PROJECT TOPIC- ROLE OF WOMEN IN CONFLICT RESOLUTION AS PORTRAYED THROUGH THE THEMES, CHARACTERIZATION AND PLOT CONSTRUCTION OF THE NOVEL: THE LAST OF THE STRONG ONES
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
An in-depth investigation and understanding of The Role of Women in Conflict Resolution cannot be anymore crucial and timely given the present socio-political and economic ambience that obtains in Nigeria.
Nigeria, since the colonial era till date is a country ravaged and bedeviled by a depressed mood of daily occurrences of war; war bred from ethnic rivalry, tension, impending collapse of the political system, social decay, corruption and bigotry. Such are the salient and subtle conflicts that stems from our ill-configured federation, and such are the conflicts that impede national development.
Women, especially in their organized group like the Umuada-igbo, Alutaradi among others in the Igbo cultural groups are a very organized, peaceful and endowed women groups in Nigeria. And the attributes of women groups often show in their activities, conducts and achievements.
According to Mana Rojas in Women in Pre-colonial Nigeria (English 32 1990);
The beginning of colonial rule brought to Africa the [Victorian]
European notion that women belonged in the home, nurturing their family.
Also, according to Dadirep (1995):
The Naturalistic movement of the period in England
in the 18th and 19th centuries re-emphasized the fact
that the physiology of women naturally made them timid,
feeble and unable to think because they hold smaller brains
than men. In view of this, women naturally need the protection
of a man with powers and brains.
Such are the theories and beliefs inculcated by these scholars, and that underpin the stereotyping of women as incapacitated in handling resolution of issues, making them passive yet highest victims of war, thereby, overshadowing their agency and contribution in conflict resolution.
As traditionalists maintain a narrow focus on national security, they regard the advancement of women’s perspectives and interests as soft issues; women continue to suffer from “second class citizenship” as they are always excluded from peace, progress and conflict resolution. This is in spite of their sheer biological/genetic makeup, their physiological and intellectual makeup which all accrue in making them the sustainer and maintainer of the home, peacemaker that compel peace for all. Women who have their fingers on the pulse of their homes and communities, who have always been at the very heart of rivalry and conflicts. They sure must own the rhetorics of inter/intra ethnic and community diplomacy and conflict resolution.
It is to be noted that women who especially in their groups are usually strong forces, suffer patriarchal machinations and hegemony. However, their traditional and modern contributions make them to be no pushovers on political, economic, religious and especially social life of the nations. In families and communities, their reconciliatory and resolutive roles are unsurpassed.
The Igbo women for instance, are usually united in their various traditional and cultural cults and groups in support of their husbands and in the empowerment of their fellow women.
According to Eze and Okonkwo: Our Women Our Strength(2009)
The position of women since the pre-colonial African era till date is
a myriad of roles that was influenced by mythology, social laws and
customs, economics, politics, war and inter/intra ethnic diplomacy.
Therefore to ensure economic, socio-political and diplomatic transformation and empowerment which is essential for a new world order and essential for finding solutions to so many conflicts that abound not just in our great country Nigeria but also beyond, the women folk must be integrated in order to create the environment of peace.
The women folk in their groups and institutions which have established strong goals and strategies to pursue peace must be enlisted.
Thus, this essay aims at investigating and evaluating the role of women in conflict resolution as portrayed in the novel The Last of thee Strong Ones so as to validate investigated approaches and reveal their strengths and weaknesses based on a widely accepted and stipulated approaches that have endured the test of times in resolving conflicts.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to find out the role of women in conflict resolution as portrayed through the themes, characterization and plot construction of the novel: The Last of the Strong Ones
RELEVANCE OF THE STUDY
This essay is crucial because it is aimed at finding out the role of women in conflict resolution so as to arm its readership with practical and applicable approaches to solving the inevitable conflicts that arise from our everyday social dynamics.
The essay is a dialectical research that will make use of the novel The Last of the Strong Ones as its primary material.
The research essay will draw its strong points of argument from New Historicism, Feminist theory and John W. Burton’s The Human Need theory so as to show how the author, through characterization, theme and plot construction engaged in the feminist struggle.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research essay ponders on the role of women in conflict resolution as portrayed in the novel The Last of the Strong Ones. The novel was essentially chosen not with any special consideration or preference to the author or of the author’s social, religious or ethnic background but for the novel’s treatment of the issue of conflict resolution and the women folk. The choice of investigating just the role of women in conflict resolution among a myriad of investigative phases is only for the purpose of scope which necessary for research manageability.
The role of women in conflict resolution as portrayed in the novel will be weighed as New Historicism theory, Feminist theory and John W. Burton’s The Human Needs theory.