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AFWW Newsletter #42 - Jan 2016 - Women Rising!!  Cause for Hope

Men Can't Deliver Enduring Peace
Swanee Hunt w/ Fareed Zakaria
IIS and Progress in 2015
A Woman as UN Secretary General?
John Kerry on Critical Role for Women
About AFWW
Quotable Quote 
"Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war."
Martin Luther King, Jr
A Good Book

The book introducing the Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai, "I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban." 
Whether Malala knows it or not, her advocacy of education for girls is a major weapon in the struggle to end war, because the empowerment of women is a necessary condition for winning and maintaining such a future.  

A Good Movie
 "Suffragette", starring Meryl Streep in a cameo of Emmeline Pankhurst and Carey Mulligan as a British woman who is awakened to the need for women to have a vote in order to have a say. The harsh lives of women of that era are powerfully depicted, and serve as a gripping reminder to the young women of now just what kind of lives they might have been living if the women who went before them had not been wiling to suffer beatings and jail and even risk-of-life to make change happen.  
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A Future Without War
Believe in it.
Envision it.
Work for it.
And we will achieve it.

These three quick links are to Dr. Hand's core articles on paradigm shift:

To Abolish War

Shaping the Future

More Links:

"Guernica" by Pablo Picasso
Depicts the bombing of the Basque town of Guernica, 1937

Men cannot deliver enduring peace. As pointed out in this essay by AFWW's founder Judith Hand, since the beginning of recorded history we have been "Locked in the Embrace of Male Biology," and despite the now-and-then efforts of men of good will to end the barbarity, we have experienced unending cycles of war.
Recent advances in knowledge, looking at both biology and actually measuring rates of war in many cultures, reveals that when a society empowers women in leadership positions, rates of internal and external wars significantly decline. See, for examples, the book Sex and World Peace, by Valerie M. Hudson, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Mary Caprioli, & Chad F. Emmett, 2012.

Evolutionary biologist Dr. Judith Hand explains why putting women into leadership roles correlates with a decline in wars. In Shift: The Beginning of War, The Ending of War she explores the biology of why women are significantly different from men when it comes to using physical violence to resolve conflicts, including the violence of war.  
In essence--and in very broad terms--physical violence and war are highly disadvantageous to women's reproductive success while using physical violence can actually be advantageous for male reproductive success; consequently, natural selection has produced a sexual difference (sexual dimorphism) in women's and men's proclivity for using violence, with women much more strongly preferring to live in and create socially stable (peaceful) communities.
Because of this stronger-than-men's female preference for social stability as opposed to war, empowering a critical mass of women leaders is a necessary condition of an enduring peace. It is not a guarantee, as other aspects of culture must also change if war is to become a bad memory of humanity's past, but without the shared input of women into our social lives and governing bodies, history makes clear that enduring peace will continue to elude us.
Recognition of this power of women to profoundly change our approaches to conflict resolution is growing rapidly. Below you will find recent examples of the historically swift rise of women in leadership for you to consider, enjoy, and share with others:

Swanee Hunt talks with Fareed Zakaria on The Global Public Square

Former US Ambassador
Swanee Hunt, Lecturer at the Harvard University School of Government, has worked for years on the relationship of women to public life. She is the founder of Women Waging Peace and the Institute for Inclusive Security.
On January 4, 2016, she spoke with author and journalist Fareed Zakaria on his television show, The Global Public Square. She tells the story about her discovery of the importance of women to peace negotiations. Her message was simple: She discovered how when women are included in negotiations, the women work across lines and are more willing than men to compromise, which leads to a different kind of peace agreement, one that lasts.
Her interview was followed by Zakaria interviews of two women who illustrate the concept: Alaa Murabit, a woman involved in the Libyan conflict, and a Nigerian Christian Pastor, Esther Ibanga, a woman who founded a group called Women Without Walls. This group brought women from two different communities together, Christian and Muslim, to fight a common enemy, an approach that achieved success when working separately did not. This uniting of efforts by women from the opposed camps is reminiscent of the success Christian and Muslim women had in facilitating a peace treaty for their country, Liberia, so vividly depicted in the film "Pray the Devil Back to Hell," which can be viewed for free online. 
Dr. Hunt also highlighted the case of Ruanda, where very high numbers of women are in the Congress, and huge advances in many indicators of social progress are being made remarkably quickly.
You can see the entire 7 minute interview of all three women here:

Progress for Women in 2015

The Washington-based Institute for Inclusive Security, founded by Dr. Swanee Hunt, works with courageous women across the globe, in places like Syria, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and South Sudan. The Institute's year-end report offers examples of progress made in 2015:
    Women Defied ISIS in Syria
    In Sudan, Women's Representation Jumped from 4 to 207
    $10-25 Million was Earmarked for Women in the Police in
    National Policies for National Action Plans for Women was
            Strengthened in Dozen of Countries

A Woman Secretary General of the UN?

In an article for the Women's Media Center (WMC), Shazia Rafi explores the exciting possibility that it may be time for the Secretary General of the United Nations to be a woman. Rafi is a former Secretary-General of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) and a WMC SheSource Expert on a variety of international security issues such as arms control, international treaties, and international women's rights.
The article begins by saying that "2016 has started with two strong campaigns--by some 48 governments, led by Colombia's female ambassador to the United nations, and by NGOs, led by women experts on the UN--to elect the first woman secretary-general of the UN."
She reviews campaigns that have taken place in the past to promote a woman to the post and the nature of the current campaigns. She briefly explains what is involved in becoming the Secretary General, not a simple process. Then she highlights and lists some of the women being considered.
The listing itself points up in an exciting way the numbers of powerful and talented women of experience around the globe who are part of creating that "critical mass" of women needed to put in place a global peace system. Names mentioned are:
     Irina Bokova of Bulgaria,
     Vesna Pusic, foreign minister of Croatia,
     Federica Mogherini of Italy,
     Helen Clark of New Zealand,
     Susana Malcorra of Argentina,
     Karen Christiana Figueres Olsen of Costa Rica,
     Maria Ángela Holguin Cuéllar of Colombia,
     Michelle Bachelet of Chile, and
     Angela Merkel of Germany
You can read the entire article here:

John Kerry on the Critical Role for Women in Building a Lasting Peace System

The essential, necessary role women must play in building lasting peace could not be better explained than by US Senator John Kerry.  His Op-Ed piece for the DipNotes Blog in May 2014 is given here in full.
U.S Secretary of State, John Kerry
International Women's Day is more than a moment marked on a calendar. It is a day not just to renew our determination to make the world a more peaceful and prosperous place - but to recognize that a world where opportunities for women grow, is a world where the possibilities for peace, prosperity, and stability grow even more.

I see it every single day as Secretary of State. Even as the Assad regime's barrel-bombing of Aleppo continues, showing the world a brutal regime's true colors, with every act of courage and perseverance, Syria's women show the world their true colors as well. We heard from some of these remarkable women in Montreux just last month.

Their stories spoke to the bravery of countless other Syrian women. One woman from Idlib worked with the Free Syrian Army to ensure that the people of her village could remain in their homes and till their own land.  Another woman from Aleppo got restrictions on humanitarian access lifted by offering food to regime soldiers at the checkpoints. If that isn't courage under fire, I don't know what is.

It's not just in Syria that women offer us hope for resolution to conflict. Women are vital to our shared goals of prosperity, stability and peace. That's as true when it comes to ending our battles as it is jumpstarting our economies. The fact is that women bear the greatest burden in war. But their voices are too rarely heard in negotiating peace.

That has to change.

Countries that value and empower women to participate fully in decision-making are more stable, prosperous, and secure.  The opposite is also true. When women are excluded from negotiations, the peace that follows is more tenuous.  Trust is eroded, and human rights and accountability are often ignored.

In too many countries, treaties are designed by combatants for combatants.  It should come as no surprise, then, that more than half of all peace agreements fail within the first 10 years of signature. The inclusion of women in peace building and conflict prevention can reverse that trend.

So how do we get there?

Evidence from around the world has shown that deadly conflicts are more likely to be prevented, and peace best forged and protected, when women are included as equal partners.

