I have increasingly been interested in how addressing other elements of social rights and justice is a reasonable and intelligent means of mitigating global conflict. In particular, understanding social inclusion, rights and being able to successfully implement them is a means to make society a happier and more wholesome place. Likewise, when there are more groups of people that are represented, the more that the rights of people in that group will be decided upon and addressed with care. Therefore, in theory, social inclusion should be a key catalyst for making a more peaceful and productive society. There have been many studies and talks over time that have shown particular interest in bolstering the role of women in discourse and politics as a means of reducing female deaths in war zones.
The Guinea-Bissau is an example of how gender inclusion and diversity in government and decision making has been a key means of addressing conflict until only recently. I read a web page recently that outlined this. According to the web page, the national history has been framed by various women standing up against adversaries that have left their strong and lasting impression upon society. This is especially true during the war of independence for the country. Many women involved in that conflict are seen as national heroes and role models. As a result of their involvement, they were better cared for and more recognized during the conflict at that time.
However, despite this, women are now under-represented in the decision-making and policy aspects of society. This drastic change is seen as a significant issue that is in need of addressing. As a result, there was a recent report entitled “The Voices of Women – Beyond Social Pressure and Institutional Barriers: The Role of Women in decision-making spheres in Guinea Bissau.” This report demonstrates that there are socio-cultural and political pressures on women that create barriers in their decision-making roles in the government and states of the country. This also heavily relates to social norms and the modern day beliefs surrounding women in conflict, which are not as bolstered as they once were.
This undoubtedly means that the proven higher rates of suffering that exist between women and children in war zones will not be addressed. Likewise, Climate Change-induced conflict, in which many women are proven to suffer more, will now often not be considered as well as it could. It’s often these little specific elements of conflict that tend to be overlooked and therefore ultimately ignored in the end. It is not until minorities and those who are most vulnerable are well and truly looked after that bigger and broader conflict mitigation and adaptation policies can be addressed. This is the case as it is easier for men and adults to evade capture and feel more comfortable escaping conflict zones, as well as those who are wealthier and more educated. Therefore, in order to avoid vulnerable people being more heavily affected by conflict, they also need to be represented in the decision-making and governance of countries. I had this reflection when considering the role of women in Guinea Bissau.
Therefore, it is often the smaller acts and policies rather than the large, multi-national ones that make the foundation of conflict resolution more profound. From there, those who are most vulnerable can be looked after, and therefore the impact of warfare can be mitigated and adapted to more easily.