Mothers are at the heart of a culture of peace. Together with fathers, they are the primary caregivers and educators of children, and they can contribute to the prevention of conflicts and sustainable peace – if only they are recognized as such, educated, informed and supported.
Make Mothers Matter, together with CARE International Morocco, organised on 3-4 May 2018 in Casablanca (Morocco) an international conference on the role of mothers for peace – “#Mothers4Peace”. The conference, which benefited from the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, discussed the role of mothers for peace at family level, as well as at community, national, and international levels.
On this International Day of Peace, Make Mothers Matter and Haro wish to share two of the main conclusions of the conference, which concern every parent, on how recent scientific evidence supports that peace begins in the home and peace education should start at a very early age.
1. Nurturing Early Childhood Education and Care is a cornerstone for building a culture of peace
The message of Dr Rima Salah, Professor at the Yale Child Study Centre and former Deputy Director-General of UNICEF, is clear and says it all with regards to the need to invest in early childhood development (ECD) policies:
“While an individual’s genetic endowment is fundamental, parenting provides a legacy that transcends our genes. How a child is nurtured and cared for early in life has a direct impact on brain structure and function. This new knowledge holds significant implications for the future of millions of children living in fragile contexts worldwide, as well as on our thinking about creating a culture of peace and about sustaining peace in the world…
It further highlights the importance of positive parenting and reinforces the evidence that stimulation, care giving, attachment, bonding and creating safe contexts for children, all have positive influence on their brain development and can help children grow, learn and thrive.”
2. Involving fathers in childcare and education through the promotion of positive fatherhood reduces violence in the family and beyond
The message of Gary Barker, President and CEO of Promundo, global leader in engaging men and boys in promoting gender equality and violence prevention, and Cofounder of the global campaign, MenCare, highlights the need to promote men’s involvement as equitable, non-violent caregivers. A key entry point is expectant fathers.
“New research demonstrates that engaging men in parent-training initiatives not only reduces multiple forms of violence, but also increases fathers’ involvement in childcare and expands overall gender equality in participating families.” (State of the World’s Fathers 2017, p.14)
For example, aparent training programme in Rwanda with 1,700 expectant fathers resulted in a 50% reduction in violence against women and a 30% reduction against children.
On the occasion of the International Day of Peace let’s recognize how mothers with fathers matter for building a culture of peace, as the primary caregivers and educators of their children.
Beyond the family, building peace is also our collective responsibility. We all have to be aware that recognising and supporting the role of parents is crucial - and act on it. Make Mothers Matter and Haro hope that the evidence will become so clear that it will be a priority for policy makers and for each and everyone of us: parents need better recognition as well as training, information and support.
About Make Mothers Matter
Make Mothers Matter (MMM) is an international, apolitical and non-denominational NGO founded in 1947 at UNESCO with UN General Consultative Status. Its mission is to promote and support the essential role of mothers for peace and for the social, economic and cultural development.
MMM promotes the universality and importance of