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The Politics of PeaceA Global Cold War History$
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Petra Goedde

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780195370836

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195370836.001.0001

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Gendered Peace, Women’s Peace

Gendered Peace, Women’s Peace

(p.128) 5 Gendered Peace, Women’s Peace
The Politics of Peace

Petra Goedde

Oxford University Press

During the early years of the Cold War, women were active participants in all major peace advocacy groups, and they continued to work in traditional women’s peace organizations, such as the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). They also created new groups, such as the Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF), Women Strike for Peace (WSP), and Another Mother for Peace (AMfP). Some groups relied heavily on their identity as women and mothers, others not at all. Regardless of how much or little they emphasized a special feminine disposition toward peace, these activists believed that their common experiences as women and mothers united them across national, ideological, and religious divides. Gendered language in the Cold War discourse on peace reinforced the notion that women had a special predisposition toward peace. The gendering of peace empowered women in the political realm, but it also allowed male-dominated political elites to marginalize peace as a women’s issue.

Keywords:   Lysistrata, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF), Eugénie Cotton, Women Strike for Peace (WSP), Dagmar Wilson, Another Mother for Peace (AMfP)

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