Role of women in the 2007 post election violence in Kenya: The Impact Of UNSC Resolution 1325
Musyoka, Grace M
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The majority of the conflicts that the United Nations intervenes today are of such a complex nature that the joint efforts from both men and women are required to handle conflict and to make such operations as effective as possible according to their mandates. Very often, in conflict situation when it comes to negotiating tables they usually exclude women and leave war makers in charge. Sustainable peace requires the full participation of women at all stages of the peace process yet they have been largely excluded from formal efforts to develop and implement fresh, workable solutions to seemingly intractable struggles. Women are often at the center of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), popular protests, electoral referendums, and other citizen-empowering movements whose influence has grown with the global spread of democracy. The main objective of the study was to determine the role of resolution 1325 in conflict situation specifically in Kenya during the post-election violence. The research adopted descriptive research design because it allowed for analysis of different variables and at the same time allowed the researcher to evaluate the extent of the effects of PEV on women. The study used purposive sampling technique to select the study sample. The study focused on individuals (women and girls) aged 18years and above who were internally displaced and were victims of the 2007 post-election violence in Kenya. The sample size was a total of 150 women living in the camps. The focused group discussion was targeting on women living in the IDP camps during and after the PEV. The researcher developed a social demographic questionnaire (SDQ) which sought information related to general particulars of the respondents. Primary data was obtained from field research using interviews, Focused Group Discussions (FGD) and direct observations of the IDPs. The postelection violence led to the revelation of the very hard reality the women go through in the face of war and/ ethical clashes. They suffer not only the loss of home and property, loved ones and poverty but are also likely victims of such incidences as rape, murder, torture, sexual abuse and slavery. Although gender based violence existed even before the violence erupted, it was heightened by violence in the period during which there was violence. The study has also brought to light the gaps that existed in addressing this violation of basic human rights such as the procedure to follow in case of abuse or violence and consequent seeking of help. This left most of the women who experienced or witnessed violence go untreated both physically and psychologically. To be able to deal with the SGBV in the country and more so during violence is a major role of the government and can be achieved through enforcing strict laws and following the constitution so that the perpetrators of SGBV can be brought to justice. This will be a step towards the right direction; meanwhile, it has to play a major part in educating the communities on SGBV and human rights to ensure that everyone knows their rights and what actions they should take in cases of violations.