Nobel Peace Prize Winner Jody Williams Talks About Women’s Role in Peace

An Interview with Laura Carlsen, Interviews from Mexico

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Jody Williams: I think it’s really hard for people to understand the meaning of sustainable peace, which is what I think about when I think about peace. It’s not simply the absence of conflict or war. It’s based on a different concept entirely of security–instead of national security, which of course is to guarantee the security and structure of the state, it’s based on a conception of security that has at its center the well being of the people of a society.

And those are very, very different concepts. When you think about state security, the state itself, the apparatus, considers that if it’s in good shape and the people of the country are at peace more or less, everything’s fine. The concept of human security does not look at security that way. If the basic needs of the majority of the population of the county are not met, there is no security…

[There’s a] tension in the world right now between the recognition of women’s rights and the equality of women and the necessity of women’s active involvement in life to change how we look at security. And, I´m sorry, the men in power and the patriarchal systems just do not know how to accept that. But I think there are many routes to building a peaceful society. It’s what we see here in Mexico — 150,000 in the streets over the students of Ayotzinapa.

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