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The Dartmouth
February 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Main Point of Sears Talk Was to Share Experience in Bosnia and Women's Efforts for Peace

To the Editor:

Your article about talk at the Women's Resource Center about my experience at The International Women's Peace Initiative in Bosnia and my meditation on the role of women in peacekeeping and peacemaking contains several errors, reducing my remarks to simplistic distortions.

I did not characterize the war in Bosnia as a civil war, nor did I say that the genocide in Bosnia was prompted only by a desire for a "pure" Serbian race. I did not suggest that Women Studies should create a foreign studies program in a country where women's rights are "truly suppressed." They are suppressed in varying degrees everywhere.

The main point of my talk was to give an account of my experience in Bosnia, and to review the speech I gave there about women's aptitude for peacemaking and peacekeeping. I noted that scholarly research has demonstrated that many women in many cultures and classes and religions and races are socialized to value community, peace, empathy, nurturance, compassion, and often only within the domestic sphere. I speculated on the possibility of women exercising these qualities in the public sphere, in local, national, and international arenas. My statement, that "yes, women could save the world with a little help from the friends," followed my acknowledgment that many others in many places of both sexes and genders are also working to save the world, both in the sense of working for peace and for the life supporting systems of the earth.