The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) is calling for increased involvement of women in conflict resolution as a strategy to restore sustainable peace in conflict riddled areas.
According to a senior program officer working with NCIC, Mr. Richard Nderitu, the commission has a program tailored to train women on peace and conflict mediation, especially targeting women groups from Isiolo, Marsabit, Garissa, Kisumu, Nairobi, and the Western region.
Mr. Nderitu said the program that is supported by the United Nations Development Program is being implemented by independent organizations that work with women at grassroots levels in the target counties.
He added that Isiolo Peace link organization was selected to work with the commission where over 70 women from the region’s three Sub-Counties are involved.
Isiolo Peace Link Executive Director Ms. Abdia Muhamud said that the women were recruited from the indigenous women of the UN Resolution 1325 action groups that have been promoting women’s voices in leadership in the region.
She revealed that one of the selected women in the peace building initiatives was Ms. Joyce Nailisia who is also the chairperson of the Samburu community council of elders in Isiolo.
Ms. Muhamud retaliated that despite Nailisia’s highly ranked position in the Samburu community, men were still not giving her room to be heard and to make decisions because of the patriarchal orders presented by cultural models.
Ms. Nailisia explained that women are not involved because cultural norms forbid women to make decisions on behalf of men.
She however sarcastically said it was time for women to be given men roles like herding the cattle adding that women would easily prevent unwarranted fights in the grazing fields that are more often caused by the aggressive nature of men.
She urged the county government to come on board to intensify the roles of women in peace building adding that she was grieved by frequent cases of insecurity that continue to rob communities of many lives through killings.
By David Nduro