International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution

Article

Non-Violent Struggle

The 1992 Kenyan Case Study of the Protective Power and the Curse of Female Nakedness

Keywords non-violent struggle, dynamics of non-violent struggle, strategic planning in non-violent struggle, protective power of the vulva, curse of female nakedness
Authors Dr. Peter Karari
Author's information

Dr. Peter Karari
Dr. Peter Karari will be joining Karatina University, Kenya in September 2015 as a faculty member in the school of education and social sciences where he plans to start a department in Peace and Conflict Studies. He is a PhD graduate in peace and conflict studies from the Arthur Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice, University of Manitoba. He also has a Bachelor in Social-Work from the University of Nairobi in Kenya and a Masters in Peace and Conflicts Research from Otto-von Guericke University in Magdeburg Germany. His areas of focus includes; ethnopolitical violence, transitional justice, peacebuilding, conflict-management, conflict-resolution, conflict-transformation, and human rights. His doctoral research was on ethno-political violence, transitional justice, and peacebuilding in Kenya. He has diverse field and work experience with Non-governmental and community based organizations. He was the Country Program Manager of Drug Abuse Education Program Kenya, Project Coordinator Compassion International Kenya, and Chief Executive Officer Kibera Slum Education Program, an Oxfam GB assisted project in Kenya. Peter has served in various capacities as a student leader, community leader, and as a member of the University of Manitoba senate. He has a great passion for the marginalized and the vulnerable people in the society and has greatly been recognized for his community leadership and human rights activism. He is the winner of the 2010 Nahlah Ayed Prize for Student Leadership and Global Citizenship, University of Manitoba; 2010 Paul Fortier Award in Student Activism, University of Manitoba Faculty Association; 2011 University of Manitoba Alumni Award; 2012 University of Manitoba Dean of Graduate Studies Student Achievement Award; and 2014 University of Manitoba Emerging Leaders Award. Apart from mentoring his students to explore new perspectives and ideas that address their inquisitiveness as human beings, Dr. Karari envisions to actively participate in peacebuilding initiatives to make the world a better place for all to live in. He envisions Perpetual Peace in the World!
  • Abstract

      Non-violent struggle is a technique by which the population can restrict and sever the sources of power of their oppressors while mobilizing their own potentials into effective power. Female nakedness is one type of non-violent action that can be mobilized to facilitate women’s emancipation from gendered-cum-patriarchal oppression, violence and marginalization. A literature review indicates that female nakedness has been used for many centuries around the world to stop wars, ward off enemies, agitate for rights, prevent pests and increase harvests. Studies show that the effectiveness of non-violent struggle requires strategic planning and understanding of the dynamics involved. This article analyses the 1992 women’s nude protest in Kenya aimed at pushing for the release of political prisoners. This study investigates three questions: (1) In what ways was the 1992 women’s nude protest in Kenya a success? (2) What were the struggle’s flaws? (3) What strategic plans and/or dynamics of non-violent struggle could have been employed to make this protest more effective? The findings of this research indicate that: (1) The nude protest was partially a success because it secured the release of all political prisoners and nurtured democratization; (2) the struggle failed to embrace some strategic planning and/or the dynamics of non-violent struggle in addition to hunger strike and female nakedness; and (3) the protest could have been more successful if it embraced particular strategic plans and/or dynamics of non-violent struggle such as negotiation, power relations, prioritization of tactics and methods of non-violent struggle, access to critical material resources and clear monitoring and evaluation strategies.

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