Letter to the Editor, Chronicle Herald – the role of Women Peacekeepers

by Sandy Greenberg

Your December 29 front page headline “2014: year of ‘horror, fear, despair’ for children” stopped my breathing; my mind raced for possible reasons. Then I saw the subtitle “UN study says 230 million kids live in areas of armed conflict”.

Children are terrified, injured, killed, and driven from their homes by armed conflict. They are also kidnapped, harmed, subjected to sexual violence and forced to become child soldiers, inflicting harm on others.

A great fear of parents is that we won’t be able to protect our children from harm. There are many things that we can’t protect them from. But is armed conflict one of those things?

Military and paramilitary campaigns attempt to establish power over others and security for the “winners”. Civilians are directly targeted, and children are not spared. Exerting violent power over others feeds the vicious cycle of harm. Instead, can we create security for all people, and therefore for all children of the world?

Humanity is in urgent need of a new way of seeing what is possible. Perhaps we can find that way by calling on the wisdom, experience and expertise of women peacemakers, as mandated by U.N. Resolution 1325, before, during and after conflicts.