Agents of Peace: Hakamat Women in North Darfur Promote Peaceful Coexistence in the State


An article from Relief Web

Yesterday, around 30 Hakamas and 10 key influential community leaders and native administrators in North Darfur have participated in a two day community outreach peace forum facilitated by both UNAMID Civil Affairs and UNDP.

The forum aimed at supporting a culture of peace involving mediating intercommunal disputes and promoting inter-communal peaceful coexistence, enhancement of dialogue and strengthening the social fabrics in North Darfur through the active engagement of women.

Hakamat women

The Hakama women who traditionally chant songs instigating tribal war leaders to fight in the frontlines are now being taught ways to propagate peace messages like peace songs and other peace building initiatives in their communities instead of singing war songs.

The community outreach forum also aimed at enhancing and promoting gender mainstreaming in peace building initiatives and conflict resolution through involving Hakamat in mediation and peace talks.

In addition, a strategy for promoting peaceful coexistence and conflict prevention through traditional resolution mechanisms was devised with the aim of encouraging female led initiatives in North Darfur.

One of the Hakamas, Bakhita Musa , remarked at the closing of the workshop, “This workshop really provided me with so many useful insights especially towards the role of women in peace building and how violence against women must end. We the Hakamas call for all these virtues in our songs.” Bakhita then sang a new song composed especially for that day for the audience where in an expressive voice chanting “Peace Breeze is coming, put the gun down” .

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