The women peace and security agenda has been a serious conversation in the world of armed conflict and violence as a whole. The focus on violence against women and girls in armed conflict, and peacekeeping missions cannot be over emphazised. 20 years down the lane since the United Nations Security Council Resolution UNSCR1325 on women peace and security was adopted some governments and agencies are yet to fully commit in its implementation. If you haven't lived in a war torn community you might not just get the point behind this much talked about #UNSCR135 and the 11 other resolutions to back it.
Having lived in a traumatic, deadly and violent conflict for years now in #NWSW of Cameroon, I have realized that #WomenBuildPeace in ways that are so soul touching and incredibly helpful. Though their contributions in #Peacebuilding is often neglected or taken for granted women movements and/or women leaders in the context of the conflict have done a lot to prevent further violence, protect victims of the violence while engaging every stakeholder for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
In order to prevent further conflict and violence, women have carried out lamentation campaigns as well as a back to school campaign within which they met the leaders in the conflict advocating for an uplifting of the school boycott order. As a basic right of their children, education remains the best way to prevent and counter violent extremism and radicalization the women noted. Schools boycott, enforced by the separatists, has been going on for four years in #NWSW has deprived hundreds of thousands children quality of education.
The population affected by this conflict needing care is quite alarming. Women have stood the test of time in responding to the needs of these affected people. Out of nothing they have given so much to protect these victims from further violations and lack in so many ways. Women peace movements, religious groups and sociocultural groups have relentlessly offered material and psychological support to the population. It is interesting to note that the efforts of these “giants” are unbiased as they respond to those in need. Stories of women beaten almost to death for offering food and other basic needs to either soldiers or fighters are many in #NWSW
Women have continued to stay on in situations that are dehumanizing and traumatic. They have put humanity first reason for the constant call for #CeasefireNow #PeaceNegotiation #InclusiveAndSincereDialogue #TalksNotBlood. Yea these women support every initiative that goes in line with a peaceful resolution of the ongoing conflict.
The divide in this armed conflict though deep and bitter, as it may seem women have transcended this and are able to work, talk and think together for peace. They have held ecumenical services for Peace, carried out demonstrations for peace as well as a conversation series with for peace. These are strategies to build community resilience and also set the stage for peace negotiations. I will no be just if I fail to acknowledge the huge impact this has on the neglected civilian population. I now understand why on several occasions one will hear people say “what have the women said or done in this situation?” I take the liberty to celebrate my “superhero” women who have given a deeper meaning to relationship, leadership and citizenship something politics and power tussle have blinded gun holders not to see.
I call on you to celebrate these wonderful women peacebuilders by promoting this messages of theirs "Lower Your Arms in #NWSW"