Welcome Note from the Founders
With the 20th anniversary of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) framework the role of women in the peace and security field has received growing public attention. While the international community and governments worldwide have committed to including women in peace and security decision-making at all levels, equal representation of women is not yet a reality. In Switzerland, security institutions are increasingly taking efforts to integrate the WPS agenda in their activities. Despite this, Switzerland to date still lacks an interdisciplinary network connecting women from the field of peace and security across different regions and sectors – it’s time to change this! With WIIS Switzerland we want to support, connect, and engage women working in international peace and security across Switzerland.
WIIS Switzerland was launched successfully in November 2020 with the support of key actors and institutions from the Swiss peace and security sector. In cooperation with the Swiss Women Diplomats and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), we kicked off the network convening 50 high-level participants from different sectors, and with keynote speeches by Federal Councillors Viola Amherd (Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport, DDPS) and Karin Keller-Sutter (Federal Department of Justice and Police, FDJP).
WIIS Switzerland aims to provide a platform for collaboration and exchange and to bring together women from government, the private sector, international organizations, civil society, and academia. As an affiliate of WIIS Global – the premier organization in the world dedicated to advancing the leadership and professional development of women in peace and security – we are part of an international network of almost 50 national chapters.
The number of women who hold central positions in the field of peace and security globally and more specifically in Switzerland has increased significantly in recent years. Let us use this potential to share our knowledge and experiences, to advocate for common interests, advance women's leadership, and most importantly to support the next generation in shaping the field of peace and security.
Julia-Silvana Hofstetter Barbara Schedler Fischer
President, Founding Member Founding Member
WIIS Switzerland Launch Event November 2020
Despite Covid-19 restrictions we successfully launched WIIS Switzerland in November 2020 with an online event.
Federal Councilors Viola Amherd (DDPS) and Karin Keller-Sutter (FDJP) opened the evening with personal reflections and emphasizing the importance of women’s networks like WIIS.
In small groups 50 high-level participants from different sectors had the chance to get to know each other and to discuss future directions of WIIS Switzerland.
We rounded off the evening with a fireside chat with WIIS Germany President Dr. Armgard von Reden who shared insights, best practices and learnings from our sister chapter in Germany.
We are very grateful for the support and great cooperation with the Swiss Women Diplomats, the FDFA Human Security Division, the DDPS, and the FDJP in making this event happen. Also a grand merci to all the participants for the engaged discussions!
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