Malians consulted by Interpeace and IMRAP agreed by consensus that the immediate priority should be to put an end to chronic insecurity by restoring trust between communities and the secuirty and defence forces (SDF) responsible for their protection. Indeed, in the eyes of both SDF and civilians, their mutual mistrust and the resulting lack of collaboration largely explain the current inability of the SDF to carry out their functions: Interpeace and IMRAP supported the Ministry of Security and Civil Protection in drafting their national policy on trust-building between security forces and communities. Malians also identified the active participation of women as a central element of trust-building. IMRAP and Interpeace led a participatory-action process to understand perspectives on role of women in security sector reform, and in the SDF.  The PAR process led to the production and dissemination of the final study, From Trial to Success: Women’s Participation in the Defence and Security Forces in Mali—A Vehicle for Trust. Interpeace and IMRAP have supported the effective implementation of structural changes for the inclusion of women in the armed forces by providing evidence-based recommendations from the population and participating in the SSR review process. We aim to strengthen trust between DSF and women by improving conditions for inclusive recruitment and the advancement of women within DSF in Mali, particularly in the Mopti and Gao regions.