Meet the business women building peace

When we think of ways to build peace, we most commonly think of government treaties, or perhaps military interventions. If you’re in the know, you might also be thinking of dialogue and mediation between communities.

But what about business? The private sector can play an important role in preventing conflict and promoting peace.

Today is International Women’s Day, a global annual event to celebrate the achievements of women and challenge gender bias and inequality globally.

Last year we highlighted stories of inspirational women taking a leading role in peace negotiations and conflict resolution, an area from which they are so often excluded.

> Read 7 female peacebuilders you should know.

But this year we’re taking the opportunity to grow awareness of another area where women are taking on gender inequality, using their role as business leaders to push for peace.

Zinadagii Shoista

Salima, Anisa and Madina are part of a the Zinadagii Shoista (Living with Dignity) project in Tajikistan. They are gaining independence and stopping family violence by starting their own businesses.

Read their story


Safari is strengthening cross community relatsionship through trade and peer education in one of the worlds most conflict effected regions, the border between Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Read her story


Hermien Botes is business leader making massive strides in peacebuilding from inside the private sector as international mining company Anglo American's Head of Sustainability Engagement.

Read her story


From oil governance in Kenya, to human rights in Greece, Chloe Cranston, our Corporate Engagement Adviser, builds peace by showing companies how they can carry out conflict sensitive business.

Read her story

From small business owners to leaders in multinational corporations, Hermien, Chloe, Safari and the women of the Zinadagii Shoista Project are playing an important role in reducing violent conflict through business practices that respect human rights and are sensitive to past, current or future conflict.

And it’s at a time when we have never needed them more.

Violent conflict is on the rise globally. Businesses must pay attention to the impact of their work, from making sure they are not fueling or exacerbating conflict, to actively engaging in building peace.

A report by the World Bank Group and UN recently found that unless we drastically change our approach to conflict, in just 10 years' time over half of the world’s population will be living in countries affected by high levels of violence. This figure will rise to 80 percent just 5 years after that.

So read on and share the inspiring stories of these women business leaders to celebrate #InternationalWomensDay and help peacebuilders all over the world to stop the destruction, fear, pain and loss caused by conflict. Peace is within our power.

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