Male and female religious leaders work together for peace in Afghanistan. This is one of the most important achievements assessed in an evaluation of Religious Actors for Peace (RAP) in Afghanistan by our Special Advisor Norunn Grande.
Bringing religious leaders across gender together in a gender segregated society is a breakthrough that can have major ripple effects.
-“The impact of bringing male and female religious leaders together in trainings, activities and exposure visits may be the most important achievement so far in this project. Among organisers as well as participants this was reported as groundbreaking. There were training workshops that started with a demand for a curtain between male and female participants where trainers managed to facilitate a process that ended up in an acceptance of working together across gender. ” (p. 7 in the report)
The report was commisioned by the NCA (The Norwegian Church Aid) and funded by the British Embassy in Kabul. It offers an assessment of the relevance, impact and effectiveness of the RAP project, and points to lessons learned. It also gives strategic recommendations for further involvement of religious actors.
“Religious Actors for Peace” was the third phase of the project “Mobilizing Religious Actors for Peace” (MRAP). The two previous segments were completed in 2013 and 2014. Grande applied a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods assess the performance of the participants and how they integrated what they learned into their work. Transformative change was measured by tracking and registering the participants’ public statements during gatherings, interviews, and focus group discussions. The participants also explained how this change guides their day to day choices and actions.
Other findings in the report are increased motivation and empowerment, a change from violent to non-violent attitude and behaviour, and a commitment to apply the skills and knowledge in future.
The report was published HERE