ROLE OF WOMEN IN
IN AFRICAN TRADITIONAL SOCIETIES: A SELECTIVE REVIEW
Miriam Agatha Chinwe Nwoye
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research and writings on the place of womanhood in African traditional societies figure prominently in African literary and social science literature. Blazing the trail and dominating the field in this direction, are African female novelists such as Nwapa (1966, 1970, 1980, 1981), Ba (1981), Emechata (1972, 1974, 1976, 1979, 1982), Head (1968), Njau (1975), Ogot (1980), Waciuma (1969), all of whom, write from the African feminist perspective.
Emecheta’s (1974, 1976, 1979, 982) writings, for
example, focus purely on the oppression of patriarchy in traditional African
societies and therefore on the discourse of protest against the cultural
injustice on the girl child in traditional societies. Her writings, in other
words, draw serious attention to the brutalities, subordination and other
oppressive realities and manifestations of the trammels of tradition on women
Nwapa’s (1966, 1970, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986) works and commitment, on the other hand, try to expose the woman’s situation within traditional and contemporary African societies, especially her role as wife and mother. She highlights on the importance attached to having children and thereby stresses the unenviable lot of childless or barren women within the community. She examines the necessity for economic independence through determination and hard work, a sine qua non for self-fulfillment and freedom of action for a woman in the African context. Her writings, as much as those of her colleagues earlier mentioned, indeed aim at showing that women have multiple capacities that go beyond mere relevance for domestic assignment.
To validate this, her female creations are, in
general, industrious, businesslike and economically independent, pursuing with
seriousness of purpose and determination whatever they have set their minds
upon. Her principal point of view is that modern African society must change
its attitude towards the woman, marriage and motherhood, which, desirable as it
is, constitutes only an option for womanbeing in contemporary
The positive results of such writings as the above
Of course, not-withstanding the immense positive
contributions of such writings as have just been highlighted, feminist studies
It is against the background just presented that one
can then see the great importance of the present colloquium coming at the
instance of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue (PCID) aimed at
providing an unrivalled opportunity for giving a proper space and account of
the positive contributions of women in peace building and conflict resolutions
in traditional African societies. By
thinking out and sponsoring such a meeting the Pontifical Council for
Inter-religious Dialogue has done a valuable job of helping to give voice to
the often unsung role of women in promoting the culture of peace in
In my attempt to contribute towards highlighting the role of women in peace building and conflict resolution in traditional African societies, I intend to engage in some selective review of extant and most recent literature on this theme. At the end of the review an attempt will be made to collect together insights available in the literature on the subject of the present paper. Conclusions regarding the role women played in peace building and conflict resolution in traditional societies will then be summarized. Implications of the result and some recommendations arising therefrom will be highlighted thereafter.
Studies on Women and Peace in traditional
is, to the best of my knowledge, one principal published text focusing on women
and peace in traditional
The first of these studies is the one undertaken by Heike Becker. It was entitled The Role of Namibian Women in Peace-building and Conflict Resolution. It investigated,, in particular, the role played by women in the practice of peace restoration rituals in the aftermath of war.
The second study is that by Josephine Ntahobari and Basilissa Ndayiziga, entitled: The Role of Burundian Women in the Peaceful Settlement of Conflicts. The specific objectives of the study were: (1) to highlight the part played by women in conflict prevention and the peaceful settlement of conflicts in traditional Burundian society; (2) to examine the role Burundian women can have today in the search for a peaceful solution to the current crises; (3) to put forward recommendations enabling Burundian women to make a contribution to the peaceful settlement of conflicts.
Lihamba carried out the third study. It was entitled: The Study of Women’s
Peace-building and Conflict Resolution Skills among Morogoro region of
fourth study explored the role played by women of the
The fifth study undertaken by Mohamed Abdi Mohamed was entitled: The Role of Somali Women in the Search for Peace. It highlighted the factors that contribute to conflict and war among the people of Somali.
