Post-conflict situation: An opportunity for women’s enlistment into national discourse or not?
“Women cannot defeat patriarchy by using instruments, institutions and rules created by patriarchy. Women cannot delude themselves that they can patch patriarchy institutions to meet women’s needs or play patriarchal games as a way of liberating women. Ultimately women would find themselves as ‘puppets mouthing the master’s voice” (Berewa Jommo paper cited by Thelma Ekiyor).
The new phenomenon ‘violence’ pervading the many communities, especially the African continent has provoke critical minds to question the position of women and how this shall create space for gender discussion.
It is with no doubt that almost ¾ of the violent conflict in the continent has been ‘men-engine ego’, while the victims to these are mostly women and children who suffer tremendously.
Nonetheless, having read through collection of articles, literatures, it is believed by some critical gender advocates that post-conflict environment provides best opportunities for women’s issues (especially women's security aspects) into the national discourse. For instance; World War II and the Vietnam War help the women’s movement in the United States to gain admittance into many sectors that were closed to them prior to each war (Thelma Ekiyor, WANEP,’Female Combatants in West Africa).
Similarly, the 1994 Rwanda Genocide, Kenya 2007 Post election Violence which birth to the affirmative action for women in the new constitution. Also, in addition, the Sierra Leone, Liberia civil war are another example of opportunities to women’s issues taking precedence into the national discussion framework.
Is post conflict environment therefore an alternative platform to fully involve women as active participation in all decision making?
This is just a briefing on what people say and what we should say -
I look forward to hearing from you, what you think - and possible best approach to support the full implementation of Action Plans that call for respect of women's rights?