Conflict and Post-Conflict

Ending Violence Against Girls and Women
During and After Conflict

That times of war and conflict destabilize families, communities, and nations is well known. No one needs reminding that war brings danger and displacement to men and women, and boys and girls. But wartime also has particular—often forgotten—consequences for girls and women.

Photo: Woman giving motivational speechLawlessness and instability enable perpetrators to commit severe and horrific levels of violence against girls and women. Their bodies are so often used as weapons of war. Their ability to hold their families and communities together is made nearly impossible by the threat and realities of brutal sexual exploitation. Domestic violence, occurring at massive levels before conflict, continues unabated during and after conflict. In the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo alone at least 200,000 cases of sexual violence, mostly involving girls and women, have been documented since 1996, though the actual numbers are considered to be much higher.

Then, when conflict subsides, girls and women are left out of the negotiating process and are unable to participate and contribute toward building a safer, more just nation. And the cycle continues.

NoVo Foundation believes that this can end. Such horrific and severe levels of violence occur because of the domination paradigm that exists during times of so-called peace. If we want to change the paradigm, post-conflict time opens up the opportunity for challenging and transforming the way that things are normally done.

Together with our grantee partners, NoVo Foundation invests in the leadership capacities of girls and women to rebuild their own nation. We ensure that the prevention of violence against girls and women is seen as integral for all conflict and post-conflict actors. We advocate for addressing the root causes of violence by building the social and economic assets of girls and women, so they are able to participate in all aspects of their communities.

Focused in West Africa and the Great Lakes region, our grantees provide direct services as well as economic empowerment and leadership development programs for girls and women. Our partners seek to transform culture through engaging boys and men to work in partnership with girls and women to end violence, and advocate for government and humanitarian policies that are effective and enforceable in preventing gender-based violence.

Together we seek to achieve a social transformation that empowers the most vulnerable girls and women, and to challenge the cultural and legal forces that allow violence against girls and women to continue with impunity.