Informal Peace-Building Enhancers: The Role Of Women In Colonial Uzairue Land, Nigeria, 1897-1960
This paper examines the roles played by women in the maintenance and sustenance of a peaceful society through the development of informal socio-economic institutions in colonial Uzairue land. It notes that the roles played by women in this regard have not received adequate scholarly attention. It further explores a socio-political overview of colonial Uzairue land, women in Uzairue worldview, and gender (women) theories, stereotypes and roles in Uzairue land. It uses the qualitative historical method which is narrative, descriptive and analytical. The data used for this research were derived from both primary and secondary sources. The primary data were derived from oral interviews through oral discussions and interactions (by this researcher), with selected interviewees during fieldwork in Uzairue land. The secondary data were obtained from relevant published materials including books and journal articles. This research examines the role of women in Uzairue land in the provision of a peaceful society, and the encouragement of socio-economic progress, through the provision of health care services, occupational and economic ventures. It views the concept of peace-building as efforts, techniques and approaches aimed at preventing conflicts, achieving durable peace, and stabilizing society politically and socio-economically. This study concludes that the instinctive roles of women as caregivers, comforters, peacemakers, and home keepers, and their respective participation and specialization in the provision of health care services, among other socio-economic ventures, undoubtedly encouraged the mutual and peaceful development of colonial Uzairue land. It demonstrates therefore that women are intrinsically linked with the peace-building process and overall development of society, and that they should be accorded high regards even in the contemporary period.