An article regarding a two-day conference entitled “The Role of Women in Cross-Cultural Dialogue" held in Baku, Azerbaijan, was posted in The Jakarta Post Daily, 11 June 2008. This came to my interest as the title “Increase women’s role in decision making and peace-building process” was as well stated in the recommendations’ narratives in my master thesis entitled “Mending the Shards: Women’s Experiences During and After the Ambon Conflict”.
The conference then declared a Baku Declaration which among others voices a call on all governments to increase the participation of women in all spheres of decision-making, as well as in peace- building processes with a special emphasis on conflict resolution, and an agreement to promote the role of women in mass media aiming at valorizing their image as well as their achievements in ensuring the intercultural dialogue.
I hope these voices will be heard by all parties in all over the world for not putting women aside from peacebuilding processes and dialogues. Here are some lines from my thesis that proposing the same opinion. It came to my thought that it might be valuable to try this effort in the case of FPI-Ahmadiyah. Who knows..
During the conflict in
Women also bridge Muslims and Christians. Women, through their profession, also play big part in peace-building. As an activist, lawyer, paramedics, teacher, priest, journalist, or in any type of profession, women in Ambon has proved that they did maximum actions in serving the people or victims that need their hands. Women helped children, widows, widowers, handicapped victims, displaced persons, families, etc to heal their deep-rooted trauma and regain their courage to start their lives. In short, women implement the peace negotiations and rebuild community cohesion.
During the peace negotiations however, women were overlooked. Despite their significant role during tensions periods, out of 70 participants of the Malino Peace negotiations, only three women were invited.
It has to be highlighted that women’s contributions to peacebuilding and their unique experiences of violence signal the need for mainstreaming gender in all conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts. Women have to be involved in formal political peace processes. Excluding woman groups from such efforts would mean that the government fails to see capacity of women in peace building. It is evident that in conflict and post-conflict situation women play major role in helping the survivors, among other by providing foods and shelters, but many would normally overlook their simple and non-heroic contributions.