Ngongo-Mbede carried out the sixth study. It explored the place and role of
women in the mediation of conflicts in the traditional society of
six studies taken together generated two kinds of findings. The first was on
women’s contributions to peace building. The second was on women’s
contributions to conflict resolutions in traditional
The meaning of peace in traditional
of the most important results from the Cameroonian study is its finding on the
African traditional notion of peace. According to the traditional Cameroonian
people peace is not seen as an absence of war. The investigator in the
Cameroonian study rather observes that:
In almost all the cultures of
is interesting to note that respondents from both the Somali and the
2. Women and peace building through positive childcare
An important finding from all the six studies reviewed is that African traditional societies assigned to women the role of educator. Such education is the type that starts from the cradle and was effected by means of a variety of activities in which the children participated. Thus the most general implication in all the six studies is the understanding that peace is not born but made and that the culture of peace in traditional African societies was implanted in a child through responsible upbringing and socialization undertaken and supervised by mothers. Indeed the central message in these studies is that peace building was taken seriously in traditional African societies and that it is established, little by little, in young minds and mounded in the behaviour and personality of the young through the agency of the mother.
In particular, these studies reported that girls were specifically trained in their duties and responsibilities as women and that the elderly women were responsible for this training. It was suggested that from early childhood, each child was exposed to a variety of songs, stories, proverbs and sayings directed by the mother or the aunt and conveyed at the fireplace or after the evening meals, which aim at reducing conflict. The songs, stories, proverbs and sayings contain simple but clear messages and moral teachings. Indeed some of the studies went ahead to suggest that African mothers in such stories and songs tried to project to the children what they expect of them as sons and daughters in family and community relationships. They showed that in sum, the themes of such stories and songs expect the children to demonstrate: (1) responsibility through reciprocity; (2) honesty and loyalty through mutuality and deference; and (3) faith and compassion through inner strength and self-control. They also focus on the importance in human living and mutuality, of consideration for others. According to some of the reports there are many stories that talk of greed and individual interests as major sources of conflict and the young men and women are warned against them. Certain myths given to children in those days were meant to emphasize the fact that to avoid war can sometimes be an act of good leadership. Some stories also underscore the negative aspects of conflict and hostilities such that these become a deterrent.
particularly of the people of
It was primarily the mother that had responsibility for the upbringing of the children. Children, especially when very young, remained with their mother, who would look after both boys and girls until they reached a given age (for boys, until the time when their father took over the responsibility). There were strict rules to be complied with on how to dress, speak, eat and even walk and sit (especially for girls).
Supporting the above, one respondent from the
Burundian study notes that in traditional
Children live in the home of their birth, observing what is done, watching their parents and elders and following their example. This period of extended observation is supervised by the mother, who has her young children constantly at her side, giving them punishments scaled to their years, so that from an early age, children come to acquire an appetite for those human qualities, immensely valuable to the society, that denote a good upbringing. The education of a daughter who had reached the age of puberty was a matter of ongoing concern for her mother, who had to prepare her properly for marriage, so that, once a wife herself, she too would become a factor for stability and peace in her husband’s family.
In addition, in all these studies reviewed, the indication was that disciplinary measures existed, even for the very young, to set them on the right road at an early stage. It also shown, according to some of the reports, that girls’ education was based on practical and moral training. Their mothers were expected to be particularly careful about it, and that it was a source of special pride to a mother when a daughter was prized for her qualities. When, on the other hand, one’s daughter was denigrated, the mother usually feels the disappointment keenly, as it was her training that was being criticized.
on the same theme, Ntahokaja (1978:26) recalls that in traditional Burundian
society “a woman might be repudiated for her bad manners, if she were dirty,
impolite or greedy”. Consequently, according to her, among the
Tanzanian study (Lihamba, 2003:115) particular revealed that “Tanzanian women
have always played a critical part in maintaining equilibrium in their society
by bringing up their children as responsible members of the community. Women
taught their daughters and sons, proper behaviour and the ethos of society, and
impressed on them the importance of such values as honesty, uprightness and the
necessity to compromise. As such, women have always been active promoters of
harmony in the community, which can be referred to as a culture of peace”. In
her view, this natural role of women is not unique to any particular ethnic
A similar trend of emphasis on the role of ‘mother as peace builder’ is also noted in the study among the people of Somali where women were shown to prepare and train the young boys who are one day going to be adult men of the society. They teach the boys the rules of the game, particularly norms relating to the wild animals that can be hunted and those that cannot and should not be touched. Among the animals that cannot be hunted are the ones that are pregnant and those with calves.
The same report also made it clear that “the mother is the first and most valuable school in life.” In confirmation of this there is a saying among the Somali, which states that ‘Mother is a school’. According to the report “mothers always strive to bring up their children with positive norms and ethos, with a view to building a family equipped to contribute to the foundation of a decent society. They make every effort to lay the foundation for a healthy, confident society that can take charge of its destiny.” This same view is echoed in the words of the famous Somali poet, Arays Isse Karshe who in celebrating the contributions of Somali mother in peace building points out that:
The language with which we speak
The fundamentals, of our behaviour and conduct
She taught us with great skill
Mother is indispensable for being and learning.
