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Towards an indigenous model of conflict resolution: Reinventing women’s roles as traditional peacebuilders in neo-colonial Africa

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Abstract:

Women have always been at the centre of peace processes across different pre-colonial African societies. Their peace agency in these societies can be located in their cultural and socio-political roles as well as their contributions to the overall well-being of these societies. It is noteworthy that women’s peacebuilding roles then were reinforced by perceptions which stereotyped women as natural peacemakers, and as being more pacific than men. However, women in neo-colonial African states appear to have lost this myth/sacredness that surrounded their being and social existence in pre-colonial Africa. This is because apart from being marginalised socially, economically and politically, they have increasingly become victims of male violence. How and why did women transform from being active participants in precolonial politics and peace processes to being passive observers of politics and peacebuilding in neo-colonial Africa? And second, given their pre-colonial peacebuilding antecedents, do women have the potential to transform politics and conflict in neo-colonial Africa?

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