Women, Peace and Security

Women, Peace and Security

Our Goal

Linking theory, research, and practice

The Earth Institute’s Women, Peace and Security (WPS) program, led by Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee, contributes to greater global and regional understanding of the diverse roles women play to successfully influence sustainable peace and promote human security through everyday activism. Through education, public service, and research, the WPS program advances the visibility of and knowledge exchange among women changemakers– domestically and internationally – and disseminates lessons learned from their experiences.

Around the globe, women are disproportionately affected by violent conflict, poverty, structural inequalities, and environmental crises. At the same time, women make and sustain peace every day. Women work on the frontlines struggling against domestic violence, racial inequality, environmental degradation, and violent extremism. But much of this work tends to go undocumented and unnoticed.

Workshop Participants gather for the 2018 Peace and Social Change May Workshop. Photo by Luz Zamora

PSC January Workshop Report 2019Security is more than armed conflict and war. It includes issues of everyday safety like access to clean water, affordable housing, and bodily autonomy.

What we do

  • Increase the visibility of grassroots women changemakers as experts
  • Expand and transform the field of women, peace and security
  • Document, foster and forward innovative and participatory research

Our Initiatives

Fellowships: The Peace and Social Change Fellowship Program is designed to generate knowledge, build skills, strengthen relationships and exchange strategies among frontline women changemakers working on issues of social change, justice, and, more broadly, security for all people.

Research: The WPS program creates, undertakes and partners on cutting-edge research to support evidence-based knowledge about women’s formal and informal contributions to processes of peacebuilding.

Workshops and Public Convenings: The WPS program hosts regular in-person and online forums for engagement among a diverse range of interested parties—including policymakers and the general public. These forums foster critical partnerships with appropriate media outlets to disburse new findings, in packaging that is accessible and shareable to the general public.

Graduate Student Researchers: The WPS program offers graduate students paid opportunities to serve as interdisciplinary research and outreach teams for frontline women changemakers around the globe.


2018 Peace and Social Change May workshop participants Ann Marie Goetz , Chardee Bryant and Jessica Penaranda. Photo by Luz Zamora

Our Team

Leymah Gbowee
Executive Director of WPS Program, Nobel Peace Laureate

Dr. Mikaela Luttrell-Rowland
Director of WPS Program

Hannah Yore
Program Coordinator

Dr. Padini Nirmal
Learning and Evaluation Manager

Valeria Palacios
Student Intern [Fall, 2018]

Marina Lafer
Student Intern [Fall, 2018]

Learn More

“A New Vision of Women, Peace and Security”, Leymah Gbowee’s keynote talk at AC4 annual Sustaining Peace Forum (2016)

“Gender and Sustainable Peace” by Abigail Disney and Leymah Gbowee (2012)

Getting Involved

The WPS Program is actively building partnerships around the world. For more information on getting involved, please email womenpeacesecurity@columbia.edu.

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