Women, peace and security

Past event Broadcast

Peace, Security & Defence
Women, Peace and Security


Women’s inclusion and the potential positive impact of their involvement in peace and security matters continue to be on the margins of public policy related to mainstream peace and security issues. Research demonstrates that peace discussions across the world are more sustainable when women have been involved. Yet, women and girls continue to be a target in armed conflict, bear a higher toll and are often left to pick up the pieces in communities afterwards.

This #CriticalThinkingLive focuses on these issues in conversation with Jacqueline O’Neil, Canada’s first Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Ambassador, and will also feature Naomi Izabela, the face of Canada’s #SheLeadsHere campaign, which aims to bring young female leaders to the decision-making table.

Canada is the global leader in championing gender equality, empowering women and girls in conflict-affected areas and promoting more inclusive, gender-sensitive peacebuilding processes. This discussion will reflect on the implementation of Canada’s WPS National Action Plan and the country’s feminist foreign policy framework in the light of the Russia-Ukraine War, mobilisation for women’s rights in Iran sparked by the murder of Mahsa Amini in police custody and increasing use of sexual and gender-based violence as a weapon of war.

The interview will also touch upon the different ways in which multilateral security institutions and processes can be re-modelled to produce more gender-sensitive solutions that are responsive to the needs of women and girls and the risks that they face.

This event will be livestreamed. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook, and join the #CriticalThinkingLive!

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Jacqueline O'Neill
Jacqueline O'Neill

Canadian Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security

Show more information on Jacqueline O'Neill

Jacqueline O’Neill is Canada’s first Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security. Throughout her career, she has supported the creation of national strategies and policy frameworks for more than 30 countries, NATO, the OSCE and the United Nations. O’Neill is the former president of the Institute for Inclusive Security, in which role she directly supported coalitions of women leaders in Colombia, South Sudan, Sudan, Pakistan and beyond. She is currently a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Canada Institute and an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University. O’Neill also sits on the Board of Directors of the Canadian International Council.

Naomi Izabela
Naomi Izabela

#SheLeadsHere Ambassador and President of the Youth Council in Antwerp

Show more information on Naomi Izabela

Naomi Izabela is the Belgian Ambassador for #SheLeadsHere, a campaign launched by the Canadian government to promote the empowerment of women and girls, in all their diversity, and the protection of their human rights. A law student, Izabela is also the President of the Youth Council in Antwerp and a Youth Ambassador at Plan International Belgium. She is engaged in human rights, children’s rights, diversity and inclusion and has also written about these topics in the Belgian media.

Dharmendra Kanani
Dharmendra Kanani

Chief Operating Officer and Chief Spokesperson of Friends of Europe

Show more information on Dharmendra Kanani

Prior to joining Friends of Europe, Dharmendra Kanani was director of policy at the European Foundation Centre (EFC). He was the England director at the Big Lottery Fund, the largest independent funder in the UK and fourth largest in the world. Dharmendra has held senior positions in the public and voluntary sectors and advisor to numerous ministerial policy initiatives across the UK.



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