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.