Women can play significant roles in peace building

Whenever conflict happens, women and children bear the most brunt because they are the most vulnerable groups in any society. In South Sudan, conflicts have never spared the South Sudanese women whose livelihoods have been drastically destroyed. To prove this, majority of those pushed to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), refugee camps or returnees camps. Women suffer more during conflicts in the sense that they become easy targets for violence of all sorts of forms including sexual and Gender Based Violence. In most cases women have been raped, molested, children have been defiled while the elderly have also been on the receiving end. Since women understand the dynamics of conflicts it is only important to involve them in the search for a lasting peace. The signing of the Revitalized Peace Agreement on September 12th, 2018 was in itself a major milestone in restoring hopes to women and children who have been victims of conflicts. The peace deal signalled the dawn of a new era of peace process in South Sudan. It provided an opportunity for South Sudanese to sit down and reason together by revisiting their previous missteps. It provides an opportunity to learn from past our mistakes including failed peace deals and begin a journey of reconciliation. Women can be either victims of conflict or agents of peace building. Many a time, women have averted conflicts and have been responsible for resolving conflicts. Peace building needs the involvement of women. During violent conflicts and wars women are forced to assume new roles as heads of families, providers, combatants, and freedom fighters. Women’s roles in peace building across conflict areas, in the last decade, highlight the importance of moving women beyond the “humanitarian front of the story.” They have and can continue to influence peacebuilding processes so that they go beyond defining peace as the absence of violent conflict and focuses on the principles of inclusion, good governance and justice.

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