It is widely accepted that sustainable development cannot happen in an environment of uncertainty, instability, and violent conflict. Without peace, there can be no development and without development, there can be no peace. Where there is violent conflict, there can be neither peace nor development. Research by Oxfam estimates that armed conflict has cost Africa $284bn between 1990 and 2005. This represents an average annual loss of 15 percent of GDP, or $18bn, by the continent as a whole due to armed conflict. Imagine where Africa would be today if these resources were used for development.
Conflict transformation implies multiple changes at different levels of society in order to deepen and sustain peace, and can be the result of individual or collective efforts. Since all conflicts reflect highly contextual dynamics, they require a thorough analysis of local conditions. Such an understanding increases the possibility of producing strategies that make the most of existing traditional mechanisms as well as local knowledge and practices in the quest for peacemaking, which any approach to conflict transformation should include.
When the problem of violence against women during and after conflict is discussed, it is often in reference to non-partner-perpetrated sexual violence. Intimate partner violence is, however, another form of violence that plagues the lives of women in conflict-affected settings with harmful physical, psychological, and social consequences.