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The Women’s Leadership for peace; A reflection: Reflection of 42nd Edition 

Thursday, 01 January 2013 09: 45 Ruby Kholifah

Mama Monica, that’s the people called Madam Yurlianti. One of the inspiring women from the village of Malei Lage, Poso, Central Sulawesi. She transformed from an ordinary woman becomes extra ordinary woman. The death of his father during the conflict, leaving only resentment and distrust to the muslim family. But a change in her life occured when she returned to interact with Muslim women in an early peace education forum in 2008. Frozen relationship because of the conflict, finally melted by the sad story, fear, loss, and the expectations of the women victims of the conflict both from the Muslim and Christian side.

With a deep conviction that there will be a change, Mama Monica decided to join the regular class of Women’s School for Peace ( SP ) which was formed since the beginning. This situation is the process of forging perspective, attitude and behavior of a leader woman to run the mission of conflict transformation. The most severe learning task is how to create a power of  relationship changes with the husband, chidren and the closest neighbors. She often let her notebook and learning materials lying in the living room to make her husband was curious and started to open the content of its notes so that a dialogue begun. Once, every time she went out home she often ask for permission from her husband. But now her husband, who became one of the trainers in making the plate from the stick in ( SP ) is now willing to accompany her diligently on a variety of craft exhibitions in the vicinity of Central Sulawesi.

Two years running, Mama Monica trusted as the Chairman by the mothers from Christian and Muslim groups. By the organization vehicle of Women School of Sintuwu Raya ( SPSR ), Mama Monica boost the role of PKK to be more active by restructuring PKK and involving  its leader in SP’s activities. With the purpose of involving women in making decision and communication between the family maintained.

The story of Mama Monica above, giving valuable lessons for us about the meaning of women’s leadership in the conflict area. First, the women’s leadership in conflict areas should consider that conflict as something natural. It is not to be avoided, but it should be maintained as a part of our life. When we consider conflict is a natural thing, then we will find innovative ways to solve the conflict. Second, the women’s leadership should contribute to the social change. It can only be realized by strengthening the women’s organizations. By organization through the SPSR, women’s agenda could be delivered in meeting of making decision at the village level. The organization is also a good media to strengthen the leadership skills through learning by doing.

Third, the women’s leadership in conflict areas requires alliances and extensive networks. Peace is everyone’s mission so it needs more connector  which committed and work together to take care of. Therefore, the strengthening of women’s organizations such as PKK, women Wiyah, Women’s Klasis Commission are indispensable. Including, making the community’s agenda as the agenda of women’s leaders as well as all stakeholders to work together for the amendment. It is realised that an amendment can not only perform by the women, but also by all the people who concerned.

The last, the women’s leadership in conflict areas should always include an element of reconciliation in the development agenda  after conflict. Women’s leader heavy duty in the conflict area is revived the peace potential which was buried by the memory of violence and take the central role of women in building the peace as important as men. With their strength as a life guard, naturally, the women already has provision to create peace through their leadership model. ***


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