Gender and peace in Mali

International Alert recently hosted an event on the importance of gender in peacebuilding in Mali and how it relates to the situation today.

The discussion took place in Mali’s capital Bamako on 14 April and was organised with the support of the EU delegation in the country. Attendees included officials from eight EU member states, the EU training and capacity-building missions in Mali, as well as the World Bank.

With the end of the Algiers peace talks possibly in sight, the discussions focused especially on the need for the comprehensive integration of gender into peacebuilding efforts in the country.

The event was opened by Henri Myrttinen, Head of Gender at Alert, who presented our broader and deeper ‘relational approach’ to integrating gender into peacebuilding. This means expanding the term ‘gender’ to incorporate not just women, as is often the case, but also men and gender or sexual minorities. It also involves looking at how gender relates to other factors, such as age, class, sexuality, disability, ethnic or religious background, marital status and where people live.

This was followed by a presentation by Ndeye Sow, Senior Adviser on Gender in Alert’s Africa programme, on the gender findings of our ‘Drivers of change’ project in Mali. The research, which was published last year, looks at four key components affecting peace in the country: gender, justice, the political economy, and society and justice. You can read the research here.

The event also saw the launch of the French-subtitled version of our gender in peacebuilding animation, which provides an overview of our research and thinking on the topic. You can watch the animation here.

The event was well attended and sparked engaging debates on possible ways forward for more inclusive, gender equal peace in Mali. This is critically important as the country enters the next stage of peacebuilding, once the Algiers peace talks conclude.

You can find out more about our work in Mali here.