Adding Value: Women's Contribution to Reintegration and Reconstruction in El Salvador


Conaway, Camille P., Salome Martinez. 2004. Adding Value: Women's Contribution to Reintegration and Reconstruction in El Salvador. Women Waging Peace Policy Commission, Hunt Alternatives Fund.

Authors: Camille Pampell Conaway, Salome Martinez


This report revisits the Salvadoran conflict and peace process from the perspective of women. Drawing on field-based interviews, it outlines women’s role in the war and illustrates how their participation in peace negotiations led to a more inclusive DDR program. This study documents women’s contributions to the reintegration of fighters and their leadership in the reconstruction of El Salvador. Finally, it demonstrates the importance of maximizing existing social capital in post-conflict populations to enhance stabilization and long-term reconstruction efforts.


“The war was very cruel. But it was also a school, one that none of us would have wanted and that left us with many painful memories, but one that also left us with experiences that made us grow. The very fact of living the hardest part of the war awoke in me the need to work in women’s leadership and organizing women.” (21)

“There is ample evidence that women in former conflict zones are active participants in the public sphere -- both productively and in community leadership. Women are using these opportunities strategically to protect their interests, advocate for their rights, and forge and re-negotiate social and political space.” (

“In spite of the risks and challenges women faced every day, the war gave them an opportunity to broaden their horizons, acquire new skills and knowledge, and focus their attention on the survival and improved future of their children.” (26)

Topics: DDR, Gender, Women, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: El Salvador

Year: 2004

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