The Role of African Women in Peace Building
and Conflict Resolution: The Case of Burundi
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African nations have been ravaged by conflict, resulting in destabilization, displacement, and infrastructural destruction, all of which have gender-specific consequences. The impact of conflict on African women has been severe. In Burundi, for example, an estimated 70% of Burundi refugees are women and children. This paper examines conflict and conflict resolution in Africa, with particular focus on Burundi. It addresses how Burundi women have performed important roles as peace negotiators and peace educators in both families and society. In particular, women were essential during the transitional period and the implementation of the 2000 Arusha peace agreement. The paper identifies women’s needs that must be met to stimulate post-conflict resolution and peace building and to enact well-informed planning, policymaking, and action to build a culture of peace in Africa. Finally, the paper suggests ideas to integrate a gender perspective into conflict resolution and peace building efforts so that Burundian women’s voices can be heard.