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.