What is the Role of Women in Peace and Security?

co-hosted with the LSESU Amnesty International Society.

This is an era of great turbulence - from populism, climate change, to migration - women play fundamental roles that cut across changing societies and landscapes. From households, warzones, politics, to international organisations - what do women bring to the table?

This panel discussion was organised as a spinoff event of the 2019 Diplomacy Ball, sponsored by LSE IDEAS. The Diplomacy Ball, and three related events in collaboration with the UN, the Amnesty International and the Grimshaw LSESU Societies, aim to explore and scrutinise a common theme: 'Navigating International Affairs in an Age of Uncertainty'.

Listen to the podcast: What is the Role of Women in Peace and Security?

Download the podcast: What is the Role of Women in Peace and Security?

Event recorded 14 March 2019.


Bela Kapur is an adviser on inclusion in peace processes. Her research areas include the role of women in peace and political processes and the linkages between local and national processes, as well as transformational coalition building, agenda setting and influencing. She holds a masters degree in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University Law Center and an LL.B from the University of Buckingham. Most recently, Bela served as the interim Women's Empowerment Adviser in the UN Support Mission in Libya and the Political Affairs Adviser to the UN Special Envoy for Syria in Damascus. Her most recent major position with the UN was as Head of the Secretariat of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations in 2015. Since leaving the United Nations in early 2016, Bela has turned her attention to supporting local and international civil society women activists in their efforts to organise for change.

Amiera Sawas is a Senior Research and Policy Specialist at Action Aid UK, where she is building capacity on feminist approaches to research. At Action Aid, her work covers development and humanitarian issues and tries to facilitate research and capacity building around their nexus. Previously, Amiera worked at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Imperial College London and King’s College London, where she led research on the intersections of gender, environment, infrastructure and security. Amiera has worked extensively in Pakistan with people affected by violence and insecurity and has more recently conducted research in Jordan and Kenya. Amiera completed her MSc in Global Politics at LSE in 2008.

Mary Martin is director of the UN Business and Human Security Initiative. Her research focuses on the role of the private sector in conflict and peacebuilding and private security in the international system. She was co-ordinator of the Human Security Study Group 2006-1010, reporting to the High Representative of the European Union. She holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Cambridge. 

LSE IDEAS (@lseideas) is LSE's foreign policy think tank. We connect academic knowledge of diplomacy and strategy with the people who use it.

LSESU Amnesty International Society is a human rights society. We fight and promote human rights issues on campus by engaging with the LSE community.