenue, NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications

(202) 797-6105