SOLOMON ISLANDS: We Must Engage Women in Promoting Peace in Our Societies

Saturday, March 3, 2012
Solomon Star
Solomon Is.
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 

In the quiet corners of the Lungga area a small but important workshop has just been completed this week. The workshop was intended to train women as peace-markers in our societies.

It was a timely seminar to remind us of the import role that women play in our societies. What is often overlooked is the vital role played by women in negotiating peace and rebuilding societies as we have seen in our own conflict on Guadalcanal.
Whilst in a traditional Melanesian society our women are often relegated to doing house chores – we have seen a gradual shift in their role as we have witnessed in the in-conflict and the post conflict Solomon Islands during which they played a significant role as peacemakers between the warring factions.

At a time when our men were bitter at war, our women, mostly mothers braved the frontlines to promote peace to the ex-militants and urged them to lay-down their arms and talk peace.

In most post conflict situations women are in the forefront when it comes to negotiating and building peace.

As former U.N Secretary-General Kofi Annan once said, “Women, who know the price of conflict so well, are also better equipped than men to prevent or resolve it. For generations, women have served as peace educators, both in their families and in their societies. They have proved instrumental in building bridges rather than walls.”

In our divided and at times violent communities our women have a significant role to play in conflict resolution and promoting peace.

In nearly all societies women are neglected from conflict resolutions. However that maybe, women are important shakeholders when it comes to imposing peace in our societies

Therefore we agree with arguments that in creating sustainable peace in all its dimensions and in all places is achieved best by an approach, where women and men in different parts of society and community cooperate as equal partners.

Of the many groups of society currently excluded from different kinds of peace processes, none is larger or more critical to success than women. Women give life to a new generation. In some ways, women take a more prominent role than men do for the sustainability of the family, the religious community and society.

In a changing society our men leaders should realise the important role that women play and include them in all efforts to promote and advance peace.