Celebrating Women’s Participation in Local Peacebuilding in DRC
This International Women’s Day, MSI is proud to celebrate women like Solange Luanda, who are actively participating in the peacebuilding process in their communities.
Through the USAID-funded Solutions for Peace and Recovery (SPR) project, Management Systems International, a Tetra Tech company, built social cohesion through the inclusion of women and marginalized groups across some of the most complex areas of eastern DRC, in North Kivu and South Kivu province.
MSI and its partners encouraged a localized approach to all implementation. This included skill-building and hands-on application of conducting participatory conflict analyses, mediation and problem solving through local community peace structures, and building sustainable advocacy practices for local leaders to reach territorial and regional level institutions. Women are now leading participatory decision-making efforts in their local communities and are serving as advocates for peacebuilding at local, territorial and regional levels.
Solange Luanda is one of those women. Solange fled the Masisi territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo, in North Kivu, which has long been in the grip of sociopolitical unrest, causing repeated wars and constant displacement of populations.
Solange took refuge in the Mupfunyi Shanga groupement. However, she found that displaced people are often marginalized, and peace and development structures do not include them to participate in community peacebuilding efforts.
“For nearly six years, I have been internally displaced in the locality; local governance discriminated internally displaced persons, in particular, us women,” shared Solange.
Solange joined the Local Peace and Development Committee supported by the SPR project and participated in local women’s mediation activities.
She testified, “I have been satisfied with the actions of the SPR project…We could never believe that one day women could also be invited into meetings with men, to discuss big issues of peace and community recovery. Project interventions positively impact our social status. I actively participate in the local peacebuilding process and in local governance.”