Men as perpetrators and victims of armed conflicts: innovative projects aimed at overcoming male violence
The propensity to violence exhibited by adolescents and young men after wars often causes problems for those responsible for peacekeeping missions, reintegration and rehabilitation programs, especially when there is a lack of understanding of what male identity means in armed violence.
The focus of this study is on innovative projects to overcome violence and changes in warlike masculinity in African post-conflict countries. The author outlines the formation of the male identity before and after wars, taking into account the issues surrounding child soldiers.
This study illustrates how projects and programs motivate and encourage boys, adolescents and young men to become “change agents”. It also offers examples of how men can be specifically integrated into gender programs. It should be noted that isolated empowerment approaches of women are not enough to bring about fundamental changes but they could even be counter-productive as men become defensive. All the more it is important to actively include men in finding solutions and to win them over as driving forces for change. It is the only way to diffuse conflicts and to get on a sustainable path for transformation.