That's why we are working to support women in conflict and post-conflict areas around the world.

In Afghanistan we are advocating for the inclusion and election of women at all levels of governance.  Afghan women today are marching forward in ways unimaginable just 10 years ago. They're starting companies.  They're serving as members of parliament. They're teaching in schools and working as doctors and nurses. They are the foundation upon which Afghanistan's future is being built.

As the people of Burma work to resolve the conflict that has plagued their nation for decades, the United States is supporting the meaningful participation of women in the peace process and inter-communal peace initiatives.

We know that the security of women is essential to their participation in peace building.  That's why we are working to ensure women get equal access to humanitarian assistance and relief, wherever we work.

The United States is also leading by example. My sister has worked for many years at the United Nations, following in the State Department footsteps of our father many years before I did myself. She's a trailblazer. But she's not alone. It's no coincidence that some  of our top diplomats and peace negotiators are women - from National Security Advisor Susan Rice, to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, to Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom, to Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman. Today, all but one of the State Department's Regional Assistant Secretaries are women.

We celebrate their accomplishments not just because they are women, but because their work around the world will make all people - men and women, boys and girls - more secure.

Peace is not the absence of conflict. It is the presence of every member of society working together to promote stability and prosperity.

No country can succeed unless every citizen is empowered to contribute to its future. And no peace can endure if women are not afforded a central role. So today, we mark the miles women have traveled around the world - but more importantly we commit to the next miles of the journey.

Lorelei Kelly on National Security

In an online article for Truthout in October 2008 Lorelei Kelly, a civic technologist based in Washington D.C. and involved with the project "Resilient Democracy," addressed the topic of Women and National Security, saying that "women must define the priorities debate." She makes the link between traditional "women's issues," which center around creating stable and safe communities by tending to such things as health care, education, clean water, and economic justice, and what needs to be done to create a stable and safe world. Here are some quotes to give you a sense of the article:
"The world has changed significantly, and America must make
     different choices about how to secure our future."
"The United States ranks 69th in the world in Congressional
      female representation. That's below both Afghanistan and
"The old 'guns versus butter' line is obsolete."
"The U.S. Army considers girls' education a vital link to achieving
      long-term stability."
"Whether the field of action is within our borders or abroad,
     national security today demands a broad understanding of
     what constitute making and defending the peace."
You can read the entire article here.  Her's is just one of thousands of articles and books published within the last ten years pointing the way to a more peaceful, just, sustainable future for our descendants that will rely on the empowerment of women.

About A Future Without War

We want to provide newsletter readers with a reminder about our extensive website, The materials can be a reference for personal use, something to share with friends or colleagues who doubt that it would ever be possible to abolish war, and as thought pieces to stimulate discussions, for example, by your students, a book group, or peace activist organizations. You will find on the site:

  • A Mission Statement
  • An Action Plan
  • Keynote Speech - Åbo University, Vaasa, Finland 2014 - "War is Not Inevitable"
  • Capstone Essay: "To Abolish War"
  • "Overview" Essays - 7 essays explaining the core rationale for why it is reasonable to believe we could abolish war if we make it a priority.
  • "Cornerstone" Essays - 9 essays explaining each of the broad categories of "good works" that we need to attend to simultaneously in any campaign to abolish war and maintain that state into the future.
  • "The Books" - a Table of Contents, reviews, and FREE download of Women, Power, and the Biology of Peace, links to purchase that book and also A Future Without War: the Strategy of a Warfare Transition"
  • A Link to the AFWW Blog
  • A Map of Nonviolent Cultures
  • A Video of Dr. Hand
  • Several Movie and Book Reviews
  • Archives of AFWW Newsletters
  • Links to over 150 Organizations involved in some aspect of the campaign to abolish war
  • Miscellaneous AFWW Essays

These are titles of and links to current Miscellaneous AFWW Essays 

A Future Without War
Believe in it. Envision it. Work for it.
And we will achieve it.

A Future Without War
Contact Info
A Future Without War Dr. Judith Hand P.O. Box 270074, San Diego, CA 92198