Today, International Women’s Day, we will not only celebrate global peace events, but also the women behind them.
Starting with Tessa Crews, a teacher at Pickett Elementary in Lexington, Kentucky, who mobilised the pupils in her school to be young peace messengers.
Last week they celebrated Black History Month by holding a World Peace March on school grounds.
Crews helped organise the march with the hope that the children would understand the civil rights protest marches of the past a little better through their own march.
Much like those of Rosa Parks and Dr Martin Luther King, their protest was silent and peaceful as they walked through the school hallways twice. The objective was to show that love, peace, and kindness should replace violence, bullying, and hatred.
The women of Afghanistan voiced their concerns over the peace talks taking place between their nation and the US. Last month the first lady, Rula Ghani, and activists of Afghan Women for Peace held a tribal council that was attended by more than 3,500 women from across Afghanistan. Together they represented the women of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces and made known their opinions, fears, and suggestions for peace.
On the topic of Afghan women, let’s talk about Zarlasht Halaimzai, the co-founder of Time4RealPeace, a group that is made up of other Afghan women and youth, civil society groups and activists.
The group was created to give women and youth from Afghanistan a platform and voice, and what she discovered was that everyone they encountered wanted one thing, the same thing: peace.
Last week Time4RealPeace protested at the US Embassy in London. They handed over an open letter that expressed their longing for a peace process that – quote – “reaffirms and protects our constitutional rights, interests and democracy.”
This letter was signed by over 600 Afghan women and many public figures, the likes of which include Nobel Peace Prize laureates and authors.
The theme of International Women’s Day this year is Balance for Better which speaks to gender equality. So in the spirit of today’s theme, shout out to the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui.
In a recent meeting with the Pan African Parliament, he asked them to back the AU’s efforts towards the active participation of women and the youth in conflict prevention and resolution through their groups FemWise Africa and Youth for Peace Africa.
To all the women and men working to ensure peace in our world, we thank you. And we hope everyone will join hands in this plight so we can leave a peaceful world for future generations.