Backing women’s empowerment through ‘Warsaw Process’

Everyone wants peace and prosperity. Yet women are often excluded from peace talks and job opportunities.

“Women are absolutely critical to the national security of a nation and need to be brought to the negotiating table during peace talks,” Ivanka Trump, adviser to the president, said in a tweet after an October 11 meeting at the State Department.

Trump joined Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, at the Warsaw Process Human Rights Working Group meeting that the U.S. hosted October 10–11.

Ivanka Trump on including women in peace talks, photo of women with upraised arms (© Hassene Dridi/AP Images)The Warsaw Process, led by the U.S. and Poland, is seeking to address ongoing threats in the Middle East and increase prosperity in the region. In addition to human rights, working groups are focusing on cybersecurity, maritime and aviation security, energy security, missile nonproliferation, counterterrorism and illicit finance, and humanitarian issues and refugees.

The Human Rights Working Group says in a statement that armed conflicts in the Middle East have affected 47 million people in recent years and displaced 17 million. The violence has disproportionately affected women and girls.

Trump is spearheading the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative that aims to empower 50 million women in the developing world by 2025.

In remarks to reporters later October 11, Hook faulted Iran’s regime for denying basic rights to women ever since the 1979 Iranian Islamic Revolution. That includes punishing Iranian women for failing to wear hijabs and for trying to watch men’s sporting events in public stadiums.

“[A] big pillar of what we do is standing with the Iranian people,” Hook said. “When you look at the energy … of the protest movement in Iran, it’s with the women around the compulsory hijab and also around the soccer.”