Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Role of Women in Peace Building and Reconciliation
In the front page of the social magazines man are pictures as the initiators toward the social driving. It has been the common pictures to the entire societal that the concept of leadership has been credited to man. But the shadows of women are always presence in the leadership of men that support invisibly.
The invisible role of women in the realm of peace building plays a vital role in the society. Since the primitive age, women played a significant role in resolving conflict between communities and families, but they are always invisible. The dynamic invisible role played by women in the society from the ancient time till today need to be acknowledge and strengthen in order to help man folk as working toward peace in the society.
There is a saying of our forefather’s tradition that “If we have a bad woman then we have a bad society and if we have bad wives then we have bad families”. The tender hearts of the women is so powerful that it melts the anger of a man and that is one of the reasons why we send women as a negotiator between husband and the enemies in the early period when family dispute arouse.
In both the home and the community, women in most societies are involved in resolving conflicts in various ways. Women seem to sense developing conflicts at early stages— as mothers they are the first to become aware when children generate conflict with the neighbours, and they draw their husbands’ attention to the situation.
The wife plays a significant role in proposing ways to resolve the conflict. In the community, some conflicts may be referred to women to resolve because women are considered better suited to do so. Women may sit as chiefs and judges to resolve such conflicts. For instance, Chief Sekina of the Munda tribe in the Maridi Rural Council in Sudan, a woman, was empowered to settle disputes not only between individuals but also between various groups in the community. A strategy that the chief and her assistants (both women and men) commonly adopted was to engage the community in debate on issues that were likely to generate conflict. Their strategy was to nip the conflict in the bud.
Another strategy women use widely is to compose songs that emphasize the power of solving problems peacefully through debate and discussion. Women are known to have suggested binding two antagonistic communities through intercommunity marriage. The new bonds and relationships that come with the marriage serve as a bridge for peaceful living between the two communities.
Traditional communication mechanisms
Women in the patriarchal society of Sudan have little or no decision-making power and limited participation in political processes, including negotiations for peace. Yet they play a very vital role in war and conflict making. In other words, women through use of the traditional communication system in Sudan could be considered agents of war.
Women as peacemakers or as agitators
Women are half of the society. If they convince themselves to become peacemakers, then half the society is working toward peace. Women can create a soothing, reconciling atmosphere, going side by side with men to make peace
But women’s role can also be negative, and women can be agitators. However, women, no matter what, are change agents in a society and must not be ignored or marginalized in efforts to build a prosperous, healthy, integrated, and peaceful society. Women always in the front door since the history of all the initiatives taken in the patriarchal society. Seen in the battle field, man has been indicated to be the great warrior.......to be continued