Violent conflict affects people in different ways based on the roles, access to resources, and security needs associated with their gender. Consider, for example, how a mother of five fleeing a country has different concerns and needs than an 18-year-old male, especially in a culture with strictly defined gender roles. Yet historically during war and the peace process, women and girls have been underrepresented and undervalued, both in terms of receiving help and being part of the solution.
Brooke Owens is working to change this situation for the better. She’s a gender advisor at Booz Allen, supporting organizations worldwide in their efforts to advance women, peace, and security.
“Identifying and removing barriers to women’s meaningful participation across the peace and conflict continuum is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do,” Brooke said in a recent video for the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).
Here Brooke shares how she got involved in this field, what she’s been doing to support both policymakers and people on the ground, and how she balances work and life as a new parent.