14 Queen's Park Crescent West, Toronto, ON M5S 3K9
Omowumi (Wumi) Asubiaro Dada, PhD Candidate, Criminology & Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto
International law and institutions acknowledge the roles that women play in conflict prevention and peace building but calls for their inclusion within militaristic and Eurocentric imaginations. Additionally, feminist scholarship on conflict studies overemphasizes women’s victimhood within African conflicts and thus produces problematic understandings of gender, ethnicity, war and peace that runs the risk of representing African women as victims without any sense of agency.
Using postcolonial feminist theories, I contend that colonialism and the earlier influence of feminists focus on sexual and gender-based violence in conflict situations have influenced the perception of women as victims or their preventative practices as care giving. The article/chapter will highlight conflict preventative practices deployed by communities that privileges women and rooted in spirituality and pre-colonial ways. Accordingly, I suggest that understanding the various practices that women engage in either as an individual in the community, a vigilante member or an early warning actor provides a more nuanced and multidimensional understanding of conflict prevention that eschews a care versus political framework. I also assert that women are excluded from political peace building mechanisms or conflict prevention strategies because their preventative practices are considered as care giving.
I posit that despite women’s exclusion from formal (and even) informal peace building and conflict prevention mechanisms, their preventative practices would better serve in Nigeria- a post-colonial state with unending cycles of conflict.
About the speaker
Omowumi Asubiaro Dada (Wumi) is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal studies. Prior to her PhD studies, she worked as a human rights lawyer on issues of social inequality, gender-based violence and inclusion. She received a Bachelor of Laws degree from Lagos State University, Nigeria, was called to the Nigerian Bar, and obtained a Master of Law Degree from the University of Pretoria in South Africa.
Wumi’s PhD project advances new understandings of how women’s practices and actions provides multidimensional understandings of conflict prevention with gender and power at the centre. The project argues that despite women’s exclusion from formal (and even) informal peace building and conflict prevention mechanisms, their preventative practices, often unintelligible to predominant political thought, have the potential to serve unending cycles of conflict in postcolonial states such as Nigeria. The main goal of Wumi’s project is to raise the value of women’s preventative work in conflict situations by reinscribing new practices and norms into government policies and projects.
This event is free and all are welcome, but registration is required.
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