Women have key role in Kashmir Peace-building: Expert voices

Srinagar: The world of ours is plagued by violence and conflict. Kashmir has in the past three decades seen much worst impacts of the violence and at the receiving end of all this mayhem have been the women of Kashmir , who bear worst emotional, mental trauma over the loss of near ones.

With women shinning in all fields the talk is on to give center stage to the women in peacebuilding. We need to bear in mind that the inclusion of women can and must take many forms, especially in the effort to address rising global violent conflict that since the end of the Cold War has occurred within states, with armed insurgencies or civil wars tearing countries apart. The end to these conflicts cannot be forged through only a top-down peace process, with only armed actors at the negotiating table but giving women a proactive role.

To understand the all-round contours of the role of women in peacebuilding especially in the context of the violence-torn place like Kashmir we talked to women from diverse fields.

Samreen Geelani, a Research scholar stated – “Women is source of pivotal existence of creation and world is incomplete without women. In a conflict ridden and violence hit place like Kashmir the role of women in peacebuilding is quite important, as we have got this misconception that violence impacts men only and have centered the violence impacts, resolution process only around men whileas the violence and conflict have more damaging impacts on the women as she plays multiple roles in human relations .Directly or indirectly women bear most brunt when women loses husband to violence she has to play role of father as well as mother . If women are involved  more in decision-making process then we can build peace in violence torn place like Kashmir. Women by nature are best negotiators and peace builders .”

Chairperson Kashmir Women’s Collective Mantasha Binti Rashid, while talking to the Kashmir News Bureau stated – “ To understand the roles of women in peace-building or any other important roles we need to understand how much women is able to articulate her voice. The place of women in position of power is still less which weakens the role of women in political process and for that women needs to be empowered although one cannot deny the role of women as mother, wife or sister. Historically Kashmir was not a patriarchal society but with time our society has become much patriarchal as a result women do not get desired stage, power and role. Kashmiri women have a definite role in peacebuilding but for that, they need to get empowered and suffocation of women ended  . Men have failed globally so far to bring peace and now it is time to let women take their position in dialogue and resolution mechanism so that peace is ushered not just in Kashmir but elsewhere in the world. Women realizing their role and society breaking shackles around them and allowing them growth and empowerment would definitely let us see a peaceful world .”

On the other hand of the spectrum, women in polity have their own thoughts over the issue . Neelam Gash, Prominent leader of Ruling BJP , while talking to the Kashmir news bureau stated – “Women is the worst sufferer of violence. Whether anybody dies or gets arrested the women gets worst hit.Women is magnificent teacher as via the role of mother she learns to be trainer, peacemaker and if she up brings her child in a soft, balanced, educated way then the child can be groomed in best way away from violence and love of war and conflict.  Women as mother , sister can be best teacher to teach kids how to believe in the ultimate concept of coexistence and humanity and also make them learn how to tolerate and celebrate the religious and political differences of other humans.  Females have to play a great role in making Kashmir peaceful as currently we witness the youth of Kashmir having much rage and anger thus women can teach the kids from early age to shun the anger which destroys peace of mind. To make our younger generation awake about peace, humanity, value of life and tolerance women can be best guides and teachers. Thus women have utmost role to play in peace-building in a violent hit place like Kashmir. “

The nutshell analysis is that Gender equality is a stronger indicator of a state’s peacefulness than other indicators, such as GDP. We still have a long way to go in fully unleashing the potential and power of women in building and sustaining peace, especially in those countries most affected by violent conflict. And understanding and letting women play the same prominent role in peace-building can go long way in making Kashmir a peaceful place.

Courtesy : KNB