Building and Sustaining Peace from the Ground Up: A Global Study of Civil Society and Local Women’s Perception of Sustaining Peace

Agnieszka Fal Dutra Santos
Content Type
Working Paper
Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP)
The promise of “maintaining international peace and security”1 is one of the most important commitments of the United Nations (UN), and securing peace one of its most central tasks. Yet, it is also a promise that has proven to be the most elusive. Conflict and instability continue to be widespread across the world. According to the Global Peace Index, in 2018, “global peacefulness declined for the fourth straight year (...) as a result of growing authoritarianism, unresolved conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa, and increased political instability across the world.”2 The recent years witnessed major security crises, such as the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria; the Rohingya crisis, with over a million fleeing from persecution in Myanmar; and further security deterioration in 92 countries.3 Even in countries where peace agreements have been signed – such as Colombia, the Philippines, and South Sudan – their implementation remains slow and challenging, and high levels of violence and insecurity persist. In countries that do not experience armed conflict, peace is often disrupted by other forms of insecurity – such as the shrinking of the democratic space, and the persecution, arrests, torture and murder of human rights activists. The failure to achieve and sustain peace has devastating impacts on the lives of thousands of people. As of December 2018, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees documented 68.5 million individuals forced to flee their homes, primarily because of violent conflicts.4 The negative impact of armed conflict on the achievement of development goals has also been documented.5
Gender Issues, Women, Conflict, Peace
Political Geography
Global Focus