When a family is built, women are the foundation and the fundamentals of learning and values ultimately lead to decency. Somalis say: ‘The values with which children are brought up precede their actual birth’. Indeed, before becoming adults, we attend a basic school, and that school is mother (cf. Mohammed, 2003:102).
same appreciation of ‘the mother as school’ is found in the report from the
Cameroonian study which underscored the idea that among the traditional
These observations and trends clearly demonstrate that an essential contribution of women in traditional African societies is their role as school for the young. Through their important mothering role, the culture of peace is entrenched in children as a foundation for peaceful living in families, the community and the clan.
3. Women and Peace building through social capital transmission
Again, one principal revelation in the studies reviewed is the idea that in traditional African societies peace germinates and flourishes only on the manure provided by the presence of a number of key African cultural values. These values include: patience, tolerance, honesty, respect for elders, communality and mutuality, compassion, regard for due discretion, gentleness, modesty, self-control, moderation, flexibility, and open-mindedness.
In line with the above, the Mohamed Abdi Mohamed (2003) observed from his Somali study that:
In order to strengthen peace, Somali customary law encourages people to uphold the principles listed below, which constitute the basic pillars underpinning the culture of peace.
The principles in question include: tolerance, respect, consideration for neighbours and inviolability, respect for human rights and equality. To corroborate the importance given to the last two values, is the Somali saying that, ‘every one has a father.’
Now, in addition to the above values are the following three traditional Somali customary principles, which state that the under listed crowned heads cannot be killed: women and children. And, among the Somali, according to Mohamed there is a saying, “whoever commits this sin is considered to be a coward and is ostracized. Killing women and children breeds perpetual conflicts.” The next group of crowned heads is the refugees. The others are the elderly and the sick. It was revealed too that the culture of peace underlying Somali customary law also covers non-combatants and civilians.
The Burundian study showed that the education of children was the preserve of women and that it was they who played the greater part in transmitting important traditional Burundian values to future generations.
Thus an important conclusion to draw from the trend of results of the six studies in relation to the notion of values’ education and peace building in traditional African societies is that women play a dominant role in the transmission, propagation and consolidation of the critical values that generate peace and harmony in traditional African societies.
Little wonder then why respondents from the Burundian study had complained that most of traditional Burundian values have either collapsed or been abandoned. They spoke of the ‘deterioration and breakdown of positive values’ and of the growing lack of restraint, intolerance and violence in Burundian society. That being the case, they claimed, it has become a matter of urgency to rehabilitate the culture of Burundi and restore its prestige so that it contributes today, as it did in the past, to making a balanced and cohesive society. In their view, the first step toward this should be to redefine the role of the family and the mother in our contemporary society. In their view, the family and the mother must return to being what they used to, in traditional society, namely, the framework for perpetuating the society’s cultural identity and positive values, and the custodian of that identity and of social behaviour.
Women’s contribution to conflict mediation in traditional
The study by Mathey et al (2003: 41) revealed that a fundamental fact of traditional Central African societies was the sacred character of the respect given to the elderly in general, and to elderly women in particular. “The elderly woman,” according to respondents from that study, “was respected by all, and played a key role in crisis management and conflict resolution. Thus, when a conflict degenerated into armed violence, an appeal would usually be made to a third party of mature years to calm the tension and reconcile the combatants. Such an appeal for mediation was usually made to a woman who enjoyed the consideration and respect of all who knew her.”
The same study revealed that if war broke out among the Zande, “the oldest women of the clan would go to meet opposing clan, and to interpose themselves between the fighters in order to make them see reason. When words proved fruitless, the women would threaten to expose their nakedness or to go down on their knees. In either case, the gesture signified a curse for those who bore the responsibility for such grave acts. Because of the respect that the enemy soldiers had for the women, they would usually put down their weapons before the fateful acts were accomplished.”
Continuing, the same report suggests that if there was no laying down of arms, the old women, naked and on their knees, would crawl towards the foolhardy combatants and say to them:
We are your mothers,
We do not want war,
We do not want bloodshed.
Do not fight with your brothers.
They have sent us to sue for peace.
