Armed conflict and political violence are generally viewed as "male domains", perpetrated by men, whether as armed forces, guerrilla groups, paramilitaries or peacemakers. The unavoidable, or deliberate, involvement of women has received far less attention, and there is a tendency to portray a simplistic division of roles between men as aggressors, and women as victims, particularly of sexual abuse. The gendered causes, costs and consequences of violent conflicts have been at best underrepresented and more often misrepresented. In reality, men and women are both actors and victims throughout violent conflict and all stages of conflict (pre, during and post) have gendered implications. The contributors explore the links between political, economic and social violence and illustrate how local community organisations run and managed by women play a key role throughout conflict situations, not only for meeting basic needs, but also as advocates, fostering the trust and collaboration -the "social capital" - that are so critical in reconciliation.