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Accepted Paper:

Exploring the Role and Contributions of Women in Peace Building Processes in Cameroon: Experiences of the SNWOT  
Christiana Abonge (University of Buea Cameroon)

Paper short abstract:

Issues about war and the army are masculine and characterized by patriarchal practices that perpetuate an exclusionary attitude and culture towards women in peace-building. By mainstreaming their participation and involvement in peace processes bring in women's voices and conflict experiences.

Paper long abstract:

Most political institutions in conflict societies including Cameroon tend to perpetuate an exclusionary attitude and culture towards women in peace-building. Given that issues about politics and the army are primarily masculine, they are by and large characterized by patriarchal practices and values. Thus, these processes tend to remain male-dominated with women excluded and underrepresented at all levels. Also, the social construction of gender has often identified women as “mothers of the nation”; thus women’s practical involvement and expectations about the sphere of their actions is centered on motherhood, responsibility for children, and protection of the family. Meanwhile, there is evidence that increased female representation within peace processes increases the likelihood that a conflict terminates in a negotiated settlement. Given that the international community through the UNSCR 1325 have shown increased interest in promoting women's participation in peace-building, the study seeks to examine the role and representation of women in peace processes in Cameroon in the context of the crisis and conflict plaguing the North West and South West regions of the country. The study examines peace-building efforts and approaches of the Southwest Northwest Women's Task force (SNWOT) and factors challenging their participation in the peace process. Through the use of both quantitative and qualitative approaches to data collection, the findings indicate that the participation of women in peace-building is extremely vital as they are likely to make a unique contribution to the peace process and tend to be the sole voices speaking out for women’s rights and concerns.

Panel P45a
Peacebuilding from below – the role of women groups and civil society in conflict resolution I
  Session 1 Monday 28 June, 2021, -