And if the assailants still refused to see reason and marched on the village, they would suffer the ultimate punishment for having disobeyed and obliged their ‘grandmothers’ to expose their nakedness.
same conflict mediation charisma is reported of women among the traditional
Although the traditional
Indeed indications from all the six studies had been that at home, the traditional African wife exercised a considerable influence over her husband although it was reported that authority was forced to remain discreet, as it was a controversial issue in society, which could see it as weakness on the part of the husband. As a result, the wife was usually discreet in public, but became the most influential adviser of her husband in the intimacy of the bedroom.
this line, Mathey et al. (2003:39) reported in their study of the traditional
people of the
Apart from the meals shared with the whole family, the traditional wife in the communities of the
In a similar vein, Mohammed Abdi Mohammed (2003:100) reports from his Somali study that among the Somali some women poets use their art to search for peace in their country. Among these poets are Faduma Qasim Hilowle and Zeinab Hagi Ali. In one occasion according to the report, Faduma Qasim Hilwle spoke on behalf of Somali women singing about peace:
We the women
Have a complaint against men
In the name of marriage, love and friendship
We the women
Demand peace in the country
We demand security and prosperity
The boys that we bring up
We want them to grow up in peace.
among the Tubur (Tupuri) of
Now, not only did women in traditional African
societies mediate conflicts between human beings, but they could also serve as
intermediaries in conflicts between human beings and nature. Consequently in
Not every married woman, however, was a Kalbia. Only those women recognized by the clanswomen as having supernatural powers (the gift of clairvoyance, for example) became a Kalbia. But once discovered, the Kalbia was associated with all meetings and consultations. She had a very wide range of action: she could determine the causes of the evil undermining society and hindering peace, and she could ward off fate and restore peace, because she intervened between disruptive forces and society.
Again these observations and others like them show that women in traditional African societies played strategic role not only in peace building but also in conflict mediation processes. They serve as bridge in peace restoration and conflict prevention when conflicts erupt in families, clans or communities in which they are bonded.
5. Women contribution to conflict resolution: Practices and Rituals
Under this theme the Somali study demonstrates that when clans fight and there is death, steps are taken to organize the collection and payment of blood money. A marriage or marriages involving the two parties immediately follow this. This kind of marriage occurs between a man who lost a brother or close relative and a girl from the opposing side. The main objective of the marriage is to heal the wounds and to cement the agreement/settlement reached by the two parties. In the support of the above practice, the Somalis say: ‘Where blood is shed, it must be soaked with birth fluids’. And the point is that the married woman will give birth to sons who will fill the void created by the men who perished in the battle. In addition, the marriage is designed to bond the two groups, and thus to minimize the possibility of another conflict erupting between them.
Continuing, the same report observed that in periods of conflict, there were times when a group of young, unmarried women from one of the warring clans paid visits to the opposing clan without the knowledge or consent of their families. They were locally known as Heerin. They told the people that they were unmarried women, and that they wanted to be married. Because this was a well known tradition, the young women were welcomed, and preparations were made to ensure that they were married. This immediately stabilized the situation, and sets in motion a peace process that eventually resolved the conflict.
Again, according to the Somali researcher, (Mohamed, 2003: 103), “In some parts of the country, women at times employed desperate measures to stop inter-and intra-clan wars. They formed a human chain, lined themselves up between the warring parties, and refused to leave until the two groups backed down. Their immediate objective was to see to it that the two armies did not shoot each other. A related objective was to bring in alternative conflict resolution methods based on dialogue and peace.” According to him, too, if in the thick of a battle, a woman stepped in front of a man about to be killed, that man’s life was spared. In this way, women played a key role in saving the lives of those considered to be of high standing in the community. This act often created an environment that enabled the warring parties to settle their differences peacefully and to establish good relations.
The Cameroonian study underscored the fact that in the traditional African societies the first wife was sometimes invited to deliberate with the men in the Assemblies. As a woman in what were essentially masculine forums, one of her tasks was to ‘soften’ sentences considered to be too severe or which could lead to revolt or revenge.
Similarly almost all the other studies reviewed drew attention to the special place in society afforded to paternal aunts in matters of crisis management and conflict resolution in traditional Africa. Thus, among the Bakossi of Cameroon, it was paternal aunts or lineage daughters (Umuada, among the Igbo of Nigeria) who were responsible for reconciling the individuals involved in a conflict. Other categories of women were given to play the same role in other societies. Hence among the Guidar of Cameroon, the Mazake or old women played the role of keeping watch over the community. They were on the alert, and reacted immediately at the least sign of destructive conflict between the members of the community. If they noticed signs of conflict or an insidious quarrel, they promptly summoned the protagonists in order to question and calm them. After this discussion, the mamas kept a watchful eye on them for an appreciable length of time, until they were satisfied that the conflict had been well and truly settled and forgotten. When they are satisfied that their advice had borne fruit, they again summoned the two protagonists and asked them to drink some bil-bil together, and then to seal their reconciliation with a kiss to celebrate peace.
Among the Bamileke of Cameroon, according to Ngongo-Mbede (2003), the Magne, or mothers of twins, were considered to be blessed by God. Their mission was, first of all, one of peace. The arrival of a Magne in a place of conflict had the immediate effect of stopping the hostile acts. Once in the midst of the confrontation, she assumed responsibility for reconciling the belligerents. She divided the ‘tree of peace’ into two and offered a piece to each of the protagonists as a token of reconciliation. Twins themselves were seen as tree of peace planted in the family. Her role consisted, therefore, in bringing everybody together, and considering everyone as her own child. In every situation, she had to endeavour to restore the peace required for the smooth functioning of the chiefdom. The Mafo also played the role of intermediary, in other words of mediator, between the chief and his subjects. But to gain trust and respect, the Mafo had herself to be just and to show integrity.
much similar trend is noted among the traditional communities in
Among the Owamboland of Northern Namibia, according to Becker (2003), a person who had acquired blood-guilt was regarded as taboo because a dangerous power was in him, which he received from the blood of the person he had killed. She cited an extensive account given by Loeb (1962) in which returning soldiers in Oukwanyama were mentioned. Loeb wrote that it was believed that any man who had killed another person had to undergo a purification rite, for if he were not properly purified the dead man’s ghost would drive him insane. The Kwanyama believed that a killer was dangerous both to himself and to others until he had been purified. Loeb elaborates that every soldier who returned from war had to undergo some purification ritual. Becker’s (2003) study reveals that among the Namibians traditional healers play a significant role in these rituals aimed at providing spiritual healing and reconciliation and that many of these traditional healers and ritual leaders are female.
same trend is reported in the Cameroonian survey where it was revealed that in
the land of the Beti, the Mangissa and the
According the researcher, Ngongo-Mbede (2003:31), “in the philosophy of these communities, such a succession of misfortune was not fortuitous. It was the sign that love and peace were absent from the community, and prompted the women to decide to organize a Mbabi. The latter was organized in a grove or on a crossroads, after consultation of the oracles. It was exclusively a meeting of women who had reached the age of the menopause. The ceremony was presided over by a woman of very advanced years whose moral integrity was usually universally acknowledged. Men could on occasion, be associated with the Mbabi. Even in such exceptional cases, however, it was the women who organized and presided over the ceremony of reconciling human beings with themselves, with relatives and with nature.” The same study also revealed that if the Mbabi was convened because of a long-lasting drought, which was leading to famine in the community, the women invoked the help of the ancestors, intercessors between God and the living, and prayed for rain. The drought, in that case, was seen as a sign of conflict between humans and their Creator whom the former had disobeyed. The Mbabi always ended with the drinking of mystic potions by each of the members present at the meeting.
above trends show that although, for so many years, the strategic role of women
in conflict resolution in contemporary
Women’s role in consolidating peace pacts in traditional
this theme, the Burundian study revealed that in situations of armed conflict,
women played both an active and a passive role in the restoration of peace in
The same report shows that within the framework of passive peacemaking by women, a girl could also be offered to the family of the victim as a form of reparation. This ‘blood pact’ not only put an end to the conflict in question but also precluded any future conflict between the descendants of the two clans, with the two being thenceforth intimately linked for life. Achebe (1958) reported of a similar cultural practice among the Igbo of Nigeria.
Also it was mentioned that in certain situations of armed conflict between two clans, women used a strategem to bring the hostilities to an end. They held a meeting and chose the prettiest girl of marriageable age to give to the opposing clan as a token of peace. That blood pact put an immediate and final end to the conflict, as the girl married to one of the heroes of the enemy village now became the link between her parents and the parents of her husband. The marriage itself constituted an inviolable alliance between the villages involved in the conflict.
