Women Wage Peace | #MarchOfHope
Last year I had the distinct honor of sharing a panel at the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom conference with Rabbi Donna Kirshbaum of Women Wage Peace, an initiative that brings women in Israel together and demands accountability and action from political leadership.
Right now Women Wage Peace is holding a March of Hope where 25,000 women including a contingent from the West Bank are planning a march in Jerusalem on Oct 19. Thousands more women will participate in solidarity events happening in cities around the world including Paris, Tokyo, Stockholm, San Francisco, and New York.
Women Wage Peace is succeeding by:
1) restoring hope by uniting women of vastly different political, religious, social, ethnic, and geographic backgrounds for one deeply-shared goal: a better future for ourselves and generations to come. WWP does not advocate for any one particular solution to the conflict but believe that when women make up 51% of all negotiating tracks (as mandated by an under-enforced Israeli law and by UN SCR 1325 to which Israel was the first signatory) the excruciating compromises needed to ensure an honorable, sustainable agreement will be reached.
2) attracting serious domestic and international press.
3) nearly meeting (over 90% so far) of the fundraising goal for the March of Hope (which is currently happening) with 57% donated by Israelis so far.
4) receiving endorsements and participation from over 20 mayors and other municipal leaders, both Jewish and Arab, including well-known likudnikim; also from the Egyptian consulate in Eilat; from a variety of MKs; and from the PA’s Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society which expects to send 1,000 Palestinian women to meet us at Qasr el-Yahud near the Dead Sea on the morning of Oct 19.
5) creating a sophisticated legislative agenda for next year.
6) creating new language that is being used to draw out one another’s stories.
6) creating a sophisticated monitoring system involving social media to track the progress of their legislative demands (which has already received a grant of its own).
7) accomplishing all of the above while remaining a flat (i.e., non-hierarchical) movement.
Women Wage Peace is not an organization; it’s a movement. They have given themselves 4 years to reach their goal, after which they’ll disband. They have a rotating group of 4 coordinators for a 50-woman Steering Committee, and a Committee of 100 which is charged with making the largest financial and policy decisions. There are no paid staff (other than 2 part-timers to help with March of Hope logistics and the legislative monitoring system). Begun by 3 women in the summer of 2014, Women Wage Peace now has 10,000 Israeli members and over 23,000 supporters worldwide.
Want to help?
Read and SHARE the coverage WWP has received in NYTimesLive, HaAretz and/or the Times of Israel today.