Role of Women in Peacebuilding

 

From the Ground Up

ActionAid and Womankind Worldwide produced a 70-page report that chronicles women’s roles in peacebuilding in Liberia, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sierra Leone, and Pakistan. It details the barriers to female participation in peacemaking and makes a plea to the international community to put women at the forefront of peacebuilding by making the case that women are the “missing link” in peace processes. The report argues that “peace” has a different meaning for women than it does for men. It can mean food security, familial and economic stability, and the ability to speak up against violence. For men, peace often just means a ceasefire. “From the Ground Up” introduces a new perspective on women in the peacemaking process and gives a plethora of evidence to support it.

Cardona, Ivan et al. “From the Ground Up.” ActionAid. September 2012. Web. October 2013.
<http://www.actionaidusa.org/sites/files/actionaid/from_the_ground_up_-_full_report.pdf>.

 

Role of Women in Peace Building and Conflict Resolution in African Traditional Societies: A Selective Review

Author Chinwe Nwoye, a lecturer at Kenyatta University, analyzes women’s roles and influence in conflict resolution in Africa. This review is powerful since it is written by a woman in Kenya who is analyzing and discussing her own cultural heritage and peace processes. This piece analyzes six studies on women in Africa and divides the results into two sections: the roles of women in peacebuilding and the roles of women in conflict resolution. It discusses the definition of “peace” in Africa, childcare and mortality, women and peacemaking in relation to economic development, the role of the metaphorical “mother” in conflict resolution, and the role of women in both traditional tribal peace mediation and modern peace mediation. This piece is a great historical and political analysis of the female role in peacemaking and how to support it.

Chinwe Nwoye, Miriam Agatha. “Role of Women in Peace Building and Conflict Resolution in African Traditional Societies: A Selective Review.” Web. October 2013.
<http://www.afrikaworld.net/afrel/chinwenwoye.htm>.

 

Liberian Women’s Involvement in Peacemaking and Peacebuilding

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf gave an address at the International Peace Institute’s African Leaders Series, “Consolidating a Future in Peace.” This transcript of her speech addresses the efforts of women in Liberia as they transition from peacemaking to peacebuilding. Sirleaf is an accomplished woman who is held in extremely high esteem for becoming the first female president of Liberia. She chose to speak about the role Liberian women played in the process of peacebuilding, and discusses how Liberian women directly experienced the negative effects of conflict. In times of war, women often experience sexual violence, political exclusion, and cultural discrimination. However, when the civil war in Liberia intensified, a group of Liberian women decided they needed to focus their efforts beyond relief and aid. They established the Liberian Women’s Initiative. President Sirleaf explains how the Initiative helped bring together women from all faiths and social groups and organized massive peace conferences and demonstrations. President Sirleaf and one of the women leaders, Leymah Gbowee, earned the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for their work. The events and aftermath in Liberia are proof that women can mobilize for peace and be successful, deeming women an important inclusion in peace processes.

Sirleaf, Ellen Johnson. ” Liberian Women’s Involvement in Peacemaking and Peacebuilding.” New York. 26 September 2012. Web. October 2013. <http://www.emansion.gov.lr/doc/20120926%20President%20Sirleafs%20Statement%20at%20International%20Peace%20Institute%20(IPI)%20FINAL.pdf>.

 

Peace as a Gendered Process: Perspectives of Women Doing Peacebuilding in South Africa

This case study, completed by The International Journal of Peace Studies, addresses female involvement in the South African peace process and is based on research and workshops conducted in South Africa. The study takes an interesting angle on peace that I personally have not seen before, arguing that peace is truly gendered and that “[peace] is about men and women and how they relate to each other.” The study is also significant because it discusses peace in South Africa, which is a very unique and complex region.

De La Rey, Cheryl and Susan McKay. “Peace as a Gendered Process: Perspectives of Women Doing Peacebuilding in South Africa.” The International Journal of Peace Studies. Web. October 2013. <http://www.gmu.edu/programs/icar/ijps/vol7_1/Rey-McKay.html>.

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