Women play many roles in war and peace. Traditionally women have primarily been seen as victims of war. In many cases, women have also played a critical leadership role in preventing violence and building peace. Less attention has been given to understanding the ways in which women may contribute to cycles of conflict.
In the Somali context, women are simultaneously highlighted as victims, as well as peacebuilders by the international community; however, they are rarely viewed as protagonists in conflict. This narrative is challenged by research undertaken in 2016 by the Life & Peace Institute (LPI), Peace Direct and the Somali Women’s Solidarity Organization (SWSO) which presents local insight into women’s experiences of conflict and peace in Kismayo.
Read a brief of the research findings, or to find out more read our full report and the accompanying compilation of ‘life stories’ from women interviewed as part of the research, who provide first-person experiences of the Somali civil war. Delving into women’s collected memories, we hear reflections on the roles women play in conflict, and the importance of women’s peace activism and political ambition.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has seen decades of violent conflict. Gold reserves have often been considered a driver of these conflicts. With over 160 armed groups active in eastern DRC, this is a widespread threat to peace in the region. Read more »
Twelve months ago, on August 15th, the Taliban declared that it had taken control of Afghanistan, two decades after the US-led invasion. Peace Direct published a statement at the time, in solidarity, and expressing our concern for women and youth peacebuilders at risk of reprisal. Read more »