Rural women in Eastern Equatoria State establish peace committee to address local conflicts
Rural women in Kudo district in Eastern Equatoria State have formed a peace committee to address grassroots conflicts in their villages.
“We will move from village to village to sensitize communities on the importance of peaceful coexistence,” said Jokomina Celso, the newly elected leader of the committee. “We are also going to advise our husbands to resolve conflicts over land and other issues amicably, because women and children are normally most affected when there are disagreements,” she added.
The decision to create the women’s peace committee was taken after a two-day training, organized by the UN peacekeeping mission, on the significant role women can play in maintaining and restoring harmonious relations within and between communities. The Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare was also instrumental in establishing the new entity.
More than 50 women from five villages participated in the forum, where access to basic services was also discussed. in the area aimed at strengthening confidence among the women so they can mobilize to resolve conflicts and access basic social services.
The attendees identified border conflicts, child abductions and forced and early marriages, as some potential drivers of conflict in their area.
“By learning how to become more involved in community affairs and decisions, you as women will be better placed to prevent and mitigate conflicts,” explained Marko Miljevic, a Civil Affairs Officer serving with the UN mission.
Michael Oling, a local government representative from Kudo, promised that local authorities will assist the new peace committee.
“We will work in solidarity with the women to resolve conflicts. Women have traditionally been left behind in all aspects of society, but I’m hopeful that this committee can lead to many unsettled disputes coming to and end in the near future,” he said.