She Builds Peace
Frameworks for Action
“Recognizing Women Peacebuilders: Critical Actors in Effective Peacemaking” delves into the motivations and factors that propel women to become peacebuilders in the face of violence and conflict; the activities they engage in that bridge the local and the global arenas; and how across time and geography, they willingly and strategically harness, reframe, and deploy existing traditions, cultural practices, religious teachings, and kinship structures, alongside national and international laws, in their pursuit of peace, justice, and the power to influence adversaries and belligerent forces.
“Protecting Women Peacebuilders: The Front Lines of Sustainable Peace” distills and builds on decades of women peacebuilders’ experiences navigating threats to their health and safety (and those of and their families) to provide an overview of the contextual factors and realities that create and exacerbate their insecurity. It then presents the range and sources of threats, analyzes the strengths of and gaps in existing protection mechanisms, and concludes with operational guidance for states and multilateral institutions to protect women peacebuilders.
“Funding Women Peacebuilders: Dismantling Barriers to Peace” highlights the gaps between policy and practice in funding women peacebuilders while addressing the underlying assumptions made in gathering evidence in support of funding them, concerns about risk, and administrative challenges. The framework highlights current practices that can be harmful to local organizations in fragile and conflict-affected contexts and detrimental for sustainable peacebuilding. It provides operational guidance—directed to any external actor involved in programmatic work in a conflict setting—to address the barriers, reduce the harm being done and improve practices to better support women’s peace and security efforts.
Women peacebuilders were the inspiration and engine behind UN Security Council Resolution 1325 that in the year 2000—for the first time in history—called for the inclusion of women in matters of war prevention and peacemaking. Evidence shows that women’s inclusion increases the quality and sustainability of peace processes, but they are still overwhelmingly excluded. Because of their persistent work for peace—specifically, their willingness to engage “the other”—women peacebuilders face a complex matrix of highly gendered risks and targeted threats to their safety and security. Their efforts are consistently underfunded, and the funding that does get to women-led peacebuilding organizations can do harm to their organizations and their work in the long run because of onerous requirements and donor-driven expectations.
Drawing on two years of consultations with women peacebuilders in the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL) and two decades of research, policy development, advocacy, and Track One mediation practice, the She Builds Peace Frameworks for Action provide analyses of who women peacebuilders are, what they do, and why their meaningful participation in peace and security processes is imperative to create lasting peace. They outline the threats they face and why funding for women peacebuilders needs to increase. Finally, they offer concrete, actionable recommendations for states and multilateral organizations to take to improve the safety, sustainability, and success of women peacebuilders and their work.