There is evidence of successful efforts to constructively respond to conflict and to undertake transformation, reconstruction and reconciliation in Africa. The inclusion of women as a strategic constituency is central to sustaining and consolidating peace efforts. The involvement of women in post-conflict reconstruction is also critical to the transformation of conflict. The successes of women in conflict transformation efforts in Africa are varied and have not been mirrored in all conflict situations. For example, the gains made by South African women were more pronounced during both the conflict and the immediate post-conflict phase. Sierra Leonean women, on the other hand, were most effective during conflict. In Burundi, women noted gains during conflict and are currently strengthening networks to address the post-conflict challenges. Sudanese women continue to work across ethnic, political and religious lines towards the common goal of peace, while in Côte d’Ivoire women are not recognised in the transitional processes.
ACCORD’s Women in Conflict Project seeks to strengthen the capacity of women organisations to address the challenges facing women as a result of conflict. The five focus countries were selected because of their geographic diversity, the different causes of conflict and varying levels of effectiveness of women organisations in each country. This publication is an attempt to present the challenges and key contributions of women in the resolution and transformation of conflict in the selected countries.