25 Oct 2012

Academic says Solomon Island women play key role in conflict resolution

5:37 am on 25 October 2012

An academic and lecturer of Pacific studies says women will play a key role in solving conflicts should ethnic violence recur when the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands has left.

Dr David Gegeo made the comment during a conference on democracy in the Pacific last week.

Earlier this year the governments of Australia and New Zealand began discussions with Solomon Islands on withdrawing the remaining RAMSI troops.

Dr Gegeo says during the country's ethnic violence between 1997 and 2003, women played a key part in mediating and creating peace before the deployment of RAMSI in 2003.

"I think there's been recognition from the village level that women had played a major role. And I think if RAMSI left and violence came back, my belief is that women will step in because they care. I mean they cannot just see something, such mayhem repeat itself without them stepping in. They feel a certain maternal responsibility."

Dr David Gegeo says women did not receive enough credit for the role they played during the ethnic tension.