In many modern societies, conflicts between states and within the states have resulted in many wars or sometimes-severe violence cases. The wars have resulted in immense destruction of lives and millions worth property. In addition, many conflicts have resulted in disruption of many political, social and economic organizations in many societies (Omotayo, 2005, p.2). Many conflict resolution theories do not consider many local cultures. Specifically, many do not give particular gender roles consideration as dictated by culture. This paper will critically analyze the ties that exist between gender, culture and conflict resolution in relation to Augsburger’s themes.
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Culture and conflict resolution
Gender generally describes the characteristics of men and women that are constructed by the societies. In the other hand, sex characteristics are biologically determined. The learnt behaviour in most cases builds up the gender identity of an individual. Culture is an important component in conflict resolution. This is because; culture of a certain community guides its members’ perceptions, judgments and knowledge of ones’ self and other societal members. Many cultural sets may share ethnicity or nationality, but in most cases, they crop up from different generations, class and sex. A cultural message directs the nature of relationships and individuals’ reactions to different conflicting issues (Lebron, 2003, Para 1-5).
Many complications arise in dealing with cultural orientation to conflict solving. The first complication is that culture is multilayered. This makes it hard to make cultural generalizations on any existing conflict. Culture also is in constant change. This makes it hard to make specific assumptions on any cultural group. Thirdly, most cultural practices are elastic. This makes it hard to determine specific behaviours of members of that subculture (Lebron, 2003, Para 7-9). Due to this, it is important to learn the cultural orientation of a certain group involved in a conflict before solving their wars. Culture determines the way we frame and put blames on certain individuals. Take an example of the Gaza war; it is not all about the territorial boundaries. Research has shown that the war is about recognition, poor representation and legalizing of specific modes of living and cultures (Lebron-culture and conflict connections, 2003, Para 1-2).
Themes in Augsburger regarding the differences in conflict styles between women and men
Men and women are regarded to have different conflict resolution patterns. This is attributed to the fact that power over many institutions is more so the family is left to men. This division is based mostly on the gender differences between men and women. Most women’s power is more diffuse and personalized outside the recognized structures existing in many societies. This is even worse when it comes to some communities. For example, in the Islamic society many women are prevented from becoming judges in many courts. Even in acting as witnesses men’s’ evidence is taken as more truthful as considered to that of women (Augsburger, 1992, p.5-6).
Unequal power interaction includes values that many societies value and follow. These values determine the correct society’s morality, economics and laws that govern its natives. In many societies, the sex roles determine which duties women can undertake, the nature of relationships that are acceptable and practices that are acceptable from a certain sex group. This in most cases contradicts the human equality, freedom and dignity that should be accorded to all sexes (Augsburger, 1992, p.24).
To women conflicts take two dimensions: the seen and the unseen conflicts. Due to the realization of the theme of new consciousness, women are becoming rebellious to the obstacles imposed on them by tradition. In addition, many women are demanding accountability on men’s path in conflict resolution. Many issues that undermine women power are being addressed although still tradition ties the efforts (Augsburger, 1992, p.50-51).
Many female styles of conflict resolution are powerful to men’s’, but the existence of both contributes greatly to conflict resolution. Many men approaches are very ‘harsh” in that, there exist a believe that one can either solve a problem or use the problem to earn himself a title. Many women who solve many conflicts never receive credit for it, but instead the praise is placed on men. Many women employ broad networking, partnerships and power based on mutual understanding in solving conflicts. However, men always take paths that can accord them praise on women’s developments. Women go through all the content of the disagreement. In most cases, this is done in consideration of a single sex group, in trying to understand the truth about the conflict. However, because of the cultural orientation on gender of many societies, men will always come in during the mediation process and formalize the proceedings, leaving women with little appreciation. This is attributed to the believe tattoo men “discuss” and have more arguing power than women (Caprioli, 2003, p. 3-6).
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Women’s political and social supremacy in some communities is more or almost equal in superiority in comparison to the men’s’. Women aim to maintain their own group affiliations, but in most cases the traditional ties give them no chance of action (Caprioli, 2003, p.7).
Many cultures dictate men and women to function differently. As collier writes, societies dictate that women should work in domestic groupings and men in political functions. For a woman to raise to power, most societies dictate that they have to get backing of a man. This in many societies has forced women to create their own power systems. This is due to a cultural belief that men in most cases help in bringing the family lineage together but women come in and destroy the same (Caprioli, 2003, p.9-13). This places women as obstructing factors to the peaceful coexistence of families.
In most cases, women have disputes with others when it is in their interest. Nevertheless, they always have ways of reconciling the worrying parties. These factors always depend on their own set power structure of facing the problem either directly or indirectly (Caprioli, 2003, p.14-16). In most cases, women’s solutions to conflicts are simple and take no complicated steps so long as the worrying groups accept their mistakes.
Views on Augsburger stance: personal experience
All members of the society must be involved actively in conflict resolution without consideration of ones’ sex. Both men and women have to be involved in peace making efforts. This is because both in one way or another are affected directly or indirectly. The societal discrimination on women’s views on conflict resolution should be “thrown” away. This is because in most cases women and young children feel the brunt of many wars. As Omotayo suggests, the new piece building initiatives must stress on gender uniqueness in trying to solve any societal disputes (2005, p.3).
Women, although taken in most cases as outsiders to many political processes, play a very important role in negotiating peace. This is because women are great socialist in conflict resolution and have good bargaining power in many fields as compared to men.
In conclusion, the conflict resolution measures should not solely end conflicts, but should also help to restore the fighting communities together. Hence, it is important to integrate tactics that aim in reconciling the worrying communities. Techniques to employ include: righteous negotiations, consultations, go between mediation and the use of workshops. To solve conflicts then all genders should be given a chance to give views and resolution measures. (Last, 1995, p.65).
Augsburger, D. W. (1992). Conflict resolution across cultures: pathways and patterns. Westminster: John Knox Press.
Caprioli, M. (2003). Gender Equality and Civil Wars. 2009. Web.
Last, D.M. (1995). Peacekeeping Doctrine and Conflict Resolution Techniques. Saje journals- Armed Forces & Society, 22(2), 187-210.
Lebron, M. (2003). Culture and conflict. 2009. Web.
Omotayo, B. O. (2005). Women and world peace. World library and information congress. 2009. Web.