LISTEN TO THE WOMEN

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In his reporting from Israel, Shamil Idriss, CEO of the organization Search for Common Ground, reminds us that solidarity alone with one side or the other in Israel and Palestine will not bring peace. At CPNN, we must engage in some self-criticism since most of our coverage has been simply solidarity with the Palestinians who are the victims of Israeli genocide. As Shamil reminds us, this solidarity is understandable, but it is not enough. We must go beyond solidarity.

Instead, as Search for Common Ground shows us by example, peace can only come from dialogue and trust-building between the two sides of the conflict. This is a long and difficult process, but there is no other way.

In this way, Search for Common is working with a powerful and growing community of women leaders, including activists, lawyers, former Knesset members, former Palestinian ministers in Jerusalem, Ramallah and Tel Aviv working to ensure that they are not left out of whatever peace process that will have to come out of this war. Idriss explained: “We are supporting them as they develop their own thinking and strategy for how to accelerate and influence that kind of peace process. It’s well known that peace processes that involve women last much longer and are more viable.” This was the theme of Resolution 1325 adopted by the UN Security Council during the International Year for the Culture of Peace in one of its few moments of progressive action under the leadership of the ambassador from Bangladesh, Anwarul Chowdhury.

This year, around the world on International Women’s Day, millions of women showed how they can be a powerful force for peace.

Listen to what they chanted and wrote on their placards as shown in CPNN this month.

Many called for an end to violence against women and demanded their sexual and reproductive rights.

Others expanded their demands to an end of patriarchy:

From Romania: “Blestem Patriarhatul” (We Curse Patriarchy)

From Germany: My favorite season is the fall of the patriarchy.

From Peterborough Canada: “Where there is a woman, there is magic,” “It’s a beautiful day to smash the patriarchy,” and “The future is female.”

Patriarchy, the domination of men over women, is as old as humanity. As expressed in this blog in 2017, “This goes back to prehistory when women were excluded from war due to the fact the practice of patrilocal exogamous marriage (husband remains in his native village and marries a wife from outside) ensured that wars were conducted between the husband of a woman on one side and her father and brothers on the other side. As a result, since warriors were exclusively men, they were free to capture and rape the women they found when vanquishing another community.

The male domination of the culture of war has characterized all human societies since the beginning of history. The male rulers of the first empires were not only the military commanders but also the heads of the state religion. Female heads of state and religion were so rare that they are considered to be curiosities of history: for example the pharaoh Hatshepsut in ancient Egypt, and the (mythical?) female Catholic Pope in the Middle Ages.

Of course, the elimination of patriarchy requires the engagement of men as well as women, and for that reason it is important that there were many men participating in the celebrations and protests on March 8.

For women’s equality, it is necessary to abolish the culture of war.

Placards this year included the demand for an end to war:

From Chicago in USA: Feminists say no to war

There were specific calls for solidarity with Palestine:

From Seattle in the USA: Palestinian liberation as a “feminist imperative”

From Pakistan: Rise for the women of Palestine

And perhaps, most profound, were the placards saying that it is women who give birth.

From Belgium: Women give life and reap death.

From Puerto Rico: Nosotros Parimos “We give birth.”

The fact that women give birth is a powerful force for peace. Fortunately, when I was a professor of psychology and I prepared my one and only psychological book, Psychology for Peace Activists, I deliberately chose to include as many women as men in the study. What I found by examining their autobiographies and biographies was that the great women peace activists derived their motivation from having given birth. For example, Helen Caldicott says that with the birth of her first child, she realized “that I would die to save the lives of my children. At that moment I accepted personal responsibility for stopping the nuclear arms race.”

As we often say in this blog, we are entering an era of economic and political contradictions that will lead to revolutionary change. Insofar as women take leadership, we have a greater chance that the change will lead to a culture of peace.

As expressed by the French group, Warriors of Peace: “We, the Warriors of Peace, will continue to stand, proud and determined, alongside all oppressed women, alongside all our persecuted sisters, everywhere in the world. It is about our feminism. Of our duty as humanity. Feminism is justice, equality and dignity for all. It is the refusal of assignment and division. Feminism is peace.”

