Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

Why I Am Walking In North and South Korea

By       Message Press Release       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

Supported 1   Inspiring 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H3 6/22/15

Author 1781
- Advertisement -
By *Gloria Steinem

From Peace activists cross the demilitarized zone that separates South and North Korea
Peace activists cross the demilitarized zone that separates South and North Korea
(Image by YouTube)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

Each of us on this Peace Walk has different memories of the Korean War and the separation of people by this strip of land called the DMZ, depending on our age and place in the world.

As the oldest woman on this Peace Walk, I have childhood memories of World War II, and high school memories of one of my classmates who was about to be drafted into the Korean War. His father, who had fought in WWII, had experienced things so terrible that he killed his son and then killed himself rather than see his son go to war. I couldn't forget that. I remember trying to plan where my mother and I could go to be safe, should the Korean War spread into World War III, and submarines again lie off the coast of the United States, as German boats had done.

- Advertisement -

I was thousands of miles away. I suffered nothing compared to those of you within combatant countries, but I say this to remind us that war and division anywhere affects people everywhere. And it goes long into the future. The Native Americans, the first people of the continent I live on, say that it takes four generations to heal one act of violence.

- Advertisement -

I wanted to come on this Peace Walk, to bring my small support. Four years ago, I stood on the South Korean side of the DMZ, in a brand new railroad station that is a symbol of hope, but is empty and unused. Standing there made me realize the closeness of the other side; so close, I could see the buildings.

My country, too, was once divided by a Civil War that separated families and created a dead zone in the middle of our country. If that had remained, I would hope that people from here would come to help us. We have only to look at photographs of Earth from space to understand that we are all passengers on a fragile space ship.

I believe it's especially crucial that women help initiate and pursue peace efforts. For cultural reasons and a gender division that is also artificial, we don't have "masculinity" to prove, and so it's sometimes easier for us to make connections. In Ireland, it was the women who crossed the boundaries of religion and region to end violence. In my childhood, those divisions seemed hopeless, yet now Ireland is a peaceful country. Women also crossed lines of religions to unite against warlords in Liberia and bring about a peaceful election there.

- Advertisement -

Now we also know from massive studies of modern nations that the biggest indicator of whether a country is violent within itself, or is willing to use military violence against another country, is not poverty, or access to natural resources, or religion, or even degree of democracy; it's violence against females. It normalizes all other dominance and violence because it's what we see first, perhaps even inside the family. It causes us to think the domination of one group by another is natural and inevitable. We are linked.

The Women's Peace Walk across the DMZ is a symbol of the possibility of unification, not only for North and South Korea, but also of peace between women and men, between religions, between economic classes.

Next Page  1  |  2


- Advertisement -

Supported 1   Inspiring 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Idle No More-- The Indigenous People's Revolution Begins

"March Against Monsanto" Planned for Over 30 Countries

Bernie Sanders Blocks Bernanke Confirmation... With Bi-Partisan Support

Bush and Associates Found Guilty of Torture

Statement of 911 Widows In Response to 12/25 Terror Attempt

Family Farmers Amplify Legal Complaint Against Monsanto's GMOs