Monday, September 22, 2008

Women as Peacemakers

The project “Mainstreaming Gender in Conflict Resolution Mechanisms in The Peace Zones” resulted to laudable successes in terms of introducing the gender perspective to the leadership of Muslim communities in the project areas. These are considered milestones since it breaks into the well-engrained notions of patriarchy so dominant on the Muslim culture.

Concrete manifestation of appreciation of the gender perspective among the men leaders in the Muslim communities is their commitment translated into legislative actions of ensuring women’s participation in local governance, in leadership, and especially in conflict resolution mechanisms.

The women leaders positioned, however, lags in terms of embracing a gender-perspective, even compared to the men.

But with the present set-up where mostly men occupy leadership position, they are the ones who are first afforded the opportunities of attending gender sensitivity and gender-based activities. The Muslim women lag in terms of embracing a gender-perspective, so this was articulated in their recommendations.

The initiative needs to be supplemented with on the ground efforts at strengthening women’s voice in peace process and enabling women to emerge as equally capable leaders in their communities.

The grounds for gender advocacy and women empowerment in the Muslim world proved fertile. Now lies the bigger challenge of sustaining the successes and to embark on a more comprehensive development agenda for the Muslim women, in particular and the whole Muslim community, in general.

The tasks at hand for CO Multiversity, being catalysts for meaningful development in the Muslim areas, are heavy with these demands.

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