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

News & Updates:
NEW COLAB FOR WOMEN WORKING IN INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY

Women In International Security Switzerland and the UN Institute for Disarmament Research

join forces to launch UNIDIR-WIIS CoLab


PRESS RELEASE

GENEVA, 31 AUGUST 2021 — Today Women In International Security (WIIS) Switzerland and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) announce a new CoLab to foster collaborative community building for women working in international peace and security in Geneva and across Switzerland.

The UNIDIR-WIIS CoLab will promote scholarship, dialogue and networking for women in the field of disarmament and international security. The issue of women’s participation and agency is of critical importance. The impacts of COVID-19 have brought additional challenges for gender equality and, in some cases, widened existing gender gaps.

Research shows that women are chronically underrepresented in discussions related to international security. “The policies being debated affect everyone”, said Dr. Renata H. Dalaqua, UNIDIR Programme Lead for Gender and Disarmament. “But women, people of colour, and minorities don’t have an equal opportunity to shape them.”

“Too often, women’s participation and the gender dimension of security remain on the sidelines of key debates in foreign and security policy – we need targeted action to change this and accelerate progress”, noted Julia-Silvana Hofstetter, President of WIIS Switzerland.
The UNIDIR-WIIS CoLab will host a Speaker Series that will kick-off in autumn and facilitate insightful conversations and networking opportunities. Details are available soon on the WIIS Switzerland and UNIDIR websites.

ABOUT WIIS SWITZERLAND
WIIS Switzerland is an affiliate of Women In International Security (WIIS) Global, the premier organization in the world dedicated to advancing the leadership and professional development of women in the field of international peace and security. WIIS Switzerland aims to support, connect, and engage women working in international peace and security across Switzerland, to provide a platform for collaboration and exchange across sectors and to build bridges to the global community of WIIS.
Follow WIIS Switzerland on Twitter and LinkedIn.

ABOUT UNIDIR
UNIDIR is a voluntarily funded, autonomous institute within the United Nations. One of the few policy institutes worldwide focusing on disarmament, UNIDIR generates knowledge and promotes dialogue and action on disarmament and security. Based in Geneva, UNIDIR assists the international community to develop the practical, innovative ideas needed to find solutions to critical security problems. UNIDIR has been at the forefront of awareness raising and policy research on the links between gender and disarmament, including on the gendered impact of use of weapons and gender imbalance in multilateral disarmament forums. Since 2018, the Institute has a dedicated Gender and Disarmament programme that supports the diplomatic community in bridging gender and disarmament frameworks. For more information about UNIDIR, visit: www.unidir.org.
Follow UNIDIR on TwitterLinkedInFacebook, and Instagram.

MEDIA CONTACT
Julia-Silvana Hofstetter, President, WIIS Switzerland
Julia-silvana.hofstetter@wiis.ch
Renata Hessmann Dalaqua, Programme Lead Gender and Disarmament, UNIDIR
Renata.hessmanndalaqua@un.org