Heeding Women’s Voices: Breaking Cycles of Conflict and Deepening the Concept of Peacebuilding

Authored by: Emiko Noma, Dee Aker, and Jennifer Freeman

Categories: Peace Support Operations, Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Peace Accords, Peacemaking, Post-Conflict Reconstruction
Country: Philippines, Guatemala, South Africa
Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Year: 2012
Citation: Noma, Emiko, Dee Aker, and Jennifer Freeman. "Heeding Women's Voices: Breaking Cycles of Conflict and Deepening the Concept of Peacebuilding." Journal of Peacebuilding & Development 7, no.1 (2012): 7-32.

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This article highlights the gap between institutional approaches to peacebuilding – which narrowly focus on post-conflict reconstruction of formal state institutions – and the lived experiences of grassroots peacebuilders. It analyses the documented stories of participants in the Women PeaceMakers Program at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice at the University of San Diego, demonstrating that peacebuilding does not occur simply after conflict, but at all phases of peace processes. The article and its three case studies – developed with three women peacemakers from the Philippines, Guatemala and South Africa – contend that this expands and deepens the practical and academic definitions of peacebuilding. Without this evolved understanding of the concept, women’s actions to build peace will continue to be overlooked and underfunded.