To disrupt the ongoing cycles of violence, root causes must be addressed, which a new programme by the NGO Consortium consisting of the Agency for Co-operation and Research in Development (ACORD), DanChurch Aid and the Centre for Conflict Resolution attempts to do.
The Consortium’s feminist study on Conflict and Gender in South Sudan will build the foundation for the multi-year programme, which began in September 2016. Conducted in early 2017, the study examines the existing ideas, beliefs and attitudes that allow for the continued use of violence as a normalised social progress. It finds that “masculine aggressivity has moved to the fore [which] has eroded the capacity of individuals to empathise with others … The resultant context of perpetual violence fosters social fragmentation in which one’s sense of community reduces.” To address the root causes, the study’s authors argue, the deep-rooted attitudes and beliefs which view violent behavior as normal and acceptable must be challenged.
The project, which will come to a close in August 2021, will be implemented on three pillars, resulting from the findings of the study: Changing Attitudes and Beliefs, Mechanisms for Addressing On-going Violence, and Constructing an Alternative Future.