Conflict prevention, resolution and reconstruction issues vary significantly across regions and cultures. There is no “one size fits all” approach that can be taken by the international community or local populations to promote and sustain peace. However, conflict-affected societies do share common characteristics and problems that peace processes seek to address and resolve. In many instances, the international community takes the lead in providing guidance, expertise and resources to national authorities, but the approaches taken often fail to recognise the experiences, capacities and concerns of women.
The Toolkit’s creation was motivated by the needs of these women who, despite their achievements, have limited access to international processes. It seeks to highlight the roles and contributions of women at the regional, national and local levels, who are breaking new ground in peacemaking and reconstruction. We have sought to provide examples of women’s efforts from around the world.
By providing clear, simple—but not simplistic—information, this Toolkit aims to be a resource to enable the strategic engagement of women in national peace-building and security processes. Everyone who wishes to use the Toolkit should find something of relevance. Inevitably, however, there will be gaps. We hope that they are minimal.
The Toolkit has been developed specifically for women peace activists, advocates and practitioners in conflict-affected and post conflict countries. In developing the chapters we found that policy-makers and staff of major multilateral institutions, donor countries and international NGOs also found the information useful. We therefore encourage and welcome the use of the resource by all those concerned with global peace and security issues.