79.7 F
Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesPEACE: FOR WOMEN, IT'S A LIFE AND DEATH ISSUE

PEACE: FOR WOMEN, IT'S A LIFE AND DEATH ISSUE

Is it a cliché that suggests that women are "natural peacemakers"? Does this image stem from a perception of women in their roles as mothers, or does it reflect some truth common to all women?
Women are perceived as more compassionate, less threatening, more willing to listen, learn, and opt for reconciliation over force. Traditionally women have been acknowledged as peacemakers within the home, separating squabbling children with the paramount need to protect and cherish.
Now that women are playing much wider roles in society, gender-based assessment seems to show that women have something special to contribute to the larger realization of victory over violence, of the realization of peace.
Women have primarily been the victims of marital or partner conflict. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44. Every 21 days, on average, a woman is killed by domestic violence in the United States, according to the Bureau of Primary Health Care Database. Studies show that some 70 percent of murdered women are killed by current or former husbands or lovers.
But there is another significant threat to women by husbands and lovers — unprotected sex with men who have multiple partners. Women account for 50 percent of the cases of AIDS, according to the V.I. Health Department Office of HIV/AIDS Surveillance quarterly report of June 30, 1999.
Among women, nearly half — 47 percent — of the AIDS cases reported were attributed to heterosexual contact. Women are the fastest-growing population of AIDS cases.
While every abusive relationship tells an individual story that may differ in some respects from other relationships, the common pattern of abusive behavior centers around the issues of power, control and manipulation. How can we deal with deeply entrenched cultural mores and traditional gender roles? How can women break out of the cycle of being abused and misused?
My own view is that women need to be more empowered and to take more responsibility. We need institutions and practices that will create opportunities for women to understand and recognize that violence, sexual or otherwise, is unacceptable. We need women to take responsibility for the sexual act, for it is costing them their lives.
We need to create the confidence in women that love at any cost is not true love. We need to energize women to take their capabilities of managing work and family in a holistic way and to apply these capabilities to all aspects of their lives.
Women who still believe that staying quiet and submitting to male domination sexually and otherwise in the home is "keeping the peace" cannot hope to contribute to peace-building on a wider scale.
A young woman, my teenage daughter, suggested that women should produce images of peace and nonviolence which are as interesting and gripping as those of fighting and war.
An older woman, in a discussion on AIDS, stated that her anger at being helpless before her mate led her to act violently rather than responsibly, as she would have done if she were dealing with her children.
Women with decision-making authority in the home must find the courage to change their helplessness and seek assistance from organizations that can make a difference. Women who have decision-making authority in the media, the courts, the offices, the medical community, the Senate must utilize the same skills of understanding, communication and negotiation to bring about change in the institutions in which we work.
Let us be proud of who we are, accept and respect ourselves, and require the same respect of our partners when in their arms as we do in the other aspects of our lives. Let us join with youth in the pledge of victory over violence:
"I, [say your name], will value my own life.
"Recognizing that a lack of self-identity and hope for the future lies at the root of all violence, I will reach beyond my limitations, taking concrete steps each day to uncover my real potential.
"I will never give up on my dreams, even if they seem impossible.
"I will respect all life.
"Recognizing that violence comes in many forms, I will not isolate myself but will create an environment where others feel comfortable and can be themselves.
"I will see beyond the superficial differences and reflect on my own behavior.
"I will inspire hope in others.
"With courage, I will resolutely stand against violence, be it verbal, physical or passive, and teach others through my own example.
"I will support others and encourage them to follow their dreams."

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.
Previous articleWALTER SAILS AGAIN!
Next articleGUNMAN ROBS FIRST BANK




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

STAY CONNECTED

20,771FansLike
4,715FollowersFollow

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more
Is it a cliché that suggests that women are "natural peacemakers"? Does this image stem from a perception of women in their roles as mothers, or does it reflect some truth common to all women?
Women are perceived as more compassionate, less threatening, more willing to listen, learn, and opt for reconciliation over force. Traditionally women have been acknowledged as peacemakers within the home, separating squabbling children with the paramount need to protect and cherish.
Now that women are playing much wider roles in society, gender-based assessment seems to show that women have something special to contribute to the larger realization of victory over violence, of the realization of peace.
Women have primarily been the victims of marital or partner conflict. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44. Every 21 days, on average, a woman is killed by domestic violence in the United States, according to the Bureau of Primary Health Care Database. Studies show that some 70 percent of murdered women are killed by current or former husbands or lovers.
But there is another significant threat to women by husbands and lovers -- unprotected sex with men who have multiple partners. Women account for 50 percent of the cases of AIDS, according to the V.I. Health Department Office of HIV/AIDS Surveillance quarterly report of June 30, 1999.
Among women, nearly half -- 47 percent -- of the AIDS cases reported were attributed to heterosexual contact. Women are the fastest-growing population of AIDS cases.
While every abusive relationship tells an individual story that may differ in some respects from other relationships, the common pattern of abusive behavior centers around the issues of power, control and manipulation. How can we deal with deeply entrenched cultural mores and traditional gender roles? How can women break out of the cycle of being abused and misused?
My own view is that women need to be more empowered and to take more responsibility. We need institutions and practices that will create opportunities for women to understand and recognize that violence, sexual or otherwise, is unacceptable. We need women to take responsibility for the sexual act, for it is costing them their lives.
We need to create the confidence in women that love at any cost is not true love. We need to energize women to take their capabilities of managing work and family in a holistic way and to apply these capabilities to all aspects of their lives.
Women who still believe that staying quiet and submitting to male domination sexually and otherwise in the home is "keeping the peace" cannot hope to contribute to peace-building on a wider scale.
A young woman, my teenage daughter, suggested that women should produce images of peace and nonviolence which are as interesting and gripping as those of fighting and war.
An older woman, in a discussion on AIDS, stated that her anger at being helpless before her mate led her to act violently rather than responsibly, as she would have done if she were dealing with her children.
Women with decision-making authority in the home must find the courage to change their helplessness and seek assistance from organizations that can make a difference. Women who have decision-making authority in the media, the courts, the offices, the medical community, the Senate must utilize the same skills of understanding, communication and negotiation to bring about change in the institutions in which we work.
Let us be proud of who we are, accept and respect ourselves, and require the same respect of our partners when in their arms as we do in the other aspects of our lives. Let us join with youth in the pledge of victory over violence:
"I, [say your name], will value my own life.
"Recognizing that a lack of self-identity and hope for the future lies at the root of all violence, I will reach beyond my limitations, taking concrete steps each day to uncover my real potential.
"I will never give up on my dreams, even if they seem impossible.
"I will respect all life.
"Recognizing that violence comes in many forms, I will not isolate myself but will create an environment where others feel comfortable and can be themselves.
"I will see beyond the superficial differences and reflect on my own behavior.
"I will inspire hope in others.
"With courage, I will resolutely stand against violence, be it verbal, physical or passive, and teach others through my own example.
"I will support others and encourage them to follow their dreams."