The role of women in peace building and reconstruction an analysis of Mwitika division in Mutitu Sub-county from 1992-2012.
Mutisya, Judith Ndinda
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The study aimed at investigating Role of women in Peace Building and Reconstruction in Mwitika Region of Kitui County, Kenya. The study sought to identify the role of both men and women in Mwitika region conflict and conflict resolution. It covered the period between 1992-2012. This study was motivated by the need to identify the role of women in conflict and conflict resolution in Mwitika region. Johan Galtung’s conflict theory was applied in the study which sought to understand the root cause of the conflicts, the structure, the dynamics and its actors with an aim of suggesting the possible resolution strategies to be used. In addition, Gender Theory was also applied which categorizes men and women into two distinct groups in the society depending on their roles where women were viewed as private and their place in the society was in the kitchen while men were the main active makers of the society. Women have a great role to play in conflict as both perpetrators and victims therefore also need to form part and parcel of the negotiating tables. Across the globe, women are deeply involved in peace efforts in some of the most violent areas of the world. Although their work is known, scholarship regarding their experience is scanty. Despite the fact that women overwhelmingly play "peacemaker" at grassroots levels and staff of non-governmental peace organizations, current teaching materials have very little documentation about the elements of women's styles of negotiation and conflict resolution. Previous conferences have highlighted some of the causes of conflicts that escalate into violence and war. They emanate from poor governance, dictatorship, corruption, and mismanagement of resources and inequalities in society some of them dating back to and deliberately promoted by colonial regimes. These include the creation of artificial boundaries, unevenness of development and unequal treatment in the provision of infrastructure, education and other social and economic services, as well as inequalities that post-independence governments have been unable to eliminate. External causes have also been discussed with reference to political alliances during the cold war era and the persistent scramble for Africa’s natural and mineral resources. Descriptive survey research design was used for this study where data was collected through interview and question guides. The target population was men and women from the age of 16 years and above, church leaders, political leaders and Non-Governmental Organization representatives. Responses gotten from questionnaires were keyed in a computer software of analysis SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) for tabulation and analysis. The results were represented in simple descriptive tables of frequencies and percentages. The study established that main cause of conflict in Mwitika region was water for domestic use, pastures and stolen livestock. The study also found that women played a role of saving the children when conflict start. The study established that church leaders and administrators played key role in bringing the conflict to an end by engaging both communities. The study also found that the government was greatly involved in reconciliation processes of conflicts among communities in and neighboring Mwitika region in Kitui County