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ÉCOUTEZ LES FEMMES

Dans son reportage de Israël, Shamil Idriss, PDG de l’organisation Search for Common Ground, rappelle que seulement la solidarité avec l’un ou l’autre camp en Israël et en Palestine n’apportera pas la paix. Chez CPNN, nous devons nous livrer à une certaine autocritique puisque la majeure partie de notre couverture a été simplement une solidarité avec les Palestiniens victimes du génocide israélien. Comme nous le rappelle Shamil, cette solidarité est compréhensible, mais elle ne suffit pas. Il faut aller au-delà de la solidarité.

Au contraire, comme nous le montre l’exemple de Search for Common Ground, la paix ne peut venir que du dialogue et de l’instauration d’un climat de confiance entre les deux parties au conflit. C’est un processus long et difficile, mais il n’y a pas d’autre solution.

De cette manière, Search for Common travaille avec une communauté puissante et croissante de femmes dirigeantes, notamment des militantes, des avocates, d’anciens membres de la Knesset, d’anciens ministres palestiniens à Jérusalem, Ramallah et Tel Aviv, œuvrant pour garantir qu’elles ne soient pas exclues de toute processus de paix qui devra sortir de cette guerre. Idriss a expliqué : « Nous les soutenons dans le développement de leur propre réflexion et stratégie sur la manière d’accélérer et d’influencer ce type de processus de paix. Il est bien connu que les processus de paix qui impliquent les femmes durent beaucoup plus longtemps et sont plus viables. Ce constat a été le thème de la résolution 1325 adoptée par le Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU lors de l’Année internationale de la culture de la paix, dans l’un de ses rares moments d’action progressiste sous la direction de l’ambassadeur du Bangladesh, Anwarul Chowdhury.

Cette année, à l’occasion de la Journée internationale de la femme, des millions de femmes ont montré comment elles peuvent être une puissante force de paix.

Écoutez ce qu’ils ont scandé et écrit sur leurs pancartes, comme le montre CPNN ce mois-ci.

Beaucoup ont appelé à la fin de la violence contre les femmes et ont exigé le respect de leurs droits sexuels et reproductifs.

D’autres ont étendu leurs revendications jusqu’à la fin du patriarcat :

De Roumanie : « Blestem Patriarhatul » (Nous maudissons le patriarcat)

D’ Allemagne : Ma saison préférée est la chute du patriarcat.

De Peterborough Canada : « Là où il y a une femme, il y a de la magie », « C’est un beau jour pour briser le patriarcat » et « L’avenir est féminin ».

Le patriarcat, la domination des hommes sur les femmes, est aussi vieux que l’humanité. Comme l’exprimait ce blog en 2017, “Cela remonte à la préhistoire lorsque les femmes étaient exclues de la guerre en raison du fait que la pratique du mariage exogame patrilocal (le mari reste dans son village natal et épouse une femme de l’extérieur) garantissait que les guerres se déroulaient entre le mari d’une femme d’un côté et son père et ses frères de l’autre. En conséquence, comme les guerriers étaient exclusivement des hommes, ils étaient libres de capturer et de violer les femmes qu’ils trouvaient en conquérant une autre communauté.”

La domination masculine de la culture de la guerre caractérise toutes les sociétés humaines depuis le début de l’histoire. Les dirigeants masculins des premiers empires n’étaient pas seulement les commandants militaires mais aussi les chefs de la religion d’État. Les femmes chefs d’État et de religion étaient si rares qu’elles sont considérées comme des curiosités de l’histoire : par exemple le pharaon Hatchepsout dans l’Égypte ancienne, et la (mythique ?) femme pape catholique au Moyen Âge.

Bien entendu, l’élimination du patriarcat nécessite l’engagement des hommes comme des femmes, et c’est pour cette raison qu’il est important qu’un grand nombre d’hommes aient participé aux célébrations et aux manifestations du 8 mars.

Pour l’égalité des femmes, il est nécessaire d’abolir la culture de la guerre.

Cette année, les pancartes réclamaient la fin de la guerre :

De Chicago aux États-Unis : les féministes disent non à la guerre

Il y a eu des appels spécifiques à la solidarité avec la Palestine :

Depuis Seattle aux États-Unis : la libération palestinienne comme « impératif féministe »

Du Pakistan : levez-vous pour les femmes de Palestine

Et ce qui est peut-être le plus profond, ce sont les pancartes disant que ce sont les femmes qui accouchent.

De Belgique : Les femmes donnent la vie et récoltent la mort.

