Know My Name:Jolynn Shoemaker

Know My Name: Jolynn Shoemaker


Location: USA

WHO: Jolynn Shoemaker, independent consultant on women’s leadership and women, peace, and security. Jolynn offers expert advice on how organizations and policymakers should better support the inclusion of women in decision-making roles to improve the chances for peace and prosperity worldwide.

WHAT: As Executive Director of Women In International Security (WIIS), she led ground-breaking research that highlighted challenges to achieving gender parity and gender sensitivity at all levels of international policymaking, based on hundreds of candid interviews of women about their experiences.  Drawing on her own observations while working in the US Department of State and US Department of Defense, she was an early and consistent advocate for the inclusion of women peacebuilders in US policymaking processes, and worked with other advocates to form a coalition that pressed successfully for the US National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security – the first US Government-wide mandate to include women and gender perspectives in US policies and programs around the world.  Her efforts laid the groundwork for the emerging dialogue in Washington DC policy circles on the critical importance and often unrecognized barriers to women’s full participation in foreign policy and national security. Currently, she helps organizations that promote women, peace, and security to convey the value of women's peacebuilding efforts to policymakers. She also advises leading philanthropists on how to increase the impact of women, peace, and security initiatives.

WHY: The foreign policy and international security communities need to have some uncomfortable conversations about why they haven't been able to create inclusive environments -- because decision-making in international policy doesn't reflect the diversity in our world today or the vital contributions of those who are experiencing insecurity and stepping forward against all odds to bring peace to their societies -- namely women -- around the world.  The challenges to peace and security are immense, but solving them while depend on leadership that is open, collaborative, and inclusive of a broader set of voices and experiences. When we see decision processes, and organizations, and leadership structures that exclude these valuable perspectives, each and every person involved should be asking "why?" and "what are we going to do about it?"

CHECK IT OUT: Jolynn's research showing the gaps and possibilities of women's leadership in policy institutions:

Know More Names

Afrida Ngato
Climate Justice
Gé-Gé Katana
Women’s Human Rights Defender
Dalal Jumaah
Women’s Human Rights Defender
Buthainah Mahmood
Women’s Human Rights Defender