Women in search of peace
EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON | 5/5/2019, noon
U.S. House of Representatives
While the national and international media has vigorously highlighted recent meetings between President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, very little has been broadcast or written about the persistent work of thousands of women peace activists who labor each day to bring about a lasting peace between North Korea and South Korea.
The work of these female peace builders has been taking place for decades, in a land where people who speak the same language and who share a common heritage are separated by a border guarded by heavily armed soldiers, and where the threat of a nuclear conflagration is a daily occurrence.
Most recently, in Dallas and in South Korea, I participated in peace conferences with women from Korea and other parts of the world who are committed to bringing about an end to the Korean conflict that resulted in millions of lives lost.
The women social activists, some of whom lost family members in the war, still feel the pain and grief that the war brought to so many. They sadly regret that a peace treaty between the warring parties was never signed.
As part of the World of Women for World Peace initiative that I began in 2001, a number of peace activists spoke about the possibilities of peace. The conference was held at Thanks-Giving Square in downtown Dallas.
One of the presenters, an American woman who lived with her husband and children in North Korea for 10 years, spoke about meeting people who longed for peace. The barriers began to disappear once people began to meaningfully work together, she said.
Another peace activist, a retired U.S military officer and diplomat, spoke of how she and a delegation of women from around the world traveled from the south to the north of Korea to spread a message of reconciliation and oneness. She said that her group was warmly received by ordinary citizens in North Korea. There was no thought of war between them, she said.
It has long been thought that the end of personal and national conflict in our world will result if women play a major role in the peacemaking processes. We are the ones that bring life into the world, and we do not want to see that life harmed!
I believe that women will play a major role in the end of conflicts in Korea, Northern Ireland, Nicaragua, Somalia, Venezuela and in other places where danger is present.
A World of Women for World Peace will continue to play a role in creating a climate of peace in our world. More than others, women understand the burdens and the brokenness in a world that is void of peace and filled with conflict. It is a part of our mission to correct that.
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson represents the 30th Congressional District of Texas in the United States House of Representatives.