Global Movement for a Culture of Peace
4. Equality of Women and Men By David Adams
December 2005

Sources

Early History of Culture of Peace

Civil Society Report on Culture of Peace

UN Declaration and Programme of Action

Latest UN Resolution

Latest UNESCO Report

UNESCO Website for Culture of Peace

Internet Information Board for Decade Report

Internet Information Board for Strategy Discussion

Internet Information Board to Monitor Media

Culture of Peace News Network

Original draft of UN Declaration and Programme of Action

Initial UNESCO Report

Recent General Assembly Debate

Original UNESCO Document

UNESCO Debate on Human Right to Peace

UNESCO Monograph

UNESCO Brochure for Seville Statement

Sintra Plan of Action for Education

El Salvador National Programme

Mozambique National Programme

The fourth programme area of the Programme of Action for a Culture of Peace is equality between women and men. In the original draft sent from UNESCO, it was pointed out that:

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.

Of course, there are many kinds of inequality in the world, all of which need to be redressed by a culture of peace, but the inequality between women and men is special, having originated very early in prehistory in relation to the culture of war. In Why There Are So Few Women Warriors, a scientific study for which I used cross-cultural anthropolgical methodology, it could be shown that the historical inequality between women and men originated as the result of the resolution of a social contradiction between the institutions of war and marriage. Men married from neighboring tribes (exogamy and patrilocality) rather than within the tribe, and wars were carried out against neighboring tribes (internal war). As a result, when war broke out, the wife had split loyalties; her husband was fighting on one side and her brothers on the other. To quote the study:

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.

In all respects, there is a complementary in two great social movements: the struggle for women's equality contributes greatly to a culture of peace, while, at the same time the struggle for a culture of peace contributes to women's equality by addressing the fundamental roots of inequality.

One of the proposals for international peace and security of the UN Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, to "promote greater involvement of women in prevention and resolution of conflicts" (point j) became the basis a year later for Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. However, many of the important proposals of this resolution have yet to be implemented five years after its adoption.

Issues

Index

News about Culture of Peace

Historical Perspective

Seville Statement on Violence

National Programmes for a Culture of Peace

Definition of Culture of Peace

UN Declaration and Programme of Action

International Year and Manifesto 2000

Decade and Midterm Report

Main Actors for a Culture of Peace

Role of Mass Media

Culture of Peace News Network

1. Peace Education

2. Sustainable Development

3. Human Rights

4. Equality of Women and Men

5. Democratic Participation

6. Understanding, Tolerance and Solidarity

7. Free Flow of Information and Knowledge

8. International Peace and Security

Non-Violence

Strategy and Tactics

New Issues