7. Women’s role as peace envoy
The Somali study showed that in some regions, among the Somali, older women who could no longer conceive were used as peace envoys. Because women belong to both those considered to be inviolate and to the three whose heads are protected, they are shielded from war-related violations. In times of war women were the only one who could move across the zones of conflict freely and without much danger. It was women who studied the situation, assessed the prospects for peace, and facilitated contact and communication between the two warring parties.
During periods of tension and in serious situations a peace delegation was sent. The Somalis are careful as to whom they would choose as a peace envoy. Those selected are required to possess a wide spectrum of qualities and competencies, including a sense of responsibility, patience, good personality, oratory abilities, decency, etc. They are well versed in customary law, and are required to know exactly what the problem is and what is at stake. They are select group individuals of rare qualities. This is depicted in the saying: Two deserve utmost decency – Ergo (peace envoy) and a young woman seeking marriage.
According to the same study, in many areas efforts aimed at resolving conflicts were not confined to the ergo tradition. There were also enlightened and visionary individuals in both camps. Those individuals shuttled between the two sides, carrying messages of peace and reconciliation. They include the leaders, religious leaders, poets and women. Responsibility for selection and deployment of peace envoy rested with crowned heads (mentioned earlier), prominent leaders, religious figures and women. According to the researcher, Mohammed Abdi Mohammed (2003), married women, capitalizing on their neutrality and the privileges bestowed on them by Somali culture, shuttled between the warring clans, theirs and that of their husbands. They carried messages of peace and reconciliation, and they mobilized and encouraged the forces of peace from both sides. When the real cause or causes of the war were figured out, the aggressors acknowledged their mistake, submitted themselves to mediation and accepted the verdict.
revelations are again instructive. They draw attention to the great potentials
for peace and reconciliation, which African women hold for the larger society.
It is therefore an issue to be regretted that despite all the strategic roles which
women were able to play in the old
With the discussions to this stage, a number of conclusions will now follow.
· The first is that for the traditional African, peace is equivalent to health, well being and freshness and an enemy of poverty, insecurity, unemployment and waywardness and various types of mysterious and man-made misfortunes.
Secondly, African women’s roles as mothers, wives, and aunts were put
to effective use in peace building and conflict resolutions in the old
· Thirdly, traditional African people were convinced that lasting peace does not grow in a vacuum. In their view healthy rather feeds and grows on enduring human values, implanted in children at tender ages, through story telling, songs, proverbs and myths. It is argued that meaningful peace cannot reign in our context if those important African cultural values highlighted in the body of this paper are overlooked or trampled upon.
· Fourthly, and finally, a related conclusion to the above is the need for rebuilding the key values of the African family. This is because the present review clearly demonstrates that the African family is the crucible or the laboratory within a healthy child is born and bred. To enhance its value in our own context, efforts need to be doubled towards the strengthening, improving, and rejuvenating of the African family. As a first step toward achieving this goal something must be done to correct the current negative attitude noted among the African youth, reflected in their tendency to underrate the importance of marriage and traditional family life in the modern world.
Based on the above, the following recommendations are preferred as a way forward in the current effort toward the promotion of the reign of peace and harmony in various modern African countries.
· In view of the innate qualities of women and thanks to the position they have occupied and the part they have played in the traditional society, African women can and must be actively involved in conflict prevention and resolution. In this regard, modern African countries can no longer afford to exclude women in important peace process. This must be done not only when working for peace within, but also between nations. Women had in the past played important roles in the membership of peace envoys. That role can no longer elude them in our time. They deserve to be made part of the delegation that is seeking for peace in any part of the continent.
· African women need to be made aware not only of the negative aspects of the trammels of African culture and tradition in their lives, but also of the crucial role that women had played in the past towards the promotion of the culture of peace and conflict resolution in traditional Africa.
Some of the peace mediation methods that women have applied in the past
as highlighted in the body of this paper need to be reassessed to see which of
them can be modified for adoption for promoting peace among warring families,
communities and nations in modern
Some conflict resolutions
rituals engineered by women as reviewed in the body contain important
psychological/spiritual healing powers (Ranger, 1992). Such rituals should not
be allowed to pass away. They must be re-interrogated and where they still seem
viable, need to be popularized as
· There is need for improved information and awareness about raising family unity through the promotion of positive traditional values and rehabilitation of the role played by women as mothers and aunties. One way to promote this is through the introduction of community medals awarded to good mothers and families with good children.
Since peace in
An enemy of peace restoration in modern
Finally modern school education which purports to take over the role of
responsible child upbringing originally the perverse of women in the old
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