De Porto Rico : Nosotros Parimos « Nous accouchons. »

Le fait que les femmes accouchent est une puissante force de paix. Heureusement, lorsque j’étais professeur de psychologie et que je préparais mon seul et unique livre psychologique, Psychologie pour les Militants de la Paix, j’ai délibérément choisi d’inclure autant de femmes que d’hommes dans l’étude. Ce que j’ai découvert en examinant leurs autobiographies et biographies, c’est que les grandes militantes pour la paix tiraient leur motivation de leur accouchement. Par exemple, Helen Caldicott dit qu’avec la naissance de son premier enfant, elle s’est rendu compte « que j’allais mourir pour sauver la vie de mes enfants. À ce moment-là, j’ai accepté la responsabilité personnelle d’arrêter la course aux armements nucléaires ».

Comme nous le disons souvent sur ce blog, nous entrons dans une ère de contradictions économiques et politiques qui mèneront à un changement radical. Dans la mesure où les femmes assument le leadership, nous avons plus de chances que le changement conduise à une culture de paix.

Comme l’exprime le groupe français des Guerrières de la Paix : « Nous, les Guerrières de la Paix, continuerons à nous tenir debout, fières et déterminées, aux côtés de toutes les femmes opprimées, aux côtés de toutes nos sœurs persécutées, partout dans le monde. Il en va de notre féminisme. De notre devoir en tant qu’humanité. Le féminisme est la justice, l’égalité et la dignité pour tous. C’est le refus de l’affectation et de la division. Le féminisme est la paix. »

LISTEN TO THE WOMEN

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It’s been difficult this year to find positive news for the blog. One thing is for certain: that we need radical change in the world.

This month, however, the women of the world give us reason to hope for the future, as we see from the CPNN bulletin. Around the world millions of women risked the covid pandemic and took to the streets to demand radical change.

Here were some of the demands and slogans on the signs they held.

ABORTO LEGAL
HUELGA FEMINISTA
REBEL WITH A CAUSE
She is not half-world. She is the whole world.
#NeverAgain to a fascist dictatorship
#ME TOO

The following interview tells us where the change will come from. It was recorded by Alcinda Honwana with Quitéria Guirengane, a Mozambican female activist and the President of the Mozambican Young Women Leaders’ Network.

“There are many youth groups and associations, formal and informal, fighting for what they believe is a better and fair society. For me, it was important to establish closer links with those other groups or individuals, especially at district level. This led me to create the Young Women Leaders’ Network, an informal network that brings together young women from different backgrounds from all over the country; we are currently building a database of young female leaders from different fields – activists, artists, community organizers, entrepreneurs, scholars, athletes and the like . . .

“I am a member of various Pan-African networks and organizations such as: the Pan-African Youth Forum for the Promotion of a Culture of Peace in Africa; the Southern Africa Platform for Young Women Leaders; the African Network for the Right to Protest; and the Solidarity Network for Political Prisoners in Africa; and the Global Network of Young Women Leaders. Through these various continental and international networks, I have learned that well-structured continental-wide action can be very effective, when it engages the right players, defends coherent messages, values community knowledge, and stands-up for fair causes. . . .

“We keep close links with our counterparts in other African countries, such as Angola, DRC, Tunisia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. . . .

“Despite the lack of support, young Africans continue to fight. Bobi Wine continues to fight; the Angolan activists, even after spending months in prison, remain active, as do the Mozambican activists who are routinely intimidated and attacked by the authorities. I have a lot of hope in our Pan-African networks such as Afrikiki Mwinda and others.

“Change will come from within, from us. The revolution will have to be done by the African activists, by ourselves, without waiting for the support of the international community, and beyond our corrupt national institutions. All this time, we have been playing by the rules, constituting ourselves in formal organizations, getting all the permissions to protest peacefully, running for elections and putting across our ideas; but the rules of the game, as established, are fundamentally flawed and unjust.

“Every time we played by their rules, we have been duped, side-lined, maimed and sometimes killed. We are getting tired and we are saying enough! The world should not be surprised if one day young people resolve to take power by force, with violence.”

We’ve said it before and we say it again: Listen to the women !

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ÉCOUTER LES FEMMES

Il a été difficile cette année de trouver des nouvelles positives pour le blog. Une chose est sûre: nous avons besoin d’un changement radical dans le monde.

