Peace is the absence of war and the existence of harmonious relations. It is the freedom from disputes. Peace is also justly defined as the absence of mental stress or anxiety or the general security of public places. Women play a key role in the ensuring of this peace in whichever aspect we view it with regards to national or international security. The belief in the close connection between the treatment of women and national or international security, as I endeavor to ascertain in the next paragraphs, is indeed justified.
It is a globally accepted fact that places that have been known to be dangerous for women have posed the significant threat to both national and international security. Just a few years ago, in 2011, a list of world rankings of the most dangerous countries for women was released after a thorough research and scientific formalities. Number one the list was Afghanistan closely followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo. The two countries were followed by Pakistan, India, and Somalia in that order. In the same year, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India were actively involved in the war. Somalia, on the other hand, is yet to come to settle after decades of forced immigration, oppression, and war. The Democratic Republic of Congo is also experiencing a great deal of political instability. It could be said that these are just numbers ( Shivakamar 2013).
Studying the lists of the worst places for women and the countries at war, we can come up with a conclusion that there exists the relationship between the two. It cannot be pure coincidence that the mentioned countries share great commonality when it comes to how they treat women. Five out of five countries have a matter of national or international or even both security issues to handle. This shows one hundred percent correlation between the countries' level of security and the way they treat women. Causality is, however, not attached to the treatment as different countries have different reasons for instability.
It is difficult to argue on women treatment in today's world without mentioning domestic violence. The reason could be that women are generally more prone to domestic violence than men or maybe because, in the countries that deem women to be inferior, domestic violence is experienced more frequently. In the act of committing violence, a man experiences the psychological effect that makes him even more violent. A man who beats his wife at home is truly more likely to cause violence outside his home. The psychological effect does not cease here.
In case of the existence of children in the family, a house marred with domestic violence is likely to produce violent and disturbed children. This comes as a result of the cognitive ability of children to learn from their elder ones, in this case, the parents.
In philosophical dimension, no man should declare himself superior to another. By so doing, the man makes himself inferior by defying the natural rule that all men are born equal and should be treated as such. Therefore, in subjecting someone to inferiority, we violate their intrinsic human dignity. By treating women as such, we disturb the social balance and create a society with tensions and the possibility of unrest or even incomplete harmony for the peaceful coexistence of both genders. The connection between the treatment of women and security is indeed justified.
Road to World Peace
The road to world peace is one we ought to all take regardless of individual traits such as color and tribe, gender and age. It is our journey as we entirety share the earth. It is therefore inevitable to accept that the road to world peace is highly dependent upon the way women are treated. Indeed, women play crucial roles in the pursuit for peace.
Women make up about 50 per cent of the population worldwide. It is in this order that they should participate in whatsoever sphere affecting the society. Including women in peace organizations increases the likelihood of attaining peace. Nevertheless, women are not often regarded as potential members of peace processes despite the fact that they are as equally affected as everyone else. They are thus left out of both reconciliation and negotiation (Vlauchoud 32).
Participation of women in peace processes would see us reach out a more realistic and proportionate population of society; this would, in turn, lead to the coming up with a well-representing peace agreement that meets the needs of everyone affected.
In biblical history, women such as Esther and Ruth demonstrated very good relational and verbal skills. They (women) take part in homemaking and rising up of children. This is where opportunities for peace making begin. This portrays us a somewhat natural essence of women in managing conflict situations.
Moreover, women have proven to be equal to the task by performing the same roles delivering the same quality and doing so under similar conditions as men. It is, therefore, necessary that we provide equal opportunity to both parties. In line with this, a relevant example lies in the increasing of numbers of women in peace processes by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in the UN. This responsibility also trickles down to individual countries contributing to the armies of soldiers.
It is important to have female peacekeepers. They act as role models giving inspiration to the female society to strive for the provision of their own rights and participation in national and international affairs. Increased women involvement empowers the community and aids in addressing the needs of female ex-militaries in the process of integration back to life from the army, also known as life after war. It also gives the peace forces a friendly appeal; women tend to find it more approachable and make it easier to address sensitive issues such as gender-based violence as women will be freer talking to other women about it as compared to men. Women could also provide links between the forces and women in societies where women are culturally allowed to address men. We have therefore not done enough in our attempt to attain world peace.
Our contribution to attaining world peace is still below par. There were only 22 women serving as peace keepers in the UN by 1989. Today, women make up 30 per cent of the peacekeeping force. Improving on this statistics will see a general improvement in world peace. This is a clear indication that the road to world peace is highly dependent upon the way women are treated.
Need for Less Violence against Women, More Equitable Family Law, and Inclusion of Women in Decision Making Bodies
During armed conflicts, women tend to be on the receiving end, in fact, more than men are. They are exposed to gender-based violence, the responsibility of ensuring their own survival as well as their children's and also care for the elderly. Women could also be used as a means of offensive during the war in an attempt to attack the very heart of the society. This is by employing evil means such as forced prostitution, rape, and sexual slavery. This is used to demoralize and show dishonor to the warring country as well as instill fear and smear humiliation on the victim. As women are the major targets of war, they, therefore, form major targets of war prevention. Less violence on women will mean less provocation of the opponent in war; this could result in calm and the creation of an environment more conducive for peace negotiations (Rehn Elisabeth 198).
Less violence on women will also mean that men are nurturing themselves to be peaceful beings. In doing this, they become role models for younger men to look up to. They cut down on the psychological impact we earlier addressed. This cordial treatment of women will culminate to a more peaceful and harmonious society.
Women, like other human beings, have the right to participate in life defining decisions. These decisions affect their lives as well. Since women know their situation best, they should at least be granted equal participation in decision-making. It is their intrinsic right to have their perspectives and opinions effectively and sufficiently considered at all levels of decision-making. This ability of women to make a difference could best be exploited by allowing, promoting, and sustaining women's participation in the political mainstream and governance of a country.
Public offices are positions of public trust, those who assume these offices are to serve and account to them. The extent of implementation of public accountability varies from country to country. Women are known to be more conscious of trust and fidelity and tend to implement it more than men despite the fact that this is not a general tendency (Miranda 11).
The more equitable family law will serve the purpose of protecting both women and men. This will attain an equal atmosphere for one to exploit their maximum potential in the family and society for the common good. It will reduce the cases of domestic violence and abuse. This legislation of equitable family law is more urgent in communities that consider women inferior.
In conclusion, the gap between male and female should be bridged if not done away with if we are to make better progress in attaining peace. It will serve all right as we are all affected even though we may not realize it by poor treatment of one gender by another, in this case, female by the male. In order to bridge the gap, we should allow our women to bring out their best without bias, prejudice or stereotype. This will help us make much faster progress.