Women and peace building: The case of women involvement in peace building process in Gulu District.
Akumu, Christine Okot
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Women and peace building is a new area of study in developing countries in general and Uganda in particular. This work is a gender analysis of the role women have played in the peace building process in Gulu district, their experiences and challenges in implementing peace building programmes. The main objective of the study is to examine the role of women in peace building in Gulu district in northern Uganda. The study focuses on the actors involved in peace building, identifying and assessing peace building initiatives by women, nature of peace building programmes by women, challenges and experience of women in peace building from a gender perspective. The study provides a concise understanding of the problems encountered during this process. The study was exploratory and descriptive in nature and applied qualitative and quantitative approaches of data collection and analysis. Data was collected through quantitative and qualitative methods. The findings indicated that: Marital status, the level of education, social status, age, position, workload and cultural practices have highly contributed to the inadequate women participation in peace building at the public sphere. The study further established that women are active agents of peace building not silent passive and victims of conflict as portrayed by most practitioners and scholars. women’s active participation is seen in the peace initiative started by them resulting from collective traumatic experience leading to a concern. All women peace building programmes are community based and focus mostly on interpersonal conflict resolution and mediation; psycho social support programmes, direct relief of suffering, care for orphans and the sick, sexual and gender based violence, livelihood support and awareness rising to change attitudes and behaviour. From the findings, it was concluded that much as women played crucial roles in peace building and conflict resolution, women ascribed roles still posed a serious limitation to some aspects of peace building in the public sphere. Based on the above mentioned issues therefore, the study recommended that women education, peace building skills and participation of the IDPs in peace building should be enhanced. Lastly, the study highlighted areas for further research on women and peace building based on what was not included in the scope of the study.