Ce mois-ci, cependant, les femmes du monde nous donnent des raisons d’espérer pour l’avenir, comme nous le voyons dans le bulletin de CPNN. Partout dans le monde, des millions de femmes ont risqué la pandémie de covid et sont descendues dans la rue pour exiger un changement radical.

Voici quelques-unes des demandes et des slogans sur les pancartes qu’elles tenaient.

ABORTO LEGAL
HUELGA FEMINISTA
REBEL WITH A CAUSE
She is not half-world. She is the whole world.
#NeverAgain to a fascist dictatorship
#ME TOO

L’interview suivante nous dit d’où viendra le changement. Il a été enregistré par Alcinda Honwana avec Quitéria Guirengane, une militante mozambicaine et présidente du Réseau des jeunes leaders mozambicaines.

“De nombreux groupes et associations de jeunes, formels et informels, se battent pour une société meilleure et juste. Pour moi, il était important d’établir des liens plus étroits avec ces autres groupes ou individus, en particulier au niveau du district. Cela m’a conduit à créer le Young Women Leaders ‘Network, un réseau informel qui rassemble des jeunes femmes d’horizons différents de partout dans le pays; nous construisons actuellement une base de données de jeunes femmes leaders dans différents domaines : activistes, artistes, organisatrices communautaires, entrepreneures, universitaires , athlètes et autres.

“Je suis membre de divers réseaux et organisations panafricains tels que: le Forum panafricain de la jeunesse pour la promotion d’une culture de la paix en Afrique; la Plateforme d’Afrique australe pour les jeunes femmes leaders; le Réseau africain pour le droit de manifester ; le Réseau de solidarité pour les prisonnières politiques en Afrique; et le Réseau mondial des jeunes femmes leaders.

“Grâce à ces différents réseaux continentaux et internationaux, j’ai appris qu’une action bien structurée à l’échelle du continent peut être très efficace, lorsqu’elle implique les bons acteurs, qu’elle défend des messages cohérents, qu’elle valorise le savoir communautaire et qu’elle défend des causes justes.

“Nous gardons des liens étroits avec nos homologues d’autres pays africains, tels que l’Angola, la RDC, la Tunisie, l’Afrique du Sud et le Zimbabwe.

“Malgré le manque de soutien, les jeunes Africains continuent de se battre. Bobi Wine continue de se battre; les militants angolais, même après avoir passé des mois en prison, restent actifs, tout comme les militants mozambicains qui sont régulièrement intimidés et attaqués par les autorités. Il y a beaucoup d’espoir dans nos réseaux panafricains comme Afrikiki Mwinda et d’autres.

“Le changement viendra de l’intérieur, de nous. La révolution devra être faite par les militants africains, par nous-mêmes, sans attendre le soutien de la communauté internationale, et au-delà de nos institutions nationales corrompues.

“Pendant tout ce temps, nous avons respecté les règles, nous constituant en organisations formelles, obtenant toutes les autorisations pour manifester pacifiquement, nous présentant aux élections afin de faire passer nos idées. Mais les règles du jeu, comme elles sont établies actuellement, sont fondamentalement défectueuses et injustes. Chaque fois que nous avons joué selon leurs règles, nous avons été dupés, mis de côté, mutilés et parfois tués. Nous sommes fatigués et nous disons assez! Le monde ne devrait pas être surpris si un jour, les jeunes décident de prendre le pouvoir par la force, avec violence.”

Nous l’avons déjà dit et nous le répétons: écoutez les femmes!

The Paradox of the United Nations: Peace vs. Culture of Peace

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If we consider the purpose for which the United Nations was formed: “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war,” it is failing badly. This spring, when we hoped that the United Nations would convene a High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament, the meeting was cancelled due to pressure from the United States and its allies. And most recently, we see that the proposal for a peacekeeping force to protect the Palestinian people cannot be implemented because of the American veto.

This month in the CPNN bulletin, we look at recent moves towards peace in the Philippines, Colombia, Korea and Etheopia/Eritrea. What is remarkable is the absence of the United Nations from these initiatives. Only in Colombia did the United Nations play an important role by supervising the disarmament of the FARC guerilla army.

This impotence of the UN is not new. We saw it two decades ago when our work for peace in El Salvador and Mozambique was not supported by the US and its allies.

On the other hand, if we look at the culture of peace, the 90% of the iceberg of peace which is not visible on the surface, we see that the UN is continually developing a culture of peace at the local level.

