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Women as agents of peacebuilding

The argument put forward by Schnabel and Tabyshalieva is that women are usually the victims of violence while at the same time acts as peace builders in their communities and mainly uses sociology, political and sociology theories to support this view. The framework and conclusion derived from this perspective has strengths and flows. After going through the other readings for the assignment, I decided to settle for this one since I have a lot of interest on the subject of abuse as it relates to women in peacemaking.

The strengths in this reading arises from the authors’ discussion of the vulnerability of women to suffering and abuses due to their gender.  The author relates frequency of the cases of suffering of women at the hand of the people who are supposed to care for them including their partners and law enforcement officers. These sufferings also result from the harsh environment in which they work or raise their children. Women are exposed to the risk of rape by their trusted partners and soldiers and while the harsh environment leaves them unable to rescue their children from dying from starvation and unavailability of healthcare services (Schnabel & Tabyshalieva, 48). Moreover, the abuses result from working in sweatshops and being targeted from for being involved in political activities. Women also work as the agents of peace, change, human rights and help their children to adopt ways of solving conflict without violence (Schnabel & Tabyshalieva, 48). The authors relates all these aspect to represent women as having the capacity to build peace even though they are the first victims of any violence.

The authors conclude that the reason why women are the agents of peace is that they understand their vulnerability to during the war or post way periods and even domestic violence. Women undergo sexual violence and other abuses more than their male counterparts, which results to the burden of pregnancy. Even where women are perpetrators of domestic violence, they do not primarily intend to use it but are forced by circumstances (Minnesota Advocates Human Rights, 1). Here the writer makes a very valid case. The community also tends to favour men at the expense of women in the social and economic aspects so that even the status of men is higher. Since men’s status is more valued, any abuses they direct towards women is not given the appropriate condemnation and punishment. The result is that the violence does a lot of damage on the integrity and the confidence of women (Puri, 1). These abuses and neglect also force women to turn to unorthodox means of survival such as prostitution. The authors’ outlines that any efforts to building peace locally and nationally must consider this issue of violence against women (Schnabel & Tabyshalieva, 55). They must also consider the cases of domestic violence and purpose to include the experience of women in the hands of the people who violated their rights. It’s true that excluding women in the programs aimed at peace building may lead to further gender inequality, since in the contrary, the efforts end up increasing the chances of the male child’s accessibility to financial and other resources at the expense the girl child (Minnesota Advocates Human Rights, 1).  Women also experience different level or types of violence which depends on their environment. While some women may experience non-war abuses, others are faced with extreme violence to the point of such vices being used as a weapon of war (Schnabel & Tabyshalieva, 56). The author thus builds a good case by presenting women as being the most vulnerable, a fact that can be proved by the many cases of violence against women both the developed and developing countries. Domestic violence against women in the native America is also widespread to the point where it has caught the attention of the United States authorities (Gilg, 1). The fact that even the native women are victim of this vice supports the authors’ argument that violence is prevalent to all women regardless of their background or social status.

The authors also points out the need to include women among the actors of peace building efforts since they do not have the same driving force towards peace with men. The author draws this from the argument that in world history, women have used capacities, skills and assets accessible to them in oppressive governance systems to build on piece. They also outlines other opinions and research which portrays women as not having the advantage over men to build peace while other suggest women being more collaborative in solving conflict than men (Schnabel & Tabyshalieva,71). Women are also predisposed to oppressive situations, and out of their experiences coupled with lack of physical strength they develop the tendency to seek conflict resolution in the best way. The authors confirm this view with the women’s engagement in various activities such as charity work to provide clothing and food to violence victims. They conclude that placing values that are equal to both men and women should be the first step of peace building. He points to gender equality as an aspect that will enhance the peace building programs since women and men will have equal access to opportunities and resources.  Violence directed towards women is very costly to the whole community since it affects the nation’s productivity, school achievement, public budgets and programs and law enforcement (Puri, 1). This resonates well with the authors’ conclusion that eliminating inequality and violence against women is an initial step to peace building efforts (Schnabel & Tabyshalieva, 72).

The flaws in this readings arises from the authors’ tendency to put more weight on the cases of women being the target group in abuse and violence case. While it is true that women are the most vulnerable group, cases of violence especially in the periods of war tend to involve the whole population regardless of ones gender. Men can also be abused and women can also be perpetrators of these abuse. Furthermore, women are also known to act violent against other women especially those who pose a threat to them, either politically or socially (Puri, 1). The author should have taken into account the fact that, in some societies women wield a lot of power can be involved in funding and organising cases of women trafficking and some even provide the end market for such. Moreover, it is not guaranteed that equality will yield the best result in peace building, given that even in the most developed countries where gender equality is prioritised, cases of abuse and domestic violence are also evident. Sometimes, advocating for women only forums may not be the best solution. This is because it excludes the gender that is highly associated with violence while including it would sensitize the need for men to take major role in fighting the vice.

Works cited

Schnabel, Albrecht, Tabyshalieva, Anara. Defying victimhood: Women and post-conflict peacebuilding. United Nations University Press.2012.

 Puri, Lakshmi. It is time for action to end violence against women: a speech by Lakshmi Puri at the ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly – 2013-1.

Gilg, Deborah. Prosecutions in Indian Country Violence against Women. Offices of the United States Attorneys.2015. Available:

Minnesota Advocates Human Rights. Domestic Violence. EXPLORE THE ISSUE. (n.d). available at:



1227 Words  4 Pages

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