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Gendered approach to conflict resolution

Joanna Ilboudo, Founder and Senior Advisor for ACTS in Burkina Faso follows her vision to empower African women.

The Pan African Christian Women Alliance (PACWA) held a five-day workshop in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from the 23rd to the 27th of February, 2015, on the theme: "Contribution of evangelical women in conflict - prevention, management and resolution”.


The workshop brought together 55 participants from Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Niger and Senegal. The main objective was to allow evangelical women in francophone West Africa to master the principles of conflict management as taught in the Bible.

The following four modules were developed during the workshop;

  1. Conflicts and reconciliation: definitions, texts, mechanisms;
  2. Care of post conflict abuses and trauma: prevention, management at the international level; bringing comfort to refugee populations
  3. Healing of the abuses and traumas by use of the word of God
  4. The biblical response to conflict: the biblical foundations of reconciliation - negotiation. Key stages of the negotiation; conditions facilitating the negotiation

The foundation for a guide for evangelical women's contribution in conflict prevention, management and resolution in Africa was formulated during group discussions.

Dire consequences of war faced in parts of West Africa include; the impossibility to meet and worship our Lord Jesus Christ, death, displacement of populations, separation of families and outbreak of diseases. Long term stresses on populations lead to more poverty, suffering, stagnation of socio-political growth and the breakup of leadership within the nations involved.

To combat these risks in the African context, the groups discussed biblical ways to alleviate them. Unity of prayer, availability for service, fully trusting in God, grounded in His word and constantly seeking opportunities to learn and be trained were some of the commitments and resolutions passed at the Ouagadougou workshop.

Women representatives present were given the mandate to train others and felt prepared to pass on what they had learnt, while giving believers confidence to be proactive in their own communities.



The women’s commission of AEA hopes to organize other seminars across the continent with the overall aim of training and strengthening the capacity of African women in dealing with conflict situations in their homes, communities, nations and internationally as well.

Participants will be sending progress reports of their activities in their own countries to the PACWA Executive Secretary.




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