Female soldiers and post-conflict reconstruction: towards an evidence-based approach for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration

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Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programmes are a central pillar of post-conflict interventions. These interventions are designed with the intention of helping soldiers in their transition from war to peace. With females now participating in large numbers in conflicts around the world, it is essential to critically analyze their roles in conflict as well as their experiences in subsequent DDR programmes in order to ensure programme effectiveness.This paper explores the various roles of women in African warfare and their experiences with DDR programmes. We will provide a critical assessment of previous programmes to understand whether DDR has effectively been facilitating post-conflict reintegration and whether or not women and men experience DDR programmes differently. As women continue to play important roles in African conflicts and the challenges facing peace and development practitioners are only likely to grow, now is the time to take the necessary steps to improve current practice.
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