Project “1000 Women for Nobel Peace Prize 2005” came as part of international woman struggle to write the history of nations from women’s vision. This notion came to be an intrinsic part of women movements, for recognition of woman rights, and for the need to upgrade woman participation in society general affairs; and to stand against marginalizing them.
Women movements have noticed the large space between woman achievements in making the history of their nations, and recognition made to woman achievements. In spite of woman’s systematic efforts to peace all over the world, no acknowledgement has been made to these peace efforts. Among those who received the Nobel peace prize award, we find only few women that have received this award, although thousands of women have fought, struggled and spent their lives for making peace.
Berta Von Suttner from Austria was the first woman to receive the Nobel Peace Award in 1905, for her efforts as honorary president of the Permanent International Peace Office. The perseverant role of woman, her efforts for sustainable peace work, her constant and courageous actions for her families, villages, country, and culture are not yet recognized as peace promoting. In the current concept of peace, only treaties, conventions and handshakes among heads of state or army lieutenants, that were themselves the initiators of wars, are regarded as peace promoting measures.
The women initiative to name 1000 women from all parts of the world, to receive collectively the Nobel peace award, came to establish the values of group work designated by women. In addition, it will focus on their efforts and give it international recognition. The documents of the initiative will be publicized through texts, tapes, illustrations, biographies, films, and lectures that will illustrate women’s activities for peace in universities all over the world.
The names of those women to be nominated for the prize are not yet known. There will be certain rules for the nomination. The nominees should represent all continents; and from the different sectors of the society. For example, farmers, teachers, artists, politicians, those who commit themselves to a future free from violence, grass rooted women, who understand and work for the welfare and security of their societies.
Each nominee will be from a different learning background, specialization, experience and activity. She may be illiterate, unemployed, or educated, highly educated, working with international organizations, she may be a specialist of some particular field and therefore consulted for her experience. Or perhaps she might be in a political committee, where she is able exercise her influence on other women.
In order to focus on the efforts of these women for peace, their activity, and general social context must be documented. The women and their peace work will be recorded under various aspects by film makers, photographers, writers, journalists, academics, and perhaps politicians. This documentation will enable those nominated for the 1000 woman Nobel Prize award to expose their experiences on issued of violence and pains of wars in conjunction with the efforts to work for and establish peace.
The 1000 strategies for conflicts resolution will afford important impulses for conflict research and peace policies. The project will therefore be accompanied by academic research and certain studies will provide materials for dissertations. These studies could be addressed to peace research, conflict resolution, peace and security policy, peace consolidation and the perspective of women and women’s gender policy, the participation of women and women organizations in the processes of reconciliation and in building a civil society… etc.
So far, six institutes from three countries are involved in the studies, socio anthropology, geography and international law at the University of Bern, Switzerland; media and communication studies at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria; and political science at the University of Giessen, Germany. At the same time, contacts with other universities in other parts of the world are established so that the academic work of the 1000 Women’s peace project will be internationally represented.
In spite that the project initiative comes from Switzerland, international support was received. The Association “1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005” was founded to institutionalise the project and to provide financial control and insure implementation, transparency and final evaluation systems.
It is worthwhile noting that the project initiator and president is Ruth-Gaby Vermont-Mangold, member of the Swiss National Council and of the Council of Europe. Monica Stroker, member of the City Council in Zurich, is the vice-president. Further members of the Executive Committee are Christine Menz, communications and finance consultant; Eva Mezger, journalist; and Rosemarie Zapfl, member of the Swiss national Council and of the Board of Swiss Peace. The Association works in close collaboration with Swiss Peace Foundation, where the head office is located. The Swiss Peace provides support to the coordinators from all over the world and helps them in networking in the various regions. The Project will end by the year 2006.
A positive remark is that in addition to the financial aid received by the Association from the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Association has opened the way for outside contributions. They are even expecting significant income from the sale of shares each share for 1000 Swiss Francs.
Arab women struggle for their fair causes, for freedom from direct and indirect imperialism, for peace to their nation, for a democratic society, free from all sorts of discrimination. All will give reasons for them to nominate for the Nobel peace prize Arab women who worked steadily, in silence, to achieve their goals.
Palestinian women have been struggling since the beginning of the last century for their freedom from occupation, for peace to their people and for a democratic society free from all types of discrimination. This will give enough reason for them to nominate women from different sectors of society for the Nobel peace award; Political prisoners who linked their freedom to that of the country, political activists who donated all their lives to their country freedom and to the freedom of the human being, social workers, writers, women of thought, and of art, etc. This nomination will not necessarily guarantee winning the prize; but it will surely provide better exposure and understanding of our cause and to the cause of woman from a Palestinian point of view.
One last statement: The enemy has always managed to use all means to discredit our fair struggle; it is time for us to be the best lawyers to the fairest cause rather than stay as the worst lawyers to the fairest cause.