Most peace negotiations have been made by having men as the leading actors. This does not mean, however, that women have not played any major role in the peace process. Indeed a little more than 50 women have been awarded the honorable title of the Nobel Peace Prize laureates.
Indeed, everybody is involved in peace building, because peace is what people are longing for, as the ambassador of peace, Prem Rawat, said.
What are the roles of women in the peace process?
Women take the initiatives to end violence
One of the major roles of women in restoring peace is taking the initiatives to put an end to violence. Through strong anti-military messages, a woman in history managed to call for a ceasefire and to end wars. Through the messages of peace that women wrote, they can induce us into peaceful conflict resolutions in some parts of the world.
This was what happened in 1905 when an Austrian Baroness managed to call for a ceasefire thanks to the words of peace that she wrote in her book.
Women speak out against atrocities
Another key role of women in the peace process is to speak out and denounce the outrages inflicted by militants on women and girls. In fact, several women are deprived of their rights for protection against violence; because of that, they are subjected to sexual abuses and ill-treatment.
Unless women take the initiative to raise their voice and publicly blame their oppressors, their cases will remain unheard and peace won't be restored. However, such initiatives require a lot of courage and very few women dare to make a decision to express their sufferings when they are subjected to sexual or domestic violence in many parts of the world.
Women persuade authorities to intervene
In global peacekeeping efforts, some women took the initiatives to persuade the governments to remain neutral and not take sides in conflict management and tension resolutions. For example, in 1946, an American socialist, who focused her studies on the lives and rights of women, minority groups, immigrants, and employees, contributed a lot to the peace process for her struggles for a ceasefire.
Women struggle to end religious wars
Women have taken the lead to create peace movements and fight against religious persecutions.
- For example, in 1976, religious conflict resolution was attributed to a woman who struggled to crack down on the wars between Catholics and Protestants.
- For the same purpose, women take the lead in creating associations to start the dialogue between youths from diverse religious affiliations.
- Also, women promote mutual help and cooperation in order to achieve peace.
- They have made great efforts to campaign against violence and restore harmony.
Women fight for the rights of children Many children in the world are victims of abuses and ill-treatment. Some are forced to work as soldiers; others are also deprived of their family and of their childhood as they are forced into marriage or sold into slavery. For example, in India, several orphans could regain the joy of living thanks to the initiatives taken by a woman. The children could experience the joy of having a caring mother thanks to the efforts of a woman.
In brief, it can be said that women have played considerable roles in peace building. The role of women to defend the rights of children should not be ignored. In India, a woman was involved in disarmament and in the creation of areas where nuclear weapons are restricted. If everyone is deeply involved in peacekeeping, everybody in the world will certainly enjoy the gift of life' as Prem Rawat said.