Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Ismael Muvingi

Second Advisor

Robin Cooper

Third Advisor

Dustin Berna


Women living in northern Nigeria face a herculean challenge of overcoming direct and indirect violence. These include domestic violence, political instability, social inequality, and the threat of Boko Haram. Boko Haram is an extremist militant group that has been known to kidnap, rape, and torture women and young girls as means of terrorizing the Nigerian community. Northern Nigerian women have also faced challenges within their own community as they are barred from participating in public activities, are under-represented in government, forced into early marriages, and are often victims of domestic violence. This study examines the lived experiences of women peacebuilders living in northern Nigeria as they negotiate regional conflicts and manage the peacebuilding process. Seven northern Nigerian females between the ages of 30 to 60 were recruited to participate in this study. All came from diverse backgrounds but shared a commonality of peace building and conflict management within their respective communities. The goal of this study was to better understand the meaning of these experiences and to uncover how these women handle these daily challenges. Feminist standpoint and structural violence theories provide the theoretical framework to dissect the essence of their experiences. The study adopted Clark Moustaka’s approach towards conducting transcendental phenomenological research methods and procedure. The results of the study will inform project design and policy formulation and serve as a source for future research and interventions by development agencies and other stakeholders interested in peace within the region.