THE UNDP NOTED THAT SINCE THE YEAR 2000, global understanding of the gendered nature of conflict and peacebuilding has grown substantially. Not only do we now know that conflicts are experienced differently by women and girls than by men and boys, but also that their roles in conflict and peacebuilding are varied and complex. Women and girls have long been targets of war, regularly subjected to sexual and gender-based violence and enslavement as part of the strategy of combatants.
Often left to manage home life when men go off to war, in many countries, women have also been active in protecting their homes and communities. Women may act as peacebuilders, including through women’s organisations and by using their influence in families and communities. They may also be agents of violence, acting as supporters or combatants in the armed groups. Finally, they may move between these roles, depending on the situation they find themselves in and the opportunities they are given.