WOMEN IN CONFLICT. STUDY OF PRIORITY ISSUES FOR WOMEN IN IDP CAMPS IN ABUJA NIGERIA
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
- BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Women’s role in conflict resolution and prevention, peacebuilding, peacemaking and reconciliation cannot be over-estimated or overemphasized. This is because apart from performing their biological and social activities of caring, giving birth, and bringing up humans as mothers, women also have the potentials of partaking in activities that is geared towards peaceful resolution of conflict as well as well in peacebuilding. Equally women have been at the forefront of efforts to build peace across the world. According to (Lute 2002:15) women are often the stabilizing force in the societies in which they exist. This is certainly true in post conflict settings where women represents essentially, the backbone of reconstruction and rehabilitation as well as the re-integration of former combatants and the re-emergence of basic economic activities in a society which is a war torn society, once peace has been achieved.Long before the recognition of the role of women in peace building process, they had already been very much involved in such activity. As a social group, women have been suitably identified as being pro-peace. Women have been highly visible in the forefront of movements for non violence and peace worldwide. Women usually assume the roles of peacemakers in families, in communities and in society even though they have often been victims (Agbu, Anike-Nweze ,Idachaba and Durojaye 2006:96).Women have been at the forefront of efforts to build peace in countries all over the world. In many instances women have come to the peace negotiations united across party, class and ethnic differences. Their unity and determination to make peace may come from their everyday experiences and concerns: protecting their children; finding food, clean water or shelter, protecting themselves from the violence and particularly sexual and gender-based violence associated with conflict (Ilesanmi and Agbu 2014:167).To show the importance of women in peace building The UN Security Council on 31st Oct. 2000 adopted The Resolution 1325, which deals with women, peace and security. This Resolution highlighted the importance of bringing gender perspectives to the center of the UN conflict prevention and resolution, peace building, peacekeeping, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts. This Resolution was initiated after the UN Secretary General was invited to do a study on the impact of conflicts on women, girls, the role of women in peace building and the gender dimensions of peace processes and conflict resolution. In line with the above resolution of the United Nation, The African Heads of States in a solemn declaration on gender equality adopted by African Heads of State and Government on July 6, 2004, agreed to:
Ensure the full and effective participation and representation of women in peace process, including the prevention , resolution, management of conflicts and post conflict reconstruction in Africa as stipulated in UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) and to also appoint women as special envoys and special representatives of the African Union. (Agbu, BolarinwaMbagwu, and Durojaye 2006:134).
Since the adoption of the United Nations Resolution 1325 (2000), some form of progress albeit minimal have been recorded in acknowledging the roles played by women in conflict resolution and post conflict peace building, as well as integrating women into decision making level of peace policies and processes ((Ilesanmi and Agbu 2014:167).