||Posted: Oct. 08 2011,15:14
The original draft of the UN Culture of Peace resolution, addressed the linkage between women's equality and the culture of peace:
"As recognized by the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing 1995), there is an inextricable linkage of peace with equality between women and men. Only this linkage of equality, development and peace can replace the historical inequality between men and women that has always characterized the culture of war and violence. As pointed out at the Conference, it is necessary to promote women's political and economic empowerment and equal representation at every level of decision-making so that women's experience, talents, visions and potential can make their full contribution to a culture of peace. This analysis is becoming generally accepted in the world today; for example, the Commonwealth states in its proposals for this programme of action that, historically, women themselves have always been anti-war and against violence in view of their roles as mothers and wives, and in times of conflict, women and children have always been the victims."
Looking back over history, as well as prehistory, one can see how it has been the culture of war that has perpetuated male domination. As stated in my study, Why There Are So Few Women Warriors:
"With the advent of internal war, patrilocality, and exogamy, there came a profound shift in male-female relations. The male monopolization of warfare was instituted and extended to hunting (in order to preclude the use of weapons by women) and to the initiation rites of the young (male) warriors. The inequality of power between men and women was institutionalized in a way from which we have never recovered."
I describe the subsequent stages in my book, The History of the Culture of War:
The inequality of power between men and women was further strengthened with the origin of the state, in which war played a decisive role. The rulers of the state were those who had been victorious in war, and as a result, from its origins the state has been dominated by men. There have always been a few exceptions . . . but the historical examples of women rulers stand out because they have been so few and exceptional. The vast majority of rulers have been men, and it may be assumed that this is related to the primacy of warfare as a function of the state, and the fact that military leaders have always been men.
As for elite education, it is only in the recent past that women have gained entrance . . .
Organized religion has similarly been dominated by men since the beginning of recorded history, and this can be understood to some extent in its relation to the man as warrior . . .
Male domination in the family and economic enterprises, eventually including the rise of great capitalist enterprises, has historically mirrored the male domination of the military, the state, elite education and religion . . . Since women could not work or own property they were not able to participate directly in the great development of the capitalist enterprise in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. It is only recently, with legal reforms and access to elite education that women have begun to break through the "glass ceiling" of male domination in the economy.
Violence against women is pervasive in all societies, and much, although not all, can be attributed to the culture of war . . .
The Nobel Prize of 2011 to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman as well as those of 2004 to Wangari Maathai and 2003 to Shirin Ebadi recognize the leading role that women have been playing in all the areas of the culture of peace, especially peace education, sustainable development, human rights, democratic participation, and tolerance and solidarity, not to mention women's equality. In general, we may state that the global movement of a culture of peace is being led by women; one among many signs of this is the fact that a majority of CPNN articles are written by women and concern activities being led by women.