Women In Conflict Management: How Traditional Roles And Perceptions Have Been A Hindrance
One of the major challenges we continue to face at the close of the twentieth century is the real involvement of women in all sectors of society. For a long time this has been considered as a small issue. But with the changing world, many have come to the realization that women just as men have many capabilities and should take responsi ble posts just like men if true developments, peace have to be realized. In many parts of the world and Kenya specifically, despite the fact that we see women in positions of leadership, and that many achievements have been made due to the different roles they play, these efforts have not been recognised a nd in most cases they have been taken for granted. This may be because the peace efforts taken by wome n are normally dismissed as simply part of general softness of nature or as part of their moth er wood role (Vellacott 1988). And when women are reported in wars, it is usually as victim s, weeping over the broken bodies of sons and daughters in hospitals, or raped by enemy soldiers. But rarely do we see women being reported in the forefront as the major decision makers or leade rs. The paper starts from the notion that there has not been enough involvement of women in leadership positions especially in conflict managem ent and that traditional roles and perceptions have been a major hindrance to this. Secondly, the paper proposes different ways in which women can be actively involved if genuine and lasti ng peace has to be achieved.