#37 Women and Ending War (Oct 2014)
To end war, women must be empowered. Using insights from biology and anthropology in her books--Women, Power, and the Biology of Peace and Shift: The Beginning of War, The Ending of War--Dr. Judith Hand explains why.
A global alarm is rising. People from every continent and nation suffer from a growing sense that what we did in the past to resolve serious conflicts (fight and/or emigrate to some other unoccupied new land) no longer works. The nature of the fighting is too destructive and squanders resources desperately needed for other positive and necessary benefits, and there are no longer any unoccupied lands to which we can move. The option to move on is no longer realistic as it simply means we collide with people already living wherever we try to move, and fighting is a form of madness that benefits only an elite few. We are a highly adaptive species, and to adapt we must find a solution that will enable us to resolve conflicts without war. A key piece of that solution will be the empowerment of women, with their concerns for social stability, negotiation, and compromise.
The good news is that a rise in the status of women around the world is increasing at a surprisingly rapid pace. Also spreading rapidly is understanding of the relationship of the empowerment of women in any society to decreases in war and increases in that society's economic prosperity.
This newsletter lists some events and resources readers may find useful or encouraging that document and are a consequence of this growing enlightenment.
UN Security Council Resolution 1325
UN Security Council resolution 1325 (S/RES/1325)
on women, peace and security, adopted on 31 October 2000. This resolution provides legal underpinnings for women in any country which signed it to demand recognition and rights. Implementation of 1325 is slow, but it is a vital camel's nose under the tent flap. The principle that women are a critical asset and are legally to be included gives women inspiration, and also LEVERAGE.
For example, in the United States it was critical to have a civil rights law - because the authorities themselves are then obligated to enforce that law when put on the spot. Martin Luther King, Jr. used the law as a foundation for his work.
The resolution reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction and stresses the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security. Resolution 1325 urges all actors to increase the participation of women and incorporate gender perspectives in all United Nations peace and security efforts. It also calls on all parties to conflict to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse, in situations of armed conflict. The resolution provides a number of important operational mandates, with implications for Member States and the entities of the United Nations system.
A Beacon for Young Women
A young Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai, is awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. She will be especially able to reach out to young women, to make them aware of their importance and power to effect a monumental social transformation from a global war system to a global peace system.
WILPF's 100th Anniversary - Uniting to Stop War
The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom will hold its 100th anniversary celebration in The Hague, Netherlands, in April 2015, expecting over 1,000 women from around the world. The theme is Women's Power to Stop War. Powerful speakers. Many dozens of breakout sessions. The dream of peace of WILPF's original founders is now ready to be delivered, and the women who will gather here are focused on how to be a part of leading that great social transformation.
On the webpage dedicated to the WILPF Congress and Conference they write: "In light of this monumental event, WILPF has given the name to the movement it has been advocating for the past 100 years Women's Power to Stop War. The Congress and Conference will take place in cooperation with the Nobel Women's Initiative.
The Congress, open only to members, takes place April 22-25, in the Peace Palace in the Hague. Registration is now open for WILPF section heads and section delegates. Other WILPF members who sign up now will be put on a waiting list, which will be open on 1 February, 2015.
The Conference, open to all, takes place April 27-29, 2015. Registration is already open.
Women from Muslim and Developing Countries Rising
A Yemeni woman, Tawakkul Karman, and two Liberian women, Leymah Gbowee and Ellen Johnson Shirleaf, share the Nobel Peace Prize, 2011. It is very possible that women from countries where women are feeling the pain of war the most will be the strongest leaders in a campaign to end war.
Academics Finally Getting the Message
Four academics publish a book edited by Valerie Hudson entitled Sex and World Peace that provides extensive documentation from many countries of the pacifying effects of women's empowerment in a wide variety of situations. Where women are better educated and hold influential positions, not only does business thrive better, the society experiences fewer internal and external wars.
Progress for Women at the United Nations
In a newsletter, the Institute for Inclusive Security reports on 8 notable steps for women in the 2014 meeting of the UN General Assembly. There is now an office of UN Women, the profile and voice of which is growing. The United Nations needs reforming to meet the needs of the current global situation, and UN Women will be critical to helping it reform from within. UN Women will also be a focal point for uniting the world's women to advance the cause of peace. Read these 8 notable steps and be encouraged!
We Can End War - And Empowered Women Will Play a Key Role
Biologist Judith Hand's books and essays explain why human biology is such that men alone can't end war, but when men and women are leaders and decision-makers in full partnership, ending war is entirely possible. See her blog, "Women: Key to Ending Poverty...and War."
Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
A Good Book
War, Peace, and Human Nature: The Convergence of Evolutionary and Cultural Views.
Edited by Douglas P. Fry. 2013.
An important work. The latest word in how human nature relates to war. From the perspective of AFWW, it does have a serious weakness in that it overlooks the relationship of women to war and the necessary role of women in ending war.
A Good Video
The Evolution of a Global Peace System.
A video based on historian Kent Shifferd's book From War to Peace and produced by the War Prevention Initiative of the Jubitz Family Foundation. It outlines over 20 historical events and trends that are part of the progress we have already made toward a global peace system and the emergence of a global spirit that is reaching out for peace.
A Future Without War
Believe in it.
Work for it.
And we will achieve it.
These three quick links are to Dr. Hand's core articles on paradigm shift:
To Abolish War
Shaping the Future
Paradigm Shift: Swift and Enduring
How Long Ending War Would Take
Why Women Are the Key to Security
The Nine Cornerstones
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