From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women!
To explore some of the deeper social structures that promote and perpetuate violence against women and girls, last year the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) launched a multi-year campaign theme on the intersections of militarism and violence against women. While there are many different ways to define militarism, our working definition outlines militarism as an ideology that creates a culture of fear and supports the use of violence, aggression, or military interventions for settling disputes and enforcing economic and political interests. Militarism also privileges certain violent forms of masculinity, which often has grave consequences for the true safety and security of women, of men who do not conform to these roles, and of society as a whole. Current world events — including military interventions, femicides, attacks on civilians participating in political change, ongoing conflicts etc. — exemplify the distinctive way in which militarism influences how we see our neighbors, our families, our public life, and other people in the world.
Over the last year CWGL has heard accounts of how this theme resonates with many activists. One activist from Mozambique expressed her concern that there could not be “Peace on Earth while there is War in the Home.” Her comments stayed with us, and we hope this year’s theme describes the complex relationship between peace, home, and the world, and recognizes the many spaces where militarism influences our lives. Therefore, the 2011 theme slogan will be: