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Women, Religion, and Peacebuilding: Maasai and Gusii Women of Faith with Springer International

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Home is Us: A Story About Hope and Resilience

Women of faith across the world have long demonstrated their leadership in peacebuilding. They have achieved this despite their underrepresentation in formal peacebuilding systems, the persistent lack of consideration for their critical contributions, and in the face of insecurity and violence against their very bodies. This book explores the peacebuilding ideas and experiences of Maasai and Gusii women of faith in Kenya. Their efforts include daily practices of sharing resources, building social cohesion, promoting human relations, and interlinking psychological, social, political, and spiritual encounters. Building on their work, this book provides a gender-responsive conflict-analysis tool, and a peacebuilding framework. It leverages the intersectionality of women’s diverse identities and roles, and how they navigate both secular and religious spaces for peace. The book’s theoretical groundings in peacebuilding, gender, and feminist perspectives provide useful academic resources for teaching, reference, and study. Its stories of peacebuilding praxis provide tools for practitioners and activists alike.

Home is Us is the story of my mother’s struggle and strength to protect herself, me, and my two sisters from violence and harm. The story confronts our shared trauma of domestic violence, verbal abuse, economic injustice, female genital cutting, and boy preference that we all had to endure. It presents our powerful fight for our rights to own land and property, to pursue and earn an education, and to live in safety and dignity.

 

Telling this story helps me to gain greater awareness of myself, how I survived, and how I continue the personal and collective journey of healing and agency by looking inward.  The story draws on language, prayer, song, and spoken word from my Kenyan heritage.

 

I have dedicated over two decades of my life to international development and peacebuilding where I have met  women and girls, men and boys who, like me, have survived violence with hope and resilience. We must continue to heal and speak out. 

Endorsements

A much needed (and all too rare) account of the nuanced and deeply contextualised dynamics of gender, conflict, and peacebuilding.

— Anna Mdee, Professor Politics of Global Development, University of Leeds, UK.

 

A practical research experience that culminated in a transferable Gender-Responsive and Inclusive Conflict Analysis Tool.

— Donna Pankhurst, Professor Emerita, University of Bradford, UK.

 

Engages the presumption of gender equality as a struggle to make women equal to men, and suggests that we men begin to explore how we might become the equals of these women.
— Wade Channell,  Senior Economic Growth Advisor for Gender(ret.), USAID, USA.

Tells the story of women’s agency in difficult socio-political and cultural settings.

— Elias Opongo, Senior lecturer, Hekima University College, Kenya.

 The book sheds light on men”s perspectives on masculinities, warrior masculinities, and their own vulnerability.

— Dr. Chiseche Salome Mibenge, Author, Activist, Director Gender Initiatives at Episcopal Relief and Development, New York and Zambia.

Watch 'Home Is Us' introductory video

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