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women's movement

Women's movement
(Coordinator Comment)

Among the most important advances achieved by the civil society have been the gaining of the vote for women and the election of women to parliament and other government positions at all levels from local government to heads of state. Although women have now gained the right to vote in all but a few countries, the women's movement remains active and strong because there is much yet to be accomplished in a constant struggle with gains and losses.

In many, but not all countries, progress has also been made against that extreme form of male domination, rape. Susan Brownmiller's 1975 book, Against Our Will, was the product of a powerful movement of women during the 60's and 70's to break the silence surrounding rape. There were thousands of "consciousness-raising groups" of women at that time. As Brownmiller explains, she was inspired by their movement (see World Peace through the Town Hall and the History of the Culture of War).

In peace education there is a strong current of feminists arguing that the struggle against patriarchy is the key struggle for a culture of peace. A particularly effective advocate of this approach is Betty Reardon and her book, Sexism and the War System (1985).

Experience with national culture of peace projects have shown that networks of women in poor, rural and working class neighborhoods are the strongest force for social change based on the principles of a culture of peace. This is consistent with the recognition by all social movements that they need to be closely allied to women's movements and networks to draw strength from women's participation and energy It is understood that no other movement, whether it is peace or labor or ecological sustainability can achieve its goals if women continue to be exploited and treated unfairly.

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game administrator Mar. 30 2009,15:20
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