Education for peace: the ‘Back to Learning’ education campaign of UNICEF will benefit half a million children in South Sudan.

Democratic participation: UN Women contributed to the historic leap in Tunisia where women now make up 47 per cent of local government.

Sustainable development: UNESCO and UNWTO are encouraging cultural tourism as a means of fostering sustainable development.

Women’s equality: As described in their annual report, UN Women is supporting women politicians, electoral officials, voters, lawmakers, civil society activists and many others to claim their equal right to lead and be heard.

Human rights: Although the task is often frustrating, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights works for implementation of the UN Declaration on Human Rights which is the keystone of work in this area.

Tolerance and solidarity: The United Nations continues to support youth projects for tolerance and solidarity through the Youth Solidarity Fund.

Free flow of information: In Africa UNESCO supports the development of local radio initiatives against gender violence.

Disarmament: Although the UN is failing at the highest level for disarmament, it is quite capable of action when the member states support it, as described above in the case of Colombia.

And on a more general level, the United Nations continues to hold annual high level forums dedicated to the development of a culture of peace and UNESCO continues to support the development of a culture of peace in Africa.

Imagine how effective the UN could be if the stranglehold of the member states as expressed by the veto of the United States were to be replaced by a radical revision of the UN management with direction by representatives of cities or parliaments, as I have repeatedly proposed!

The struggle to eliminate violence against women is essential to the culture of peace

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The advance this year of the struggle to eilmininate violence against women is an important step forward for the global movement for a culture of peace. Here’s why.

First of all, violence against women has always been an intrinsic component of war. This goes back to prehistory when women were excluded from war due to the fact the practice of patrilocal exogamous marriage (husband remains in his native village and marries a wife from outside) ensured that wars were conducted between the husband of a woman on one side and her father and brothers on the other side. As a result, since warriors were exclusively men, they were free to capture and rape the women they found when vanquishing another community.

The male domination of the culture of war has characterized all human societies since the beginning of history. The male rulers of the first empires were not only the military commanders but also the heads of the state religion. Female heads of state and religion were so rare that they are considered to be curiosities of history: for example the pharaoh Hatshepsut in ancient Egypt, and the (mythical?) female Catholic Pope in the Middle Ages.

The male domination of the culture of war has come down to our present world system transformed by previous changes in economic systems, from slavery to colonialism to neo-colonialism, but all of these systems remain essentially sexist.

Huge economic industries, part of the culture of war, are essentially sexist. Of course, female prostitution goes back to the beginning of recorded history. But what about modern advertising the use of scarcely clad female models to sell automobilies, beauty products, etc. etc.? In capitalist economies, women are often considered as a commodity to be bought and sold. Seen in this context, rape can be considered in many cases as the forceful theft of the female commodity.

Apart from physical violence the exploitation of women in the modern economy is a form of structural violence. Women are not paid for their essential work in the bearing and raising of children. And in the workplace they continue to be paid substantially less than men in the equivalent occupation.

Political leaders often echo the sexism. The current US President is an example as reported on many occasions (for a list see the this article in The Guardian). Fortunately, we find more political leaders speaking out against sexism, such as the Presidents of France, Turkey and Canada as described in this month’s CPNN bulletin.

Second, violence against women diminishes their capacity to play their essential role as leaders in the transition to a culture of peace. Their role is essential as a result of their exclusion and suffering from war and the culture of war which gives them special reason to take action. In fact, we find women in leadership wherever there are campaigns for a culture of peace, but it would be even greater if all women were free from the threat of violence.

Third, the struggle for any one of the eight program areas of the culture of peace is a struggle for the others as well, because the movement for a culture of peace is an integral and synergistic struggle. For example, the rights of women are an important component of human rights in general. Similarly, sustainable and equitable economic development and democratic participation require the economic and political equality of women. Education for peace requires that girls have the same access to education as boys. In fact, as UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said, unless the international community tackles the problem of violence against women, the world will not eradicate poverty or reach any of its other goals.

In general, we should not make the mistake of thinking that the struggle to eliminate violence against women is just a struggle of the women themselves. It has to be the struggle of everyone, men as well as women, if we are to advance towards a culture of peace.

Women, religion, socialism, and the state

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Each March in CPNN, we celebrate International Women’s Day and the annual meetings of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, and we see how women are a force for peace.

