Engendering’s gender perspective on a culture of peace

Breines, Ingeborg. Towards a Women’s Agenda for a Culture of Peace. Paris. UNESCO. 1999.

This manual sets out specific initiatives concerning the participation of women in peace, women criticism to the rules of peace, etc.. The second chapter of the first part, entitled  “Engendering’s Gender Perspective on a Culture of Peace”, tries to explain that only if men and women work together equally in rights we  will overcome the obstacles that prevent us from building a vision of future.

The author is Ingeborg Breines, Director of UNESCO’s program “Women and the Culture of Peace”.  This chapter relies on the interdisciplinary project  of the same Organization, “Towards a Culture of Peace” (1998), based on the principles described in the Charter of the United Nations. UNESCO believes that peace must be sustained by democratic participation, good governance and creativity. Education in all its forms is understood as the key to democracy in daily life. According to Federico Mayor Zaragoza, the “culture of peace consists in moving from the logic of force and fear to the force of reason and love”.

The X point of the Letter of Peace addressed  to the UN says “Democracy must take a qualitative leap in order to defend and favour every person´ s opportunity to live in keeping with his or her conscience without ever, of course, curtailing anyone else´s freedom, or causing damage to others or to oneself”.  But what does this  mean, which aspects have to be changed? Furthermore, the point IX suggests: “it is clear that it is impossible to build worldwide peace while in society itself, and even in the family,  there is disdain towards more than half of its members: (children, senior citizens, marginalized groups and, of course, women).  Rather, a full recognition and respect for their dignity and their rights would lead towards favouring peace”. In sum, Breines´s book and the Letter of Peace addressed to the UN agree completly that equality, development and peace are inextricably linked: there can be no lasting peace without development, or sustainable development without full equality between men and women.

Marta Ramón Pascual. Journalist.

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