A Compendium of Women in Peace and Security Processes in the East and Horn of Africa

Authored by: Pearl Atuhaire

Categories: Conflict Prevention, Human Rights, Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), UN Resolutions
Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Year: 2014
Citation: Atuhaire, Pearl. "A Compendium of Women in Peace and Security Processes in the East and Horn of Africa." Social Science Research Network Electronic Journal. 2014.

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The East and Horn of Africa is one of the hottest conflict zones in the world. Measured over time, the extent of violent conflict in the Horn of Africa is greater than in any other African region and has occurred at every level within and between states, at the center and in the periphery with disproportionate effects on the lives of women.

Often as targets of extreme forms of violence, women in this region experience the full impact of armed conflict as civilians and combatants, as well as the additional gender-based crimes of sexual abuse and being used as war weapons, but they still remain on the margins of conflict and post conflict decision-making processes that have fundamental gender dimensions and implications.

In addition, priority is rarely given to developing women’s individual and collective capacity to address these conflicts and to build stable, peaceful, and democratic institutions even though they continue to demonstrate their ability, both individually and collectively, to resolve conflicts on a local level as mediators. Women represent a crucial resource for peace and stability, therefore issues of peace building cannot be separated from those of women’s political and economic empowerment and sustainable development.

Much as many international and regional instruments have been ratified in this region including the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, for the empowerment of women as peace builders in conflict and post conflict settings, most of their commitments have not been implemented.

The East and Horn of Africa is a region that has provided a platform for women to incorporate as leaders amid conflict. Women have risen as true beacons of peace, whose personal talent, striving and unique sense of vision have earned them a place in the annals of the history of East and Horn of Africa. The article below provides profiles of such women whose indomitable spirit and desire to excel changed the course of nature in regard to peace and security in the region.