Jambo Sana from Bukavu, where Kvinna till Kvinna is in the middle of a workshop together with Life & Peace Institute and local partner organizations. The workshop takes place in a center run by Jesuit tout court, located in a calm area on the outskirts of the city, with a beautiful garden and a view of Lake Kivu. Certainly the right kind of environment to allow the participants peace and quiet to be able to concentrate on the topic of the workshop: conflict transformation and how to better include women in those processes.
– Women are often consulted informally on issues of importance in the community, but then, they are excluded from the formal forums for discussion and decision making, says Gégé Katana, Coordinator of the local women’s organization Solidarité des Femmes Activistes pour la Défense des Droits Humains (SOFAD). It is time for women to take place also in these forums, to be allowed to transmit their experience and knowledge in the open!
The workshop is organized jointly by Kvinna till Kvinna and Life & Peace Institute within the project The Right to Peace and Security, which is financed by the Swedish charitable foundation Svenska PostkodLotteriet. The objective of the project is to increase women’s participation in conflict transformation on a local level. More exactly in conflict transformation organized according to the Participatory Action Research (PAR) method, which has been developed by Life & Peace Institute to allow community participation on all levels.
– You can never achieve a transformation of a conflict without understanding it, explains Jean-Louis Kambale, technical advisor at Life & Peace Institute. Understanding of the conflict and transparent relations with all parties participating in the conflict transformation session are essential for its success.
During the workshop, expertise on conflict resolution and gender related aspects are shared between the participants. The invited partner organizations are participating lively in the discussions, contributing their experiences from the field.
– Women need to organize themselves on all levels, Charles Bokaya Bangala from SOFAD underlines. With more efficient organization, women will become a powerful force in peace building, and will bring real changes to the society.
Kvinna till Kvinna’s field representative for DR Congo