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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work


Women navigating a culture of exclusion in peace and conflict resolution processes

This report examines the roles of women in peace and conflict resolution processes in South Sudan. It highlights how women navigate systemic exclusion and use cultural practices like songs and dance to assert their voices and influence decisions. Despite historical gender norms restricting their participation, women have made significant contributions to peacebuilding. The report emphasizes the importance of recognizing and supporting women’s involvement in peace processes through policy, training, and community initiatives to achieve sustainable peace and gender equality.

Agau Bul Deng is an early career researcher and peace practitioner who is among the first batch of the South Sudan Women Research Network (SSWRN) being implemented by the Rift Valley Institute (RVI). Agau’s research explores the roles of women in peace engagement and conflict resolution in South Sudan. She is also a member of a social enterprise, Ma ’mara Sakit Village, an Arabic phrase loosely translated as ‘Not Just a Woman,’ where she coordinates the women community program. Agau prides herself in seeking answers and to gain a better understanding of differential impacts of violent conflict and war by exploring individual and collective lived experiences to inform her work and engagement in the peace and security realm. Agau holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Conflict and Peace Studies, and while at university, she helped coordinate public lectures and organize extra curriculum activities to promote experience sharing with prominent youth leaders in peacebuilding realm.

This report is a product of the EU funded South Sudan Women’s Network (SSWRN), which provides research grants, training and mentorship to early career female researchers in South Sudan. The project aims to ensure that women’s perspectives are included in the research and decision-making on development issues in the country.

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