There is a deep historical reason for this. As I found in my one foray into anthropological studies, women were excluded from war very early in human prehistory because of the social contradiction between war and marriage. Marriage, in prehistory, was often arranged between different tribes or communities that would also be at war from time to time. In such a war, a woman’s loyalty was torn between her husband on one side and her father and brothers on the other. There was a simple solution: women were excluded from war.

Does that mean that we should promote women to positions of leadership in order to achieve peace? The answer is no. And we saw a good example last year. Hillary Clinton became the first woman who was a serious candidate to become President of the United States. And as we documented in CPNN, she was a war candidate, having been largely responsible when she was Secretary of State for American involvement in the wars of Libya, Syria and the Ukraine.

It turns out the the state as a force for war has a stronger effect than women as a force for peace. Once a woman becomes head of state, she becomes part of the culture of war. Another example in recent history was Margaret Thatcher in the UK.

This is similar to the situation for religion and war. As a general rule, religions are for peace. We devote an entire section of the Culture of Peace Network to the theme of “How can different faiths work together for understanding and harmony?

But when religions take power in the state, they become a force for war. Look at the situation today in Israel and Iran for clear examples. Once again we see that the state as a force for war has a stronger effect than religion as a force for peace.

And finally, consider the relation of socialism and war. In general those who are for socialism are also for peace. Exactly 100 years ago, the Bolsheviks took power in Russia under the slogan of “Peace, Bread and Land.” Their leader, Lenin, was a powerful critic of imperialist wars. In his essay War and Revolution, he wrote “Peace reigned in Europe, but this was because domination over hundreds of millions of people in the colonies by the European nations was sustained only through constant, incessant, interminable wars, which we Europeans do not regard as wars at all, since all too often they resembled, not wars, but brutal massacres, the wholesale slaughter of unarmed peoples.”

But once the Bolsheviks took power, they succumbed to the culture of war of the state. Trotsky called for forced labor camps to “build socialism” and his rival, Stalin, put them into place and later, invaded by Nazi Germany, he built a powerful war machine which eventually led to the crash of the Soviet empire.

The crash of the Soviet empire was forced, intentionally, by the United States and its allies, by bankrupting them with the arms race. I cannot forget passing by Lenin’s tomb in the May Day celebration in Moscow in 1976 and looking up to see all of the Soviet leaders, all old soldiers proudly wearing their military medals.

No one is forcing the United States today to be bankrupted with an arms race, but we see the same old soldiers with their military medals being appointed by President Trump to run (and bankrupt) the American empire. They learn nothing from history!

In fact, as I have documented in “The History of the Culture of War,” over the course of history the state has come to monopolize the culture of war. Other entities of the the culture of war, such as cities which flourished in Europe in the Middle Ages, were taken over by the state, and since then cities have no culture of war.

All of this goes to show that in order to move to a culture of peace, we must develop alternatives to state power. That is why I work for a global network of culture of peace cities that could someday run the United Nations when the state system collapses into bankruptcy and chaos.

If you can help with this, contact me at coordinator@cpnn-world.org.

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LES FEMMES, LA RELIGION, LE SOCIALISME ET L’ETAT

Chaque année en mars, nous célébrons dans CPNN la Journée internationale de la femme et la réunion annuelle de la Commission des Nations Unies de la condition de la femme ; cela nous permet de voir comment les femmes sont une force pour la paix.

Il y a une raison profonde dans notre préhistoire. Comme je l’ai constaté lors de mon incursion dans les études anthropologiques, les femmes ont été exclues de la guerre très tôt dans la préhistoire, en raison de la contradiction sociale entre la guerre et le mariage. Le mariage était souvent arrangé entre différentes tribus ou communautés qui seraient également de temps en temps en guerre. Dans de telles guerres, la loyauté d’une femme était douteuse, parce que partagée entre son mari d’un côté et la famille de son père et de ses frères de l’autre. Il restait une solution simple: exclure les femmes de la guerre !

Cela signifie-t-il que les femmes doivent être promues à des postes de direction pour parvenir à la paix? La réponse est non. Et nous avons vu un exemple récent l’année dernière. Hillary Clinton est devenue la première femme candidate sérieuse pour devenir président des États-Unis. Et comme nous précisé dans CPNN, elle était une candidate ‘’guerrière’’, ayant été largement responsable de l’implication américaine dans les guerres Libye, de Syrie et d’Ukraine quand elle était la ministre des Affaires étrangères.

