Civil society is a key arena for women’s engagement in public and political life in many conflict-affected societies. While often going unnoticed by official political actors, women participate actively in informal peacebuilding and policy related activities, and women’s civil society organizations are an important vehicle for the promotion of women’s political participation and gender-friendly policies, both important for long-term peace and democracy. Burundi and Nepal are two post-conflict countries that are notable for the large number of women engaged in civil society. In these countries, women’s organizations have been a driving force behind women’s engagement in public and political life, and for the adoption of laws protecting women’s rights. Yet, the impact and sustainability of these organizations are hampered both by a lack of political will, and by insecure and inflexible funding regimes.
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