As we observe the International Day of Peace, we ask that you keep in mind and join the efforts of women who fight for their own type of peace: a culture of peace, climate justice as peace, migrant justice as peace, indigenous rights and determination as peace, gender equality as peace, the right to education for girls as peace, a clean ocean as peace, among many other forms of peace. The list continues since women’s struggle for equality, justice, a healthy and sustainable world, is striving and fighting for peace. At the core is peace, for an individual, a family, a community, a nation, a world.
We bring you reflections from FemTaskForce (FTF) members beginning with one of our FTF leaders, Marta Benavides, who has dedicated her life to building a Culture of Peace and advocating for peace in her country of El Salvador, identified by the United Nations (UN) as one of the most violent countries in the world. We also share reflections from FTF staff, Erica Carlino, who has worked in the field with victims of sex trafficking in Eastern Europe and advocates at the UN on behalf of marginalized and and stateless peoples.
Today, September 21st, the International Day of Peace, at a time when the world is in pieces, when it celebrates the money-making machine for the very few that systematically and at each moment, has been created and celebrated as a matter of success, we must pause and think? No, pause and see that all the signs speak loud and clear: We must stop to create the ways for the creation of a world that can and must live in peace in a healthy environment.
There is great suffering in the world and we have all allowed it to be. So far there is a great transition going on to keep this world of false solutions going, going, and going to make sure that those who want to save themselves and go to Mars, do that. THAT IS THEIR PEACE- that is not the peace nor the dream of the billions of people who are living here today, on MOTHER EARTH. We do not want a PIECE, a LITTLE PIECE OF PEACE. We want complete PEACE. We work at living in PEACE here, in a healthy planet. The whole of humanity must be about this. That is why we all need to learn on how to be global citizens, which is to care for the quality of life of peoples the world over, and be Planetary Citizens, that is to be mindful and caring of Mother Earth, the planet.
–Marta Benavides – El Salvador
In New York | September 21 – In 2018 when natural disaster and violence have uprooted significant portions of the population; and the dollar is often celebrated over the human condition, the International Day of Peace is a good time for us to reflect.
Today the world needs peace more than ever, for its people and for the planet. Too many people are living at the edge, and planetary exploitation of resources is at an all-time high. Continuing on in our current fashion is truly unsustainable, and when reflecting on peace, peace must be sustainable. It must also be just, and encompassing of empathy and compassion for our sisters and brothers suffering, and the suffering of the planet.
In the words of her Excellency Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, president elect of the 73rd UN General Assembly, the first woman from Latin America and the fourth woman to hold this position since the founding of the UN 73 years ago, [also put in quotes in some part of post] “Each day we must search for solutions to the most difficult problems that face humanity and our planet.” And while we search for solutions we must also be taking action with solutions on the ground. As members of civil society and the women’s movement, we work to support her road map laid out for the coming year.
When working for peace, we must work toward changing the global dialogue to see that migrants and refugees are not the threat, but war, conflict, and climate change related natural disasters are. By promoting the idea that we are all global and planetary citizens, we strengthen a common stewardship. Furthermore, we must embody compassion and share it with all we meet, lest not forget that we are all connected and affected by what happens here on this earth.
Erica Carlino, FTF