Il semblerait que l’État en tant que force de guerre a un effet plus fort que celui des femmes comme force pour la paix. Une fois qu’une femme devient chef de l’État, elle devient partie intégrante de la culture de la guerre. Un autre exemple dans l’histoire récente a été Margaret Thatcher au Royaume-Uni.

Ceci est semblable à la situation pour la religion et la guerre. En théorie, les religions sont engagées pour la paix. Nous consacrons une partie entière de CPNN au thème : «Comment différentes confessions peuvent-elles travailler ensemble pour la compréhension et l’harmonie? »

Mais quand une religion prend le pouvoir dans un état, elle devient une force pour la guerre. Regardez la situation actuelle en Israël et en Iran pour des exemples clairs. Une fois de plus, nous voyons que l’État, en tant que force de guerre, a plus d’effet que la religion comme force de paix.

Et enfin, considérons le rapport du socialisme et de la guerre. En général, ceux qui sont pour le socialisme sont aussi pour la paix ( voir la position de Jean Jaurès avant la 1ere guerre mondiale).

Il y a exactement 100 ans, les Bolcheviks prenaient le pouvoir en Russie sous le slogan «Paix, pain et terre». Leur chef, Lénine, était un puissant critique des guerres impérialistes. Dans son essai ‘’Guerre et Révolution’’, il écrit: “Pendant que la paix régnait en Europe, les nations européennes exerçaient une très forte domination sur des millions de personnes dans les colonies. Cette domination n’a pu exister que parce qu’elle n’était soutenue que par des combats constants, incessants, interminables que les Européens ne considéraient pas comme des guerres, puisqu’elles ressemblaient d’avantage à des massacres brutaux, à l’abattage massif de peuples désarmés.”

Mais quand les Bolcheviks ont pris le pouvoir, ils ont succombé à la culture de la guerre de l’état. Trotsky a proposé de creer des camps de travaux forcés pour «construire le socialisme» et son rival, Staline, les a mis en place. Puis plus tard, envahi par l’Allemagne nazie, il a construit une puissante machine de guerre qui a finalement mené à l’effondrement de l’empire soviétique.

L’effondrement de l’empire soviétique a été forcé, intentionnellement, par les Etats-Unis et ses alliés, en le ruinant dans la course aux armements. Je suis passé par le tombeau de Lénine lors de la célébration du mois de mai 1976 à Moscou et j’ai vu tous les dirigeants soviétiques, tous ces vieux soldats portant fièrement leurs médailles militaires.

Personne ne force les États-Unis aujourd’hui à être mis en faillite par une course aux armements, mais nous voyons les mêmes vieux soldats avec leurs médailles militaires, nommés par le président Trump pour gérer (et mettre en faillite) l’empire américain. Ils n’apprennent rien de l’histoire!

En fait, comme je détaillé dans “TL’histoire de la culture de la guerre“, au cours de l’histoire, l’État est parvenu à monopoliser la culture de la guerre. D’autres entités, telles que les villes qui ont fleuri en Europe au Moyen Âge, ont été prises en charge par l’État, et donc n’ont plus de culture de la guerre.

Tout cela montre que pour progresser vers une culture de paix, nous devons développer des alternatives au pouvoir de l’Etat. C’est pourquoi je travaille pour un réseau mondial de villes de la culture de la paix qui pourrait éventuellement gérer les Nations Unies lorsque le système d’État s’effondrera dans la faillite et le chaos.

How to recognize women’s leadership

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Over the years at CPNN we have seen the global movement for a culture of peace developing in thousands of articles about initiatives throughout the world.  Looking over these initiatives, we can see that women are usually in the lead, and in any case, they are involved as essential players.  This month’s bulletin illustrates this clearly.  Initiatives of the United Nations for peace, initiatives of the civil society such as Nonviolent Peaceforce, various prizes for peace, in all of these we see the predominant role of women.

As we remarked in an earlier blog, “the linkage between women’s equality, development and peace is essential to replace the historical inequality between men and women that has always characterized the culture of war and violence.

This is not to say that women will save us by themselves.  Instead, what is needed is collaboration between women and men on the basis of equality.  It is necessary that not only women, but also men struggle for the equality of women, and that everyone becomes conscious of its importance.  As a first step, it is necessary that men are involved in the struggle to eliminate violence against women.

