The bulk of the world’s most violent conflicts happen in countries with youthful populations, and 80% of the world identifies as religious. However, youth and local religious actors are routinely under-utilized in peacebuilding, if not left out of the process altogether, according to this report published by the U.S. Institute of Peace. Youth leaders and religious leaders both can lend legitimacy to peacebuilding efforts and provide access to vulnerable communities. However, to maximize the impact of these groups in preventing conflict and sustaining peace, the international community and peacebuilding practitioners are encouraged to build trust between youth and religious leaders, identify allies in each of these communities, and involve religious actors, youth leaders, and religious youth in peace dialogues at various levels. Read the full report here.
This thesis by Janel Smith examines the role of civil society in peace-building using the case study of post-war Sri Lanka. The “victor’s peace,” i.e. war that didn’t end through a peace agreement, enabled acts of securitization by Sri Lanka’s central government that resulted in a repressive environment, limiting the peace-building impact of civil society. Further, civil society itself is shown to be a complicated arena in which some actors might support the victor’s peace for reasons of self-interest rather than other more positive or altruistic reasons. Throughout, Smith uses the analytical tool of Human Security, which considers threats against individuals in evaluating peace, and in doing so also evaluates the concept and utility of Human Security itself. Read the full article here.
The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) works to support citizens’ rights to participate in free and fair elections. One of the organization’s areas of focus is it’s “Women’s Empowerment” issue area, which focuses on women’s political participation and leadership.
Women and girls are often burdened by competing priorities and excessive household responsibilities that take away time and potential interest from political activities. As an effective and valuable leader in inclusive democracy and governance, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) works to fortify women in political and electoral processes as candidates and elected leaders, technical experts in elections, engaged civil society leaders and informed voters. IFES implements innovative women’s empowerment activities to increase women’s political participation and leadership.
The World Justice Project® (WJP) is an independent, multidisciplinary organization working to advance the rule of law around the world.
The World Justice Project engages citizens and leaders from across the globe and from multiple work disciplines to advance the rule of law. Through Research and Scholarship, the WJP Rule of Law Index, and Engagement, WJP seeks to increase public awareness about the foundational importance of the rule of law, stimulate policy reforms, and develop practical programs at the community level.
In partnership with local women and civil society organizations, Women’s Campaign International designs programs that are tailor-made to meet the needs of specific groups of women in communities around the world. Their programs help women find their voices by providing trainings and offering technical assistance in four core areas including political leadership, conflict mitigation, economic empowerment and civic participation.
Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP) is dedicated to women’s leadership and empowerment. It works with 20 autonomous and independent partner organizations in the Global South, particularly in Muslim-majority societies, to empower women to transform their families, communities, and societies.
They strongly believe that women, working in partnership, will learn the skills and implement the strategies needed to secure human rights, contribute to the development of their communities, and ultimately create a more peaceful world.