Woman in Conflict Resolution and Peace Building in Ethiopia: Rhetoric or Reality? A Call for Reconsideration
This paper reflects women’s position in peace building process in Ethiopia, and examines whether women’s participation in conflict resolution and peace building process are real or rhetoric. Then it provides mechanisms of empowering women in peace building activities. This exploratory evaluation research provides evidence using both primary and secondary data. The research result shows that women’s role in conflict resolution and peace building activities are highly marginalized due to structural barriers which includes lack of capacity in conflict resolution, victimization and sexual harassment in conflict distance women’s from peace building activities. Furthermore, sociocultural influences, patriarchal norms limit their visibility in conflict resolution and peace building activities in Ethiopia. Lack of genuine representation and absence of peace policy are among the challenges that limits women’s from peace building activities. Therefore, women’s role in conflict resolution and peace building activities are just a rhetoric and taken as a political instrument for government gains than reality in determining women’s living as well as the sustainability of peace in the country especially since 2018 Ethiopia’s political transition. Based up on the finding, the research call the following reconsideration measures, namely: (1) Peace policy formulation that addresses the current marginalized position of women in the country’s peace building process, (2) Promoting and strengthening genuine representation of women in governmental decision making institutions, and (3) measures that raise practical engagement of women in peace process, and (4) addressing sociocultural barriers using civic empowerment works so as to get women capable actor in conflict resolution and peace building activities in the country.