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The report builds on previous research conducted in Kaga-Bandoro and Sibut, which found that community experiences of violence and wellbeing are deeply shaped by the spiritual world. Despite playing a significant role in impeding access to MHPSS and preventing healing and reconciliation, gender norms, roles and relations are considered to be fundamental in reproducing and maintaining social harmony in Kaga-Bandoro and Sibut, and are central to the spiritual framework governing communities’ lives.
The report makes five recommendations:
- MHPSS services should be tailored to the specific gender barriers faced by men and women, and give greater ownership to young people.
- MHPSS services need to complement existing community values and healing practices, which are intimately linked to gender identity.
- Peacebuilding interventions need to create safe spaces for young men and women to vocalise their trauma while envisaging new, alternative futures away from violence.
- Peacebuilders should design and facilitate convening processes to challenge prevailing power dynamics.
- Communities, MHPSS and peacebuilding practitioners should work together to reclaim gender norms which are more conducive to mental wellbeing and non-violence.
This publication has been developed with generous financial support from the UN Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund (PBF). The contents of the publication are the sole responsibility of Conciliation Resources and the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the position of the Peacebuilding Fund.