Two stories out of South America caught my eye this week as I was trolling current events for news about women peacebuilders. First, a new strategy by the Brazilian Ministry of Justice’s National Public Security and Citizenship Programme to build a culture of peace among favelas, or shantytowns, in the 11 cities with the highest crime rates in the country.
Just what are the key tactics that make this strategy of particular interest to all of us at Peace X Peace? For starters they’re recruiting female community leaders to lend their experience solving community problems without violence. What’s more, they’re relying on the people directly affected by violence, and working with civil society organizations, groups, and individuals to bring about inclusive, sustainable change from the inside. These women are in the spotlight in Brazil because they are so ingrained in their local networks. They are also often the breadwinners in their families, making them powerful managers of both social and economic capital: a force impossible to ignore.
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