Introduction to the Manual
The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) launched its Women in Peacebuilding (WIPNET) Program in 2001. The program was initiated on the basis of the realization that men and women cannot attain the equal opportunity espoused in gender equality definition if women are conspicuously absent in the peacebuilding processes. The program is reinforced on the hypothesis that the involvement of women in the promotion of peace will vehemently lead to more representative, efficient and sustainable peacebuilding initiatives. As a women’s only program, it seeks to raise a critical mass of women and build/strengthen their capacity to work as partners with men in promoting peace and human security. lt also provides a platform for women groups, organizations and associations to form strong alliances aiming at ensuring their involvement in peacebuilding at all levels of the Society.
Through the ideology ‘Women’s Peace Activism’, WIPNET has been striving to address issues on women, peace and security by challenging patriarchy and promoting social justice. The activism does not solely focus on advocating for the cessation of physical violence during violent conflicts, but also the deconstruction of structural forms of violence against women which exist in everyday society. This is based on the premise that the systematic and targeted engendered forms of violence against women such as rape, forced prostitution, etc., that occur during violent conflicts are expressions of the deeper systemic disregard for women that is characteristic of a male-dominated, patriarchal culture. Thus this activism is built on the premise that women’s involvement in peacebuilding has become a constructive platform for women to address these systemic issues.
The “Peacebuilding Training Manual for Community Women” is designed to serve a dual purpose; a trainer’s guide and a resource material for both expert trainers and non trainers. Lt aims to provide NCO workers with flexible training suggestions and materials in order to support and enhance efforts aimed at addressing women, peace and human security issues. The manual which is geared towards providing users with conceptual and analytical frameworks in peacebuilding, exercises, role plays and case studies that elicit knowledge and give opportunities for practical application will also provide ideas and resource for effective peacebuilding training. Participatory and interactive training methodology, which requires that participants are actively involved, was used. The exercises are designed to draw out the participants ‘knowledge and experiences, with focus on building lasting relationships. The manual is not a recipe that automatically produces an ‘excellent meal’, but also provides ideas and basic materials for peacebuilding training. Trainers are thus encouraged to adapt the materials and apply their creativity to explore and utilize the knowledge and experiences of the people they work with.
The Assumption of this manual is that it would be used by female trainers who have already undergone the Women in Peacebuilding training workshops for female participants. The manual is content intensive; and as such trainers should not overload sessions, as group retention may dwindle. Therefore, the ideal duration for workshops using the manual is 5 DAYS and for a maximum of 30 participants.
Using the manual
The manual is divided into four Chapters which are further sub-divided into Sessions. Before beginning each session, the trainer should read the objectives and corresponding trainer’s notes to understand how the session should run. The trainer’s note is a CUIDE and therefore not restrictive. Sessions should be fluid and specific to the group e.g. the lecture sessions for groups in rural communities may need to be translated or simplified. The trainer might also need to use more role plays to achieve the objectives of the session in such situations. The trainer’s notes provide different tools that can be used to achieve the objectives of the session. The trainer’s does not have to use all the tools in the notes. Factors like; time, the needs of the group and the energy in the room would help to decide which tools will be most useful for the session.
To the Trainers
This manual was developed mainly for female trainers facilitator, but could also be used as resource material for other peacebuilding purposes. Despite the inherent challenges envisage in delivering training sessions, trainers are in very privileged positions of imparting knowledge, whilst learning from the process. Women are energetic, vibrant, and resourceful, with a lot of “life experiences” qualifying them as viable community resource for other women. ln order to encourage active participations, trainers should be able to draw subtle and obvious talents and resources from the participants. Bear in mind that many African women at the rural community level face challenges with public speaking, because they were socialized to believe it is a ‘social taboo’ to be vocal in public. This challenge should be overcome by discovering a Viable participatory methodology that will help to ‘elicit Knowledge from all participants. Also bear in mind that the needs of African women at the rural level vary from community to community. Therefore, trainers should be flexible enough to be able to adapt these varied needs to enrich the training programs. Opportunities should be created to give space to women to own the process by making each session participatory.
Trainer’s Note for each session should be read prior to the commencement of the session.
This manual has been designed in English but could also be used by Non-English speaking end-users and beneficiaries. Trainers should be conscious of the language and dialect spoken by the participants. ideally, trainers should be able to speak the language of these end users, but where this is not possible, very simple terms that could be easily comprehended by the participants should be used.
Trainers/facilitators are encouraged to start each training program with a Pre-training evaluation and end with post-training evaluation. Evaluation could also be done half way through the training or on a daily basis. This is to help determine whether participants’ expectations are met, which will also a serve as personal assessment to understand one’ strength and weaknesses. Some simple suggestions for training evaluation include; “Parking Lot”; “Keep/Revise”; “What Worked?.” f “What Didn’t Work?” f “Suggestions for Tomorrow”.
Definition of Methodologies
Brainstorm: a process of rubbing minds together, exchange of ideas to arrive at possible solutions to a particular problem. Brainstorming always seeks to find the best way to achieve results through participatory and interactive system.
Role Plays: a participatory method that vividly captures transferred messages in a practical way. lt involves participants taking up roles and acting them out to deepen understanding. Case Studies: this is referential i.e. it refers to a past situation for comparison. lt can be complementary to role play because it can be dramatized. lt involves studying what has been done by a group of people or somebody and learning from it.
Mini Lecture: This involves imparting theories and skills to an audience. The trainer operates under the assumption that the audience has little or no knowledge of the topic. The lecture method serves as addition to existing knowledge.
Wrap up: This is the summary of the session and the conclusion.
Debrief: Th is calls for participants to give feedback on the day’s session as well as on what they have learned
Debate: lt provides the space for participants to exchange opposing viewpoints in a friendly and constructive manner. Debrief: