Women and post-conflict rebuilding #16StoriesofCourage
In times of conflict, women and children make up the majority of the population who take refuge outside their country’s borders. Post-conflict, women’s reintegration and contributions to peace and reconstruction have long been underestimated. Women are a driving force for peace, often on the forefront calling for an end to conflict and striving for order and rebuilding. In post-war situations, whether in groups or individually, formally or informally, women contribute the most in reconciliation efforts, reviving local economies and rebuilding social networks.
However, despite their active role in promoting peace, women tend to fade into the background when peace negotiations begin and the consolidation of peace and rebuilding of the economy becomes a formal exercise, dominated by governments and former armed actors, and excluding civil society and most women. It is important for policymakers, national governments and aid organizations to understand the complex ways gender and rebuilding interact.
“I am South Sudanese but grew up in Uganda. When I returned to South Sudan after its independence, I knew nobody and was fearful of interacting with people. However, I started to come to church on Sundays. One Sunday it was announced that there would be a prayer rally for peace organized by South Sudan Council Churches’ Women Link program. I asked another woman in uniform if I can join the prayer and she encouraged me to go. I attended the first prayer in April 2018. I found it was helpful not only for peace in South Sudan, but it also impacted my life positively. I have since become an active member in the church, I have friends and sisters who stand with me through difficulties. I have learned to help others and speak up for the rights of others. I established a small business to earn a living, using the skills that I had learned from Women Link. I thank the women’s programme at SSCC and the supporters of this women’s project in South Sudan.”Women Link member and parishioner at St. Kizito Parish, Juba, South Sudan
Call on Canada to: Advocate with governments of countries in conflict and at the UN to increase space for women to participate in peace processes at local, national, and international levels and to ensure that the lives and rights of these women are protected.
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