Women, the missing link in conflict resolution in Africa: a case study of Kenya and Liberia
Onsare, Rose M
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Conflict has been a part of the world from time immemorial. The need for not only conflict resolution but effective conflict resolution has been the preoccupation of the African continent and indeed the world at large. It has been argued that the world today is more in conflict than at peace even though the world has not experienced a major war. Matters conflict resolution have overtime been left to men. This is due to the fact that many decision making roles have been handled by men in many communities. Even though men have been largely charged with conflict resolution, women have been stereotyped as peacemakers, thought of as being more pacific than men and often symbolized as paragons of goodness and tenderness owing to their natural nurturing role as caregivers. This stereotyping is reinforced through socialization patterns that promote women primarily as child bearers and good wives, caregivers, arbitrators of conflict and peace promoters in the family and community. The stereotyping has also been attributed to the entrenchment of patriarchy in the communities. The literafure on women's participation in conflict resolution and peace processes takes two approaches the first one being their representation and participation at high political levels and in decision-making mechanisms for conflict resolution and the second one being the disparate collection on women's grass-roots peacemaking initiatives. This research therefore analyze the participation of women in the conflict and conflict resolution processes in Kenya and Liberia with a view to highlighting the absence of women as one of the main issues affecting the realization of effective conflict resolution .