How men and women differ in the experience of conflict and contributions to building peace
Making ALL voices Count: CoP Meeting
Beneficiaries of the Making All Voices Count met for the regular Community of Practice meetings to share their experiences and findings on the different projects that they are working on and identifying some of the challenges that partners are faced with and trying to find a way forward.
A Community of Practice engagement focused on gender and marginalised groups against the framework of citizen-government engagement. This was a discussion on how partners dealt with this issue, sharing their experiences and challenges that they have faced in their projects.
The ACTION Support Centre made a short presentation on the MAVC research projects, sharing experiences from Uganda, Zanzibar and Johannesburg. As part of the project, research has been conducted in Uganda, Zanzibar and Johannesburg on the role of technology in early warning and the degree to which it can enhance citizen participation.
ASC embraces a gendered approach to Conflict Transformation in all the work that we do. This is supported by the ideas that conflict affects women and men differently. This is mainly due to their differing roles and responsibilities at family, community and national level. A gender perspective is therefore very crucial given that men and women tend to have varying perspectives on a particular conflict and may have competing interests, hence both analyses are very crucial.
Men and Women also have different contributions to make in responding to and engaging with conflict. This is why it’s important to make sure that the voices of those that are usually left out are also heard. The voices of women, children and the youth are as crucial as the voices of anyone else in the community. In the research that ASC has conducted all these aspects have been put into consideration when assessing the impact of a conflict and identifying appropriate strategies for action and possible groups and actors to link with or support.
However, patriarchal society favors men and undermines women’s participation. This is one of the challenges that sometimes hinders progress, as women are sometimes not given space to air their views.
From the research undertaken it came out that women have specific challenges affecting their participation; for example, attending training and workshops. ASC has managed to organise trainings and workshops seeking to empower women and provide them with skills that enable a more confident contribution to dialogues and problem solving. As a result, finding the complementary roles and contributions is key to effective strategies.