Sculpting Conflict Resolution by Encompassing Women

Over the years, women have reflected multidimensional roles in distinct aspects, ranging from political involvement, social structure pavement, and economic surge to peace, sustainability, and the list continues. The global role of women has effectively bridged the gender gap liberating capacity for more female-oriented roles in the mainstream world setup. The Globe has spectated the emancipatory role of women in form of social movements, political participation, etc. rendering gender acceptance and incorporation. The women have long advocated their rights and role using their voice and abilities ushering a notable social change. Well demonstrated in the historic archives, like women suffrage movement in the west, Kurdish Women movement in the Muslim bloc followed by other such noteworthy social portrayals. Which not only ignited the recognition of women but also realistically portrayed a proactive approach to feminism. Moreover, such incidents also diverted attention and paved the path towards a more comprehensive gender-inclusive channel of conflict resolution and post conflict peacebuilding. Thus, diminishing the patriarchal perception of women’s role in the socio-political buildup.

The ubiquitous and the subsequent World order aligns along the line of enactment of peace paradigm, that proximate conflict resolution, conflict transformation, management, nonviolence, and peacebuilding. Hence, such a World Order requires gender inclusivity, i.e. women’s involvement; to reinforce productivity and sustainability in the long run. As wartime and conflict scenario thoroughly affects not only the men but also the women, which provides a platform for women nurture in the conflict resolution arena. Furthermore, women have been subject to violence (gender-based, sexual etc.) and crimes against humanity during the conflict tenure, hence, their inadequate representation leaves a gap in way of a comprehensive and wide-range approach towards the peace process. The web of states, international organizations, and the various Non-State Actors should inculcate the role of women in different domains of leadership, organizational platform, and most importantly in the conflict resolution sphere to enhance peace sustainability. Moreover, the post conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding also revolves around women in the societal structure that further demands the amelioration of the role of women in peacemaking and reconciliatory efforts.

Women’s sufferings and experiences from the conflict situation can serve as authentic subjects to be considered in the evolution of peace from conflict. Well demonstrated by the statistical surveys that suggest that a dense percentage of refugees is women, who highlighted various problems that proved to be crucial for refugee management and rehabilitation. Similarly, recruitment of women in negotiation procedure can yield principal outcomes; overcoming gender marginalization, that decreases the overall effectiveness of the process. As evident in Bosnia Herzegovina accords, where women under-representation disrupted the implementation process. Furthermore, women’s involvement can augment vast conflict resolution strategies with a cooperative approach of collaborating and compromising. Whereas, the male approach often revolves around competing and avoiding strategies. Hence, the women approach appears to be all-embracing and accommodating, enhancing the effective conflict response and dealing method. Compromising tactic aids in building a well-coordinated and proportional relationship between the adversaries, fostering trust and confidence-building. Whereas, collaborative engagement in conflict resolution can summon commitment, respect, and adherence from the conflicting parties. Such tactics serve as constructive steps that enhance the scope of conflict resolution and conflict de-escalation.

The exhibition and advocacy of women in terms of peace and non-violence was observed when the women of Liberia played a major role in transitioning peace in the region. The women of Liberia during the time of civil war led a non-violent stream of political activism named ‘Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace”. That ultimately resulted in the end of the civil war and enabled the democratic procedure of elections in the year 2005. Moreover, Liberian politics was dominated by a female president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, undertaking the nation-building task in the post-conflict time. Therefore, this is projected as a prime example to empower and to include women in conflict resolution and peacebuilding.

The inclusion of women in the mediation or peacemaking process uplifts legitimacy and inculcates diversity in political as well as social transformation, which also provides a gateway for women’s appointment in formal socio-political institutions. However, it can be rightly stated that encompassing women in the conflict resolution process can capitulate productive and constructive outcomes that help broaden up the overall scope of the process. Nevertheless, the United Nations legalized and broadly recognized the need for women in peace and security dynamics, when the UN Security Council devised Resolution 1325 on 31 October 2000. The resolution illustrated that the process of conflict resolution, peacebuilding, conflict prevention, management, and decision-making should encompass women with adequate representation. Hence, UN resolution 1325 led to the development of gender-inclusive aspects in the conflict resolution and peacebuilding realm. The resolution also enabled various states to cope up with this dimension of the mechanism by recruitment of women, provision of technical and financial support to women working under the banner of peace and conflict resolution. However, the UN Resolution not only proved to be an assertive step for women’s empowerment and recognition internationally but also at the state level.

Aiza Tanveer
Aiza Tanveer
Undergraduate student of Peace and Conflict studies