Yes Women, Yes Now: Your Assignment
- A Statement by Patricia Smith Melton
Last week I looked at how the power of women is rising throughout the world. Combined with the power of the Internet, the 5th World Conference on Women will be a game-changer for peace, the tipping point where in the future people will look back and say, “That was when women changed the world.”
This week, let’s look at how women are primary peacemakers.
Documentation shows that specific “Peace Pillars” must be in place if societies are to thrive, which by definition means to live in peace. Peace needs substance if it is to last. These Pillars, as defined by Peace X Peace, include financial stability, inclusive governing bodies, safety from violence, ecological sustainability, and rights of education, health, free speech, and open communication. It is primarily women, and primarily at the local level, whose work builds these Pillars.
We know, just as one example, that it is women who best manage money at the local level, resulting in health and education for their children; and that the health and education of young women results in their employment; and that employment is the leading factor lifting families, villages, and regions out of poverty.
The 5WCW would bring together young and older women — from rural villages, urban sprawl, and higher echelons — to integrate and augment their experiences and wisdom on how to build the Pillars of Peace, and they would apply this knowledge in widening circles. The equation is: The most effective and cost efficient way to achieve peace is to increase connections and communication between women so they can do the work they are already doing with more impact and in more levels of society.
Further, and with an incalculable impact, the global web of Internet connection means that the knowledge and inspiration emerging onsite at the 5WCW would spread exponentially not only to and for the women of the world but to and for men and families. It would be an interactive forum where NGOs, international relief organizations, and individuals attend the sessions from their homes in Ghana, Afghanistan, Columbia, Laos, Tibet, China, Norway, India, the U.S, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, and everywhere. The millions of participants online would be multitudes greater than attendees onsite.
The 5WCW will be a unifying gathering place for the women, and men, of the world to be inspired, gain tools, and unite with their global peer groups to bring positive change to the world. It will be a gateway to new and cooperative ways of living, working for mutual benefit, trusting each other, and celebrating life as friends instead of strangers. It can be the moment when the global community for peace reaches critical mass, led by women.
1) The Global Call to Prayer for a 5WCW on Earth Day, April 22, has passed. But you can still take a moment for prayer, meditation, or visualization of a 5WCW. Bring your intent to helping decision-makers recognize that a global women’s agenda supports the earth and to inspiring UN Member States to act on behalf of women and girls by introducing a resolution for the 5WCW before the 66th session ends in September 2012.
2) Participate in the email campaign to thank Mr. Al-Nasser and Ban Ki-moon for their joint proposal on March 8. Praise them for their initiative and leadership and encourage them to continue their support, knowing there is a groundswell of support for 5WCW. Email addresses: President of the General Assembly H.E. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser at firstname.lastname@example.org and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at email@example.com. CC please to Executive Director of UN Women Michelle Bachelet at firstname.lastname@example.org, Jean Bolen at email@example.com, and me, firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information go to www.5wcw.org, where your organization can add their name to the petition officially supporting 5WCW.
3) Forward and post this commentary to your friends and social networks asking them to step forward with you. Add your own passionate appeal. Thank you!