5 Minutes of Inspiration: How does getting women involved in peacebuilding unleash activism

5 Minutes of Inspiration: How does getting women involved in peacebuilding unleash activism

5/10/17

Peace committees in DRC’s Tufaidike Wote project were more than 3 times more likely to include women equally. They were also 46% more likely to have gotten involved in holding their government accountable for its promises, and 45% more likely to be involved in advocacy efforts.  (Maybe we should borrow gender equality in peace committees as a strategy in the global north these days).

Funded by USAID, the project worked on an approach that brought together gender equality, citizen participation in government, peacebuilding, and livelihood improvement to help communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo find more stable solutions to crisis.

What did we accomplish?

  • Better livelihoods: 64% of families in the project report an increase in income, which they use mostly for health, school fees, and improving their family’s diet. That 43% higher than families in other communities have experienced.
  • Better conflict resolution: 29% more land conflicts were resolved for project participants.  This is especially critical because land is the primary source of conflict for communities in the area. They were also 26% more likely to feel that their communities had made progress towards peaceful conflict resolution.
  • Improved governance: people were 60% more likely to be satisfied with their ability to participate in local government at the end of the project (24% higher than non-project participants).
  • Stronger communities: project participants were twice as likely to think that their lives had improved, and 25% more likely to have improved infrastructure in their communities than those that didn’t participate.
  • Less conflict: Women consistently said that there was lower conflict in the household, largely as a result of their ability to use new savings and income to build some independence, and the fact that their communities began to recognize them as leaders.

How did we get there?

  • Focus on women leaders: The number of peace committee that were at least half women more than tripled—up to 75% at the end of the project. Women were 21% more likely to hold leadership positions in those committees that non-project committees.
  • Put communities in charge: Participants were twice as likely to get involved in community level development planning. They also got involved in planning community projects like wells, roads, and bridges—which were key incentives to participating in the project and improving their community.
  • Create space for participation in government processes: Project participants were 46% more likely to have taken action to hold their government accountable to promises.  They were also 45% more likely to have been involved in advocacy efforts.
  • Provide training and services: Tufaidike Wote participants were 72% more likely to have gotten agricultural training, 31% more likely to have access to seeds, and 30% more likely to have access to land than non-project farmers.
  • Use VSLA:  Twice as many participants has access to credit as their non-project counterparts. Evaluators called VSLA results "singularly impressive"

Want to learn more?
Check out the project final evaluation or the project brief.

Special Thanks
Tufaidike Wote was funded with the generous support of USAID.  It was a $22 million project that ran from 2012-2016.  Key partners included FAO and International Alert.

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