Women creating peace across the world’s divides

By Christina DeAngelis, a 2006-2008 Rotary Peace Fellow, Bradford University

Christina DeAngelis works with women as part of Creators of Peace.

Christina DeAngelis works with women as part of Creators of Peace.

Since 2005, I have had the privilege of being involved in an international women’s peace-building program called Creators of Peace. Creators of Peace empowers women to be radical peace-builders, starting with themselves, their families, their communities and further afield. The idea is that if peace is to start anywhere then the best place for it to start is in “me.” 

Women have a unique role to play in creating peace. The United Nations has recognized in Resolution 1325 that women, often marginalized from formal settings, must be fully integrated in all peace processes to ensure sustainable peace. Women contribute significantly to the stability of communities in conflict and are at the forefront of recovery and rebuilding efforts post-conflict.

This is something I have seen in my own eyes again and again. I think of amazing women like my friend Didacienne from Rwanda, a genocide survivor, who after the war decided revenge was not the way forward and reached out to local men accused of genocide. Or Nadine, a former guerrilla fighter in Burundi, who was able to admit that her anger did not help her or her nation. Or Trish, a Sydney women descendant from the first convicts, who upon realizing how much her ancestors had hurt the local Aboriginal people, took steps to apologize and educate fellow Australians about Aboriginal culture.

True peace is not just the absence of conflict but the addressing of all the needs of human security: from hospitality to food provision, from friendship to shelter, from a recognized identity to stable jobs. Women are ideally placed to engage with these needs from the grass roots in market place and office, home and boardroom. Creators of Peace is a movement to transform, empower and engage women in this challenging task of our age.

Source: Rotary Voices

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