EQUAL OPPORTUNITY MATTERS
Though progress is made every day, women’s voices are still often ignored, their efforts stonewalled and their wisdom overlooked regarding issues of peace and security, national defense, and nuclear disarmament. By contrast, men continue to be seen as the world’s warriors – heroes, leaders, providers and protectors. Nuclear weapons, since their inception, have been associated with masculinity, their use considered the ultimate demonstration of power and dominance. In order to maintain that dominance, the existing patriarchy has framed nuclear abolition as “feminine,” implying that nuclear abolition is weak, emotional and even cowardly. It’s not surprising that women are fighting hard to change these misguided stereotypes. Women make up over 50% of the world’s population, so it is only just that women have an equal opportunity to engage in the world’s most critical issues. It can no longer be “business as usual.” The men’s club that has dominated our military, defense and nuclear weapons policies for decades has got to evolve along with their antiquated attitudes. New and lasting solutions require diversity of representation and experience if we’re to solve the issues surrounding humanity’s survival.
Meet some of the awesome women demanding a seat at the global table of power.
Kate Hudson is a British left-wing political activist and academic. Since 2010, she has been the General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), having served as chair since 2003. She first became active in the peace movement in the early 1980s during the surge of activity against cruise missiles. With the end of the Cold War, like many others, Kate felt that the issue of nuclear weapons had greatly declined, so she turned to other campaigning work. One of her proudest moments was helping to Embrace the Base at Greenham Common in December 1982, along with 30,000 other women. By the mid-1990s, with the expansion of NATO and the escalation of the U.S. ‘Star Wars’ system, she came back to lead CND just as the ‘war on terror’ was beginning. She has been a key figure in the anti-war movement nationally and internationally and considers international cooperation and solidarity to be the key to the nuclear non-proliferation movement’s ultimate success.
Read Kate’s interview here.
Volha Charnysh is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She received her PhD in Government from Harvard University in May 2017. Dr. Charnysh’s research focuses on historical political economy, legacies of violence, nation- and state-building, and ethnic politics. She is currently working on a book entitled, Migration, Diversity, and Economic Development, which examines the long- term effects of forced migration in the aftermath of World War II in Eastern Europe. Her work synthesizes several decades of micro-level data collected during a year of fieldwork in Poland, and received funding from the Social Science Research Council and Center for European Studies. Charnysh’s work has appeared in American Political Science Review, Comparative Political Studies, and the European Journal of International Relations. She has also contributed articles to Foreign Affairs, Monkey Cage at the Washington Post, National Interest, Transitions Online, Arms Control Today, Belarus Digest, among other media. Her personal website is http://www.charnysh.net/.
Read Volha’s interview here.
Valeria Salamanca served as the bilingual outreach coordinator for Tri-Valley CAREs, a nonprofit organization based in Tracy, California whose mission is to promote peace, justice and a healthy environment.
“My community deserves to know if they are subject to toxic air at the hands of DOE-Livermore Lab. The lack of information and resources to the subjected communities is why I will always support this issue.”
Read Valeria’s bio and interview here.
Dr. Judith Eve Lipton is a renowned psychiatrist, author and blogger who practiced psychopharmacology and psychosomatic medicine for 30 years. She, along with her husband, David Barash, has co-authored 8 books about war, sex, human nature and nuclear weapons. She is passionate about animals, peace, and the prevention of nuclear war and believes, “There is no way that nine countries in the north of the planet should be able to destroy the life on earth. Not as groups or individuals. It is a ridiculous power imbalance.”
Read her bio and interview here.
DR. HELEN CALDICOTT
CHelen Caldicott, M.D. is a physician and former Harvard University professor of pediatrics, has written seven books, co-founded Physicians for Social Responsibility, founded Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament, and is the President of the Helen Caldicott Foundation for a Nuclear Free Future.
“I’m very aware that life on Earth could end any day.”
Read Helen’s bio and interview here.
Bonnie Jenkins is a former legal advisor to the U.S. government on arms control and non-proliferation treaties, and is Founder and President of Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security, and Conflict Transformation.
Read her bio and interview here.
Christine Ahn is the founder and coordinator of Women Cross DMZ, the organization which serves as a global movement of women mobilizing to end the Korean War, reunite families, and ensure women’s leadership in peace building.
“We now have evidence that shows that when women are included, it leads to a peace agreement and a far more durable one.”
Read Christine’s bio and interview here.
Makoma Lekalakala is the director at Earthlife Africa Johannesburg, a group designed “to encourage women to become more involved in energy and climate policy-making.”
Read her bio and interview here.
Cynthia Lazaroff is the founder of www.nuclearwakeupcall.earth. She is a U.S.-Russian relations expert and an award-winning documentary filmmaker.
“My prayer is that there is global awakening to the escalating nuclear danger today, and that a new Third Side for the 21st century emerges that once again brings people from all backgrounds and all walks of life together to act now to reduce the threat of nuclear war, to work to create a more peaceful world and eliminate nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth.”
Read Cynthia’s bio and interview here.
Director of Reaching Critical Will and a fierce advocate and leading expert on nuclear disarmament and issues of gender hierarchy relating to peace, justice and nuclear weapons.
“Working to abolish nuclear weapons, for me, is also about challenging patriarchy, racisim, and militarism all at once.”
Read Ray’s bio and interview here.