Created in 1998, the Women and Peace Network is made up of 18 non-profit organisations and 56 community women's groups in Burundi. The network was established to give a space to women to develop their civil, political, and socio-economic rights, to increase their participation in peacebuilding initiatives and community development.
By enhancing the economic power of women and promoting collaborative work, the network believes women can get actively involved into peacebuilding, reconciliation and development efforts.
With an experienced staff, the network has been able to run effective projects and campaigns in the areas of peace education, lobbying and advocacy, and humanitarian and social assistance.
- Peace Education: Contribution to reconciliation of community residents, IDPs and returnees through dialogue facilitated by local women mediators in the communes of Kanyosha, Musaga, Kinama and Gatumba. The network has organised sporting competitions and community work between police women and women residents in the northern communes of the Bujumbura mayorship to build trust and create greater cohesion and improved relationships.
- Lobbying and advocacy: various campaigns have been pioneered by the network and have in common the aim of mobilising women to secure thei integration into political life. Examples include advocacy campaigns for the integration of women's rights and priorities in the Second National Strategy against poverty, for a greater participation in the transitional justice mechanisms, for women’s participation in the electoral process (Vote and Get Elected campaign in 2005 and 2010) and active participation in the process that resulted into the signature of the Great Lakes Peace Agreement by 11 Head of States from the region. Burundi was the first country to ratify the agreement.
- Humanitarian and social assistance: distribution of first aid materials to female combatants gathered in Rugazi and Rubira sites; construction of 40 houses for returnees in Kinama commune, setting up of listening centres and ‘Giriteka’ centre to offer a clinic and psychosocial assistance to victims of sexual violence.
- Development: organisation of sharing experiences visits for women leading successful income generating businesses. Women from Bubanza, Bujumbura, and Cibitoke paid visits to their colleagues in Karuzi, Makamba and Ruyigi.