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Creating a Culture of Peace
A Workshop Kit Produced by Canadian Voice
of Women for Peace

Women's Contribution to a Culture of Peace

A statement from the Fourth World Conference on Women, in Beijing, China in 1995, noted that women are to an alarming degree the main victims of war and violence. The culture of violence affects women in many ways - through direct physical and sexual violence, especially in war, the ultimate expression of the culture of violence. Women also suffer disproportionately from the neglect of social services for excessive military expenditure.

But the statement also declares that "the dynamic movement towards a culture of peace derives inspiration and hope from women's visions and actions". Full respect for the human rights of women; the release of women's creative potential in all aspects of life; the equal participation of women in decision-making; equal access to educational opportunities for woman and girls; the promotion of equality between women and men are all seen as prerequisites to attaining a culture of peace.

The priorities of the Women and a Culture of Peace project include:

·Mainstreaming a gender perspective into all work on the culture of peace program.

·Supporting women's initiatives for peace, including women's peace missions to conflict areas.

·Enhancing women's participation in democratic processes.

·Encouraging new expectations to men and looking at socialization of boys and men.

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