To women peacebuilders peace means:
Stable economies, access to services and employment
“When citizens are able to run their businesses, and they have flourishing livelihood and access to basic needs such as education, health, food and security, good infrastructure, justice and equal opportunities, they will think twice before engaging in conflict.” (FGD participant, South Sudan)
Development was recognized as the critical element of sustaining peace by 12 per cent of respondents. This highlights the importance of strengthening the nexus between peace and development, and breaking the silos between humanitarian, development, and peace and security institutions and organizations. Most respondents who identified development as part of sustaining peace pointed to the need for equitable access to resources and employment opportunities. As a respondent from Canada stressed, “often, people come into conflict over limited resources and their unfair distribution. Creating economic incentives can be a part of sustaining peace. (…) As people start to enjoy the benefits of peace, they may have the incentive to sustain it.” In this context, respondents emphasized that women’s access to economic resources and opportunities, and participation in decision-making on economic development and post-conflict reconstruction are of critical importance. As discussed in more detail in Box 1 below, respondents also highlighted the importance of responsible resource management and care for the environment as foundations of sustainable peace.
Nearly all respondents who identified the need to create employment opportunities emphasized the importance of creating such opportunities for the youth – highlighting both the particular vulnerability of youth to violence, and their potential to become leaders and peacebuilders.