Rebuilding Communities and Keeping the Peace
In the aftermath of crisis, women survivors often bear the heaviest burden of relief and reconstruction. They often overcome immense obstacles to provide care and safety for others. As communities rebuild, it is women who often weave the social fabric of their comities back together, by supporting schools, organizing community events and rebuilding the economic life of destroyed communities.
In many conflict zones, women’s actions also help to bring about and maintain peace. Women care for orphaned children who might otherwise become combatants. They organize grass-roots campaigns, sometimes across borders, to call for an end to fighting.
Campaign Says 'No' to the Sexual Violence that Rages in DRCKINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo — In mid-March hundreds of Congolese women, men and girls raised banners that read, Together, let us say No to the silence, for the dignity of the Congolese and Enough sexual violence!
When the situation stabilizes, women work together to mend their torn communities. They help rebuild, restore traditions and customs, and repair relationships – all while providing care for the next generation.
With their resilience and energy, young people can also play a key role in rebuilding communities. Countries that do not invest in the skills and productive capacities of young people in the struggle to recover from war miss important opportunities to reduce poverty and forge a lasting peace.
The post-crisis transition period offers a prime opportunity to implement actions that address the MDGs and the broader development and security agenda. But when peace negotiations are underway, women and young people have frequently been excluded. And when a new government takes control, makes decisions and prepares budgets, these groups are often left out of the process.
Women and girls in conflict and post-conflict settings are one of three key groups for whom support is critical, according to the UN Millennium Project. Domestic policies and external assistance that provide such support enable communities to reconcile, break the cycle of conflict and speed the transition to sustainable development.