Blog 4: Who creates harmony the world over? Women. Who signs peace deals? Men
In the guardian, this week this article struck my attention. Countries around the world are calling for a more balanced approach to finding solutions to conflicts and feel that women’s views on freedom from violence is needed. Because females are naturally great at negotiating conflicts within their personal and work lives, they will also be great at helping conflict between countries. Fewer than one in 40 of the signatories of major peace agreements since 1992 have been female, according to the UN development fund for women, Unifem. The requests for equal participation for women in “the maintenance and promotion of sustainable peace, have been ignored time and time again, yet not be just the UN itself. A survey done by From the Ground Up on Afghanistan, Liberia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sierra Leone found that, of the five countries women and girls had a tendency to form groups and coalitions to deal with problems and got on with resolving conflicts up to the point when the process became formal, when the men took over. The higher and more formal the level of peace-building is, the smaller the degree of female participation. This is a difference considering that men associate peace with absence of formal conflict and the stability of formal structures such as governance and infrastructure. Jackie Ballard, Womankind’s chief executive stated, "Women work together in some of the most difficult and dangerous places in the world to try to build lasting peace for themselves and their families”.
This is a very good point. Because peace will be among billions of people throughout the world, every gender should be able to have a say so in these peace talks. Not all men are conflict driven and strive to have control over everything, there are some who want to be just as peace as women and as women can to keep a level head. Yet in the world, there are still gender bias socially constructed views passed down from generation to generation that prohibit women taking a stand in anything. Just as the global data on females in parliament showed, in most of the countries that were mentioned, there is a lack of female representatives which makes the government unequally gendered. This is a global issue that definitely needs to be addressed and changed. Even though we are a lot better than we have been in the past, as a society was must keep pushing so that hopefully one day the seats in Congress could be filled with half men and half women and even people in that gray area that we talked about in class.