Why Women, Water & Peace?
Peace is possible, but peace requires the liberation and empowerment of women and the protection, cultural sovereignty and conservation of water. These three important elements of our theme are inextricably linked, harmonious and fundamental in the movements and struggles for social change and justice globally and locally.
Vandana Shiva brings important and grounded clarity to the fundamental nature of our theme in the above video. Find a link to her website on the Our World page.
- Patriarchy, the systemic oppression of men against women, often marked by emotional, physical and sexualized violence has been a feature of women's experience for thousands of years
- Economic justice is broadly restricted for all too many women around the world expressed in substantial pay gaps for equal work, laws and traditions that prevent women from owning land, social restrictions and deterrents to formal education, amongst other factors
- Women's voices are restricted, minimized and invalidated across many cultures within which abuse and violence becomes a response to women advocating for their aspirations, their families and their very lives and livelihoods; indigenous women, Women of Color, disabled women and those in the LGBTQ population bear the brunt and particular oppressive ferocity of oppression, violence and marginalization
- Sexualized exploitation and violence, including female genital mutilation, sexual harassment and rape are ubiquitous and traumatizing crimes against women committed by men and boys
- An African proverb says that if you want everyone in a culture to have something, give it to the women. The empowerment of women and girls impacts all of humanity. Women are creators of life and, for many cultures and traditions across the globe, are the carriers of the divine feminine energetic. Peace and justice will not be nurtured in the world without the liberation and empowerment of women and girls
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- The earth is 75% water. Only 3% of that is fresh water. Due to pollution and ecosystem destruction, only 1% of the world's water is drinkable.
- Corporate and industrial pollution, exploitation and abuse of water resources and the modern addiction to extractive industries is destroying traditional cultures' water sovereignty, restricting general access to clean and affordable municipal water sources along with destroying the pristine nature of rivers, lakes and the oceans that support all life and ecosystems. The earth's hydrological cycle is a closed system. What affects water in one place affects water everywhere. Without the increased and continuing protection and stewwardship of water resources, wetlands, waterways and oceans, the sanctity of all ecosystems and every person on earth is severely jeopardized.
- Many modern wars and conflicts are being ignited by fierce contention over access to water, solely or in addition to competition over oil or other resources. Privatization of water by corporations through bottling or the monopoly of municipal/regional water treatment and distribution is destructive to water sovereignty and resources. The case of Bechtel being forced out of Bolivia by popular resistance to their economic and environmental abuses is a good example of this dynamic.
- Absolutely no one, absolutely no living thing can survive on this earth without clean and readily available water. The destruction of water resources and public access by corporate privatizers and the jeopardizing and persistent pollution of waters by oil and gas pipelines and the effects of climate change must be substantially and consistently engaged and resisted.
- Traditional indigenous cultures across the globe have experienced water as sacred, one of humanity's, one of the earth's primary spiritual elements since the dawn of time and have been the earth's foremost stewards, protectors, educators and advocates for the safety and sanctity of water.
- More than just the absence of war and violence, peace is a complex of relationships between humans, cultures and nations and between humanity and the natural and energetic world around us. As representatives of traditional cultures have asserted, peace must be made with the earth, nature, spirit and each other for there to be a truly harmonious society.
- Without the liberation and empowerment of women and girls, without the protection of sacred and life-sustaining waters and the earth, there will be no world of peace and justice.
- Being abused and killed by patriarchal men and violent, war and conflict oriented, anti-social and anti-cultural systems, killing wildlife, whole ecosystems is now normalized - and does not have to stay "normal". Peace is an option that must be engaged in our cultural communications and narratives and our lifestyles, societies, cultures and nations.
- Peace is necessary as love is necessary as respect is necessary and solidarity is necessary as harmony is a fact of life. When we are in right and harmonious relationship with all things, with nature, with each other, we are in peace.
#womenwaterpeace #peace #nowisthetime