Memorial Day, rightly, makes us pause in gratitude and respect as we think about those who have given their lives for our country. In fact, the day makes us think about war and the system of warfare in general. Warfare has become the “normal” state of existence, which, to me, is one of the greatest tragedies of our civilized world. Perhaps we could use this moment of consciousness to shift attention to the idea that without war, we’d have no need for national mourning let alone for a day set aside for such a sad purpose. Crazy thoughts, indeed! How would we ensure safety and security in a violent world without war – or at least without the threat of it?
Enter a new paradigm – peace. Informed peace. Peace meant to replace the militaristic systems that encourage war and ravage populations across time and geography. Peace fostered and led by a new sort of international leader – women. The Institute for Inclusive Security lays out a women-centered philosophy for peace-building, one that is gaining momentum across continents as more and more women refuse to stand by and watch their communities and families destroyed by senseless warfare. Take a peek at their ideas here and see what you think about their stated mission to "change the international security paradigm [because] sustainable peace is possible only when those who shape policy include women and other affected groups in the prevention and transformation of violent conflict."