Women religious leaders as actors in ethnic conflict management and resolution in Nakuru and Uasin Gishu districts, Kenya
Maina, Newton Kahumbi
MetadataShow full item record
This study investigated women religious leaders as actors in ethnic conflict management and resolution in Nakuru and Uasin Gishu districts, Kenya. These two districts in the Rift Valley Province, suffered the worst effects of the ethnic clashes that took place between 1992-1998. [he study was based on the general premise that in all conflict related situations women bear the greatest brunt of the violence. Yet, they are hardly represented in peace negotiations and in the various structures of peace making. Where they are included, the number of women is miserably minimal or negligible. By and large, the study shows that during the ethnic clashes, women were the main victims of the mayhem perpetrated by the attackers. Nevertheless, women are sidelined in various structures and processes of peace building. They are also under represented in the various peace meetings. The study has demonstrated that religion can be integrated with gender dimension in peace building, conflict prevention and management. This is underscored by the significant roles of women in peace building. These roles are evident from the work of Rural Women Peace Link, a network of women groups that is geared to peace building in the areas that have suffered the effects of ethnic clashes and other violent related conflicts such as cattle rustling. Various organizations that are involved in peace building, and conflict prevention and management are identified and discussed. These include the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK); the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJ&PC) and Catholic Women Association (CWA) under the auspices of the Catholic Diocese of Nakuru (CON); Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR); and Mothers Union and Nakuru Region Inter-diocesan Christian Community Services, under the aegis of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK), Diocese of Nakuru. The role of women religious leaders in peace building, conflict prevention. management and resolution is discerned from the various programs that are run by these organizations. The study employs a theoretical framework that is reconstructed from the functionalist theory of religion and the roles of religious women. This is in view of the fact that women religious leaders operate within the purview of religion. Hence it is within the context of religion that the roles of women religious leaders has been explained and understood.