Pre-conflict phase


Areas of Leadership

  • Gender-sensitive conflict prevention, conflict monitoring, risk analysis and early warning. Too often VAWG and other gender issues are not taken into account as important warning signs of escalating conflict.  Gender-sensitive monitoring initiatives that take women’s experiences into account can facilitate the prevention of VAWG and strengthen overall efforts at conflict prevention (Moser, 2007).


Key Strategies

  • Engage with and support local women’s organizations, and build capacity by providing trainings in management, leadership, human rights and VAWG.
  • Involve women in early-warning processes, including risk assessment and preparedness planning. Consult women and girls (both separately and together with men and boys) about their concerns, needs, and protection risks (IASC, 2007).
  • Foster networks and build coalitions between Civil Society Organizations and other agencies.



  • Ø The IASC (2006) identifies 3 important aspects of ensuring effective participation: how a request for participation is conveyed (in order for outreach to be most effective); what information and support is needed to empower participation and leadership; and building trust.  See IASC, 2006 p. 33.


  • Ø UNHCR’s Participatory Assessment Tool provides comprehensive information on individual and community participation in assessments. United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR). 2005. “Participatory Assessment Tool.” Geneva: UNHCR.




Example: In 2005, in the Solomon Islands, UNIFEM’s gender-sensitive conflict early warning project trained 20 male and female volunteers from five conflict-prone communities; developed a set of gender-sensitive indicators of conflict and peace; collected data at the community and national levels; and disseminated the data among communities, civil society, government and donors.  As such, the system became a resource for the prevention of conflict. The use of gender-sensitive indicators (such as levels of domestic violence and rape, and women’s levels of fear in going to markets) served to legitimize attention to gender issues and GBV as a signal of impending conflict and social dislocation.

Indicators Used


This, combined with working with women and men from the communities themselves, empowered women to engage – and be seen as legitimate – in community decision-making, and discussion and planning around community conflict prevention and peace-building strategies. It also proved successful as a means of involving men and raising their awareness of the consequences of GBV, and as a result several male participants became strong community advocates for women in GBV cases.

For additional information, see: Engendering Conflict Early Warning: Lessons from UNIFEM’s Solomon Islands Gendered Conflict Early Warning Project (2006).


Source: Excerpted from Moser, 2007, p. 16.


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