A peacebuilder's story: Richard, Uganda

We believe that peace requires the equal participation of all members of society, including men, women, girls, boys and gender minorities.

To mark International Women's Day 2015, we are sharing the stories of our inspiring peacebuilders around the world – both men and women – and their views on peace and gender equality.

Richard Businge, Uganda

Richard is the Country Manager for International Alert in Uganda and is based in Kampala.

Why did you decide to work in peacebuilding?

"I started work in peacebuilding because of the first-hand account of suffering that I witnessed in 2000 during the war in the Rwenzori mountains of western Uganda, a region where I was raised. I went out to help as a volunteer without realising that my passion to end violence would turn into my professional career."

Why is International Women's Day important to you?

"This one day in a year gives us an opportunity to reflect on the real and potential contribution of women in making this world a better place for humanity. It is also an opportunity to openly discuss the injustices faced by women as a result of their gender."

Why in your opinion is gender equality important for peacebuilding?

"Gender equality is important in peacebuilding because of the different experiences of women and men in conflict. Women are disproportionately affected by conflict, yet they are seldom given equal opportunity to contribute to peacebuilding."

What has been your proudest moment as a peacebuilder to date?

"I feel proud every morning when I wake up and I think about all the different ways I am going to contribute to peace. The proudest moment is when, at the end of day, I can clearly point out decisions that I made during that day that directly contributed to peace."