Combining National and International Peace Building mechanisms: with a special consideration to women and their vital role in this paradigm.

| August 1, 2018


The Strathmore Law School two weeks ago was gracious to host Professor Abdullahi Ahmed who is a lecturer of Law at the Emory Law School. He gave a presentation on “The Limited Legal protection of human rights and individual and collective self-determination”. The crux of his presentation was on the long lasting nature of home gown peace mechanisms whereby he stressed the importance of having domestic mechanisms put in place when dealing with the protection of human rights in conflict areas. The reason given for this, was that the more familiarity that goes into creating domestic measures, the more incentive there is in such societies to abide by these mechanisms. This perspective although contested by many, especially International Human Rights bodies, is paramount and has been proven to have some success in some post conflict areas.

It is said that in a society where the women are “broken”, it is difficult for it to heal post-conflict. An example is the Congo, where unfortunately the repetitive use of rape as a tool of war has delayed its healing as the women have been humiliated through atrocious violations of their dignity.

However, there has been an emergence of a certain trend in International Peace keeping bodies, whereby, it has been noted that, the involvement of women from post-conflict societies in peace negotiations has not only made the process easier, but has increased the compliance rate with measures put in place.

It was noted by, The Special Envoy of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission on Women, Peace and Security Mme Binet Diop, that, “indeed women are undeniable victims of violence, however, they are not just victims, but agents of special change. They are intelligent and smart and have initiatives that they wish to share to respond to the challenges that they are faced with.” This echoes the UN Security Council adopted landmark resolution that has placed the issue of peace and security on the global agenda.[1]

Women in Africa’s Sahel region have been used as agents for this new paradigm for peace building and development, showing a case in point when combining domestic mechanisms, which is women in this case, and international mechanisms, which includes International bodies such as the UN, is more likely to lead to long-lasting peace in conflict societies. It allows for more home grown and realistic solutions which people feel more incentivised to abide by.

[1] UN Security Council, Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) [on women and peace and security], 31 October 2000, S/RES/1325 (2000).