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W O M E N A&A P E A C E

Jody Williams

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In 1997, Jody Williams became the 10th woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. She received the award for her work to ban antipersonnel landmines. The founding coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), she oversaw its growth from a coalition of two to more than 1,300 organizations from 95 countries. Since 1998, Williams has served as a Campaign Ambassador for the ICBL, and in 2004, she was named one of the 100 most powerful pomen in the world by Forbes Magazine. Organizer and activist, teacher and writer, she speaks on the power of individuals to bring about dramatic change in the world. www.nobelwomensinitiative.org

Shared anatomy does not necessarily mean shared values. Just because you are elected to a position in the dominant structure and you are a woman, does not mean that you will run as a woman. And that can make people angry, but that’s reality.

I think we can begin to hold elected female politicians accountable the day they run honestly and openly as women.

It’s not just enough to have women in corporate, structured power – it isn’t enough – unless they are willing to say, “I am here as the CEO of X,Y,and Z and as CEO, I’m not going to prove I’m more of a man than the other guys, I am going to bring women in this company with me. That I’m here to make it different.

Don’t be afraid to say, “I am a woman. I am running as a woman. I am running on these issues. Yes, I believe in security but I believe in human security. I believe in the security of the individual, not the security of the state.”

…And I’m sorry but Condoleeza Rice is a man in a woman’s suit.

Make women who are running for office talk about their values. If they talk about national security they have to be all macho, what the hell does that mean?

I think we need total reform of the political process of the United States.

Maybe using a different word. I have problems with the word “power”….I didn’t do what I did for power. I don’t think of it in terms of power. I think of when I started as an activist I did it because I thought it was the right thing to do.

Suddenly I’m this Nobel “thing” and maybe I just want to zoom under the radar… a stealth activist.

It doesn’t matter if you are a full-time activist, if you are able to construct that kind of life – it’s not an easy life. It doesn’t matter if you decide on activism in which you donate whatever a week – to something you really care about. Or, if one hour a week is too overwhelming to your schedule, one hour a month. Imagine if everybody of good will gave one hour a month to some issue they really cared about, the world would begin to be really transformed.

I’ll have inner peace when I die. My anger is not going away. I’m pissed off at George Bush, I’m pissed at the American military, I am pissed off at the oppression of women – and that rage is what will make me an activist until I die. And then I might find peace.

If there is something you really care about there is no longer an excuse, “I don’t know who does it.” Google it. …but get off your ass and do it….I honestly don’t care that you care. I only care what you do to make a difference.

If we are going to make this radically changing planet secure, we have to think of the fundamental security of all.

Inner peace is not global security. I think we really need to start to think about what we’re talking about when we say, ‘peace.' If I meditate and I’m serene, I’m serene. Peace is a big thing in the planet and it is not just the absence of armed conflict. Peace is socio-economic justice, gender equality, a world where people live with freedom from fear, and freedom from want. Peace is not for wimps – peace is the Nelson Mandelas, it’s the Aung Sun Suu Kyis, it’s all of us who work every day to make the world just. So let’s reclaim peace. I am sick of being called a wimp, because I believe in peace.

We say, “we” – I think in “we” – I don’t think in “I”. Except occasionally, when it’s all about me. [laughs] We, we, we.

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