Thursday, August 18, 2005

Queens and politicians needed

Most of my posts to this blog of late have been on Cindy Sheehan or The Raging Grannies... but I'm jonesing for an across the board women around the world for peace info fix.

Herewith some women/peace, peace, peace/women, women oriented links:

a Quaker site

Rights Group Appeals for Safety of Afghanistan's Women Politicians
by Abid Aslam
Published on Thursday, August 18, 2005 by

Campaigning against Fear: Women’s Participation in Afghanistan’s 2005 Elections a report by human rights watch.

The secrets of African Women by Yolandi Groenewald really moved me. We simply have to increase women's open, honest and autonomous participation in all areas of life if there is to be any hope for peace. As Groenwald illustrates in this snippet of her article, peace had long been the concern of women before European imperial, corporate and largely male-dominated conquest of Africa:

Peace-keeping in Africa was traditionally a diplomatic art practised by shrewd queens who could teach today’s politicians a few things. “Queen Nzinga of the Kongo kingdom and Queen Mantataise of the Basotho are both prime examples that African culture did not originally have a patriarchal structure,” adds Ntsoane.

“Women leaders have always played an important role.” He says that wars were often prevented by arranged marriages. “If the Basotho and Batswana had a dispute, the elders would advise their daughters to marry into the opposing tribe and so make the tribe their ally.” The spirit of healing is embodied as a goddess, which is why sangomas, both male and female, wear “female” clothing with a queen-like head dress.

I should start compiling a list of societal institutions through which women have participated in mediating violence at all levels of society. The one I first want to check out is the Iroquois Grandmother's Council that is so liberally bandied about without source attribution.

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