When I was working at UNESCO and responsible for developing the initial drafts of the United Nations Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, many of my colleagues, both men and women, urged me not to include equality of women as a distinct domain of the culture of peace but to include it in a broader category of equality in general, including race, sexual orientation, etc.  Fortunately, I resisted their pressure and we were able to include women’s equality, put simply, as one of the domains of action for a culture of peace.

Of course, it is important to struggle for equality of all people with regard to race, sexual orientation, etc., but we need to recognize the special significance of gender.  From the beginning of humanity, as far as it can be determined, women were excluded from warfare, and hence they were excluded from the power of violence which has continued to characterize human culture up until the present time, and especially the nation-state.  To arrive at a culture of peace, both the subordination of women and the political dominance of violence will have to be reversed, and the two struggles are intrinsically related.

In this regard, we need to take another look at our conception of leadership.  Is it by chance that when we speak of leadership for a culture of peace and we mention Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, we are mentioning only men?  Where are the women leaders?

In reading this month’s article in CPNN about Ela Bhatt, I recall how I met her a number of year’s ago in Hamilton, Ontario, after giving a talk at Hamilton’s annual Gandhi festival.  I had spoken about Gandhi’s message as being important for a culture of peace.  Afterwards, this little lady, very modest, approached me to say that she had appreciated the message.  I didn’t recognize her, so I asked her who she was.  Ela Bhatt, she replied.  I didn’t recognize the name, but asked if she was involved with the culture of peace.  She told me that she was visiting family in Hamilton, but back in India she did trade union work with women.  I asked more and discovered that she has done amazingly courageous and effective work in organizing thousands (millions?) of women in India into a trade union for their basic human rights.

Ela’s demeanor was so modest, that one had to ask and listen patiently in order to know of her exemplary leadership.

From this we can draw an important lesson about recognizing leadership.  Great leaders are not necessarily in the news.  They are not necessarily involved with the politics of nations.  They may be modest.  And they may be women!

Fortunately, there are those who recognize this.  Go to the website, Theelders.org and and there, at the same time as you can read about the work of Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan and Jimmy Carter, you can also read about the work of Ela Bhatt, Graça Machel, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Mary Robinson and Hina Jilani.

It was by reading Theelders.org that I found the article about Ela Bhatt.

Leadership of Women for a Culture of Peace

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Women’s equality is essential to the culture of peace.  When we sent the draft Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace from UNESCO to the UN General Assembly in 1998, we made it clear that the linkage is essential between women’s equality, development and peace: “Only this . . . can replace the historical inequality between men and women that has always characterized the culture of war and violence.”  In fact, at the dawn of humanity the monopolization of war and violence by men led to the historical exclusion of women from political and economic power (see my study Why There Are So Few Women Warriors for a scientific explanation).   In order to achieve a culture of peace, the inequality must be reversed.

This month’s CPNN bulletin shows that the reversal is well underway:  the leadership of women for a culture of peace is more and more recognized, and the equality of women is being increasingly achieved.  Of course, much remains to be accomplished, but what is important is that the process is underway.  From time to time, there are setbacks, but for the most part, the process is irreversible.  Women are gaining equality, and they are in the leadership of the Global Movement for a Culture of Peace.  Their leadership is being recognized  throughout the world.  In this month’s bulletin, there are women recognized by peace prizes from Yemen, Liberia, Kenya, Iran, Myanmar, Ireland, Guatemala, United States, Egypt, Tunisia, Indonesia and Bolivia.

At the United Nations, Resolution 1325 was adopted by the Security Council under the leadership of Anwarul Chowdury  from Bangladesh in 2000  to provide a role for women in UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding , but ever since then, it has been difficult to get it implemented.  There are some successes, but the struggle goes at the UN, as described in this month’s CPNN bulletin.

There is an intrinsic relation between the culture of war and violence against women.  It is evident that rape has always been a weapon of war, but that is not all.   There is a consistent finding by social scientists, both political scientists and anthropologists, that there is a high correlation between the frequency of warfare of the state or non-state society and the frequency of local, including domestic violence, at the lower level.  These studies also show that the causal relationship is one-way, that it is the higher level that influences the lower level.  This consistent finding is understood to be the result of the fact that the state or tribe trains young men as warriors to be violent, and that violence by the state or tribe serves as a behavioral model for  the family and community.  Hence, the struggle for a culture of peace must include the struggle to end violence against women.