New CoLab for Women Working in International Peace and Security

13 October 2021
New CoLab for Women Working in International Peace and Security

GENEVA, 31 AUGUST 2021 — Today the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) and Women in International Security (WIIS) Switzerland 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 will be available soon on the UNIDIR and WIIS Switzerland websites.

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.

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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. For more information about WIIS Switzerland, visit:

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Renata Hessmann Dalaqua
Programme Lead Gender and Disarmament, UNIDIR

Julia-Silvana Hofstetter
President, WIIS Switzerland