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Abstract or Description

Women on the frontline of efforts to end violence and secure a just peace seldom record their experiences, activities and insights – as generally there is no time, or, perhaps, no formal education that would help them record their stories. The Women PeaceMakers Program is a selective program for leaders who want to document, share and build upon their unique peacemaking stories. Selected peacemakers join the IPJ for an eight-week residency. Women PeaceMakers are paired with a Peace Writer to document in written form their story of living in conflict and building peace in their communities and nations. While in residence at the institute, Women PeaceMakers give presentations on their work and the situation in their home countries to the university and San Diego communities.

Emmaculeta Chiseya, a mother of two from Harare, Zimbabwe has worked to gender- sensitize community development and promote human rights for over 15 years. From 1996 to 2000, Chiseya was responsible for the promotion, protection and defense of human rights under the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association. During an increasingly dangerous period of Zimbabwean history, she has helped pioneer human rights education and civic education curricula in schools throughout the country. As a project officer for the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), Chiseya advocates for democracy and electoral education and serves as an election monitor.

Chiseya has experience educating police and other security forces to desist from torture practices, and has used theater to encourage greater understanding of human rights. In the current dangerous climate in Zimbabwe, with exorbitant inflation and unemployment rates and a nonexistent health care system, the rights which the constitution grants are challenged; politically motivated violence confronts the citizens who are seeking a return to peace. Human rights activists and peacemakers must maneuver carefully simply to assemble. Torture practices by police are on the rise. Chiseya is working to help people negotiate these pitfalls in order to move democratic change and human rights forward. She believes in the right of the people to elect a government of their choice without fear.

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peacebuilding, Women PeaceMakers, Zimbabwe


Peace and Conflict Studies

DARKEST BEFORE DAWN: The Work of Emmaculeta Chiseya of Zimbabwe