Gender Equality and Peace: Would the World be a Better Place if Women had More Power?

In light of the recent international commotion including current events and major upheavals spanning the last few thousand years (a rather short interval in the history of humanity), many of us have wondered how we're going to get ourselves out of this mess. How indeed will we resolve the wars, fix the economic and energy crises, repair the pillaged earth, and live happily ever after in healthy sustainable ways?

To solve the riddle, we may find that it's not just WHAT we do but WHO we include on our path to success. Of course it's not just about America. Of course it's not just about the all-powerful white dudes trying to tinker with Wall Street. It's about everybody: women too.

How many times have you heard from a man or women: "Gee, the world would be such a peaceful place if women took over..."

Ever wonder if that could be true? Not to be extreme in favor of a bona fide matriarchy, but consider the following: if women were able to rise to meet the social and political stature of men around the world, might we be more equipped to confront our own mistakes, evolve ourselves, and heal the planet in unprecedented ways that have little to do with gender issues? The UN seems to think so. According to the Feminist Daily News Wire headline: "UN Security Council Says Women Essential to Peacekeeping."

Could they have a point? If we conceptualize the world of men and women as a massive group of thinkers, agents, healers (and destroyers) wouldn't it make sense to utilize every resource to maximize success? Why allow women to wait patiently on the sidelines with buckets of water while the world burns?

And what better way to make sure that women are given the chance to contribute to say, peacekeeping, than to give them the resources and support to do the job right? Feminist Majority reports: "The [UN Security] Council urged Member States to increase physical security, socio-economic conditions, education, access to health services, and justice for female citizens."

Is this such a tall order? Perhaps it is, in war-torn territories. In the discussion of Resolution 1325 known as "Women and Peace and Security" that took place on October 5, 2009, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recognized the often ignored foundation behind many of the world's problems, stating that we need to: "[empower] women and girls in order that they can play their rightful role in conflict prevention and peace building...a cessation of conflict should not result in the marginalization of women and girls, nor their relegation to stereotypical roles."

Importantly, the Security Council is based on creating solutions for international conflict (and hopefully tempering the effects of war on communities around the globe). Without a doubt, just because a battle is won or a war ends, we cannot give ourselves license to slump back into complacency about inequities that persist, ones that will inevitably compound future conflict. In other words, the international community is being told that we should not use the female population as temporary workers for peace.

Just as women were compelled to charge into the workforce during World War II and were subsequently told to relinquish and abandon their work when the 'men' came home, progress cannot be interrupted with petty notions of traditional gender roles. As such, women have exploded into the public sphere ever since -- namely in the United States and other developed countries. In times of war and times of peace, we are better off harnessing our entire arsenal of human cooperation, rather than a fraction of our potential.

On a similar note, how effective would a feminist revolution be without the help of men? It's not THAT ironic!