The International Peace Day or World Peace Day is celebrated round the world on the 21st September of every year. This day was first recognized in 1981 and asked every country, military and people to cease fire for one day dedicated to the absence of war. This day is celebrated in many major cities by wearing a white dove to symbolize Peace.
As we celebrate this significant day which over the past three decades, let the world leaders reflect on the enormous challenges facing the world today. The most expensive cost of war is against women and children. Serious and compelling alternatives to war are scarcely considered in the aftermath of war or in discussions about war against countries.
There are many costs of these wars that we have to quantify and assess. There is still much more to know and understand the impact war has on women’s health, economics and communities altered by the years of war and what solutions exist for the problems women face as a result of wars destructions.
Violence against women, human trafficking, child trafficking, rape, displacement and disease amongst others are all as a result of war. Women and children account for almost 80% of casualties of conflict and war as well as 80% of 40 million people in the world who are refugees from their homes.
Women and children are not just killed; they are raped, sexually attacked, mutilated and humiliated. Custom, culture and religion have built an image of women as bearing the honor of their communities.
Sexual Violence as a tool of war has left hundreds of thousands of women raped, brutalized, impregnated and infected with HIV/AIDS. And hundreds of thousands of women are trafficked annually for force labor and sexual slavery. The perpetrators of these assaults or crimes have rarely been prosecuted or punished.
The impact of war on Children is also profound as in the last decade two million of our children have been killed in wars and conflicts. 4.5million children have been disabled and 12 million have been left homeless. Today, there are over 300,000 child soldiers including girls who are forced to “service” the troops.
Environmental damage is another de facto weapon of war that has dire consequences. The world acknowledges that the use of nuclear and chemical weaponry causes cancer and birth defeats and disease rate are high. Military toxins also impacts on the health of women through polluting our water, land, air and reproductive health. Billions are spent on death and destruction.
The ongoing violence towards and poisoning of our bodies is more terrifying than the terror we purport to fight. Disproportionate spending on war – making comes at the expense of funding for programs that benefit women in the world. We place the lives of thousands of women and children at risk of harm.
World Peace is about the absence of Justice for the millions of women and children facing brutality, violence and abuse in war torn countries of the world and the countries supporting such wars to continue.
Peace is about the willingness of nations to co-operate, either voluntarily or by virtue of a system of governance that prevents warfare, a cessation of all hostility amongst all humanity.
World Peace is about funding programs to educate more women to take up leadership roles and be part of decision making machinery of all countries in the world.
It is also about more women mediators, more negotiators and advocates. This can be realized and achieved through education.
World leaders on this day must reflect on the death and destruction caused on women, children, families, communities, countries and the global village we all call world we live in. Peace must prevail through unity and understanding.
Peace to all Mankind
MRS PEACE A ARYEE
Founder Love Humanity Worldwide
UPF Peace Ambassador
DWM National Project Director.