#TransformativeTopics was initiated in the summer of 2021, where the team shared some of the most interesting topics that we work on at Transformative Peace. In this article we will cover; Women, Peace, & Security, Conflict Resolution, PVE, and Inter and Intrafaith Dialogue.
What do we mean when we talk about "Women, Peace, and Security"?
Women make up nearly half the world's population yet remain largely invisible to, and excluded from, peace processes and negotiations.
Study after study demonstrates that the voices of women are crucial to reducing conflict, advancing stability, and building lasting peace--when women have a seat at the peacebuilding table, governmental accountability improves, and abuses against civilians decrease.
When we talk about "women, peace, and security" we don't see it as an option for peacemaking and building resilient societies, we see it as a necessity.
Women, Peace, and Security...Why does it matter?
Not everybody is the same, and this can be glaringly noticeable within conflict zones. It should come as no surprise that women’s experiences of conflict, reasons for engaging in conflict, and presence or absence in post-conflict reconciliation and peacebuilding are oftentimes different than men’s.
The United Nations women and peace and security agenda began in 2000 with the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325. It recognized the gendered impact of conflict and post-conflict situations on women and girls and acknowledged the importance of the participation and representation of women and the inclusion of a gender perspective in preventing, managing, and resolving conflicts and maintaining international peace and security.
Women, Peace, and Security matter, not only because women and girls matter but also because they make an impact.
Did you know....
UN Women reports that between 1992 and 2019, women constituted, on average, 13% of negotiators, 6% of mediators, and 6% of signatories in major peace processes worldwide? About seven out of every ten peace processes did not include women mediators or women signatories.
What is TP doing within the #WomenPeaceSecurity space?
Transformative Peace works to address the structural inequalities and deteriorating security situations that effectively exclude women from civil governance. We consider increasing the effective participation of women in peacemaking and conflict prevention to be a key priority, and it is a critical component to our program design and training programs.
What does Transformative Peace mean when we talk about "PVE"?
Threats from violent extremism have increased in recent years and have become more and more interlinked at local, regional, and international levels. Violent extremism has no race, religion, or ethnicity, but violent extremist groups exploit and reinforce divisions among social groups and undermine relationships between citizens and their governments.
Transformative Peace believes a long-term solution to violent extremism hinges upon a multipronged approach that addresses all forms of extremism. We consider engaging with those vulnerable to extremist recruitment to be vitally important and promote nuanced, meaningful engagement with affected communities.
Transformative Peace bases its interventions on locally rooted research and nuanced understanding of the contextual push and pulls factors to hone in on the root causes of violent extremism.
Preventing Violent Extremism...Why does it matter?
In recent years, the world has witnessed new waves of violent extremism that have taken the lives of many innocent people (UNDP). Whether based on religious, ethnic, or political grounds, extremist ideologies glorify the supremacy of a particular group and oppose a more tolerant and inclusive society.
Unique approaches to PVE matter because every community is different. Transformative Peace believes that community-based and community-led PVE programs matter. In eliminating violent extremism where it takes root, policymakers need to respond to extremism in its local contexts and resist the temptation to adopt narrow, one-size-fits-all responses that are rooted in securitization, militarization, and Islamophobia.
Did you know….what the difference is between Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) and Countering Violent Extremism (CVE)?
For some, PVE suggests a more proactive, longer-term effort to address the underlying conditions and root causes associated with support for violent extremism, whereas CVE can often take the form of more reactive measures.
At Transformative Peace, we support a preventative approach and engage across all communities to work with those who are vulnerable to violent extremist recruitment. Our PVE programs encourage nuanced, meaningful engagement with affected communities, and our interventions are based on locally rooted research and nuanced understanding of the contextual push and pull factors.
What do we mean when we talk about "Intra and Interfaith dialogue"?
Intra and interfaith-based dialogue plays a central role in building sustainable peace. Bridging the gaps that exist between different denominations and faiths not only fosters understanding, it also creates space for negotiation, compromise, and civil recourse. Ending religious violence, combating violent extremism, and nurturing peace all require inter and intra-faith solutions.
Intra and Interfaith Dialogue...Why does it matter?
Both intra and interfaith dialogue play large roles in building sustainable peace. Talking amongst those who believe like us as well as those who may not, can help us see our differences but also see all which we have in common. Faith-based communities often hold significant power within the social fabric of a region. Bridging the gaps that exist between different denominations and faiths not only fosters understanding, it also creates space for negotiation, compromise, and civil recourse.
At Transformative Peace, we believe in engaging in difficult faith-based discussions that every community must undertake if they strive to foster a more peaceful society.
Did you know Transformative Peace is actively engaging in facilitating both Intra and Interfaith dialogue and working with religious communities and peacebuilders to work towards sustainable peace? At Transformative Peace, our work over the last several years has shown us that religion can play a positive role in both preventing and resolving conflict and in building transformative peace.
While religion can divide communities, it can also be harnessed as a force for positive transformation by advancing shared values of empathy, nonviolence, and human dignity. Religious actors have long played a role in both grassroots and official peacebuilding efforts, including by acting as mediators, setting the vision for transitional justice efforts, and mobilizing communities of faith to prevent and cease conflict.
With over 84% of the global population identifying with a religious group, there is a crucial need to deploy peacebuilding tools that are part of local religious heritages, in genuine partnership with credible religious actors. Engaging in both intra and interfaith dialogue is crucial in building stronger, more resilient communities and breaking down barriers of fear or mistrust.
There are many ways to understand "Conflict Resolution,” so when we talk about it, what do we mean?
Transformative Peace employs an inclusive, human rights-based approach to building sustainable and transformative peace. When we engage in conflict resolution, we look at formal Track I and Track II channels, but also emphasize the importance of empowering communities outside of these channels to make day-to-day, grassroots change. We seek to empower civil society actors who can play a number of other important functional roles outside of official peace negotiations and peacebuilding efforts, including protection; monitoring and early warning; advocacy and public communication; intermediation and facilitation; and much more.
Our expert consultants research conflicts and generate holistic strategies through focused analysis of history, culture, politics, faith, and evidence-based research.
Conflict Resolution...why does it matter?
Transformative Peace strongly believes in the value of opening official peace negotiations to non-state actors. Our training and capacity-building activities are designed to support the involvement of local actors in high-level peace processes. Involving local actors in peace-processes matters not just because we think it’s right, but because the benefits are suggested by research!
Beyond official Track II negotiations and broader roles in unofficial community peacebuilding efforts, research suggests that the involvement of civil society in official peace negotiations may result in more effective, representative, and sustainable peace agreements.
Conflict Resolution...did you know?
While active participation of CSOs in high-level peacebuilding is beneficial, they don’t always get a seat at the table. Involvement of CSOs in peace negotiations has been suggested to lead to:
Greater sustainability of peace.
Greater accountability of combatants.
Higher-quality agreements characterized by provisions that addressed a wide range of underlying conflict drivers.
CSOs serve as a channel between high-level decision-makers and diverse groups of constituents and at times may have greater influence than national and international actors when it comes to highly localized, grassroots conflict dynamics, making these organizations key actors in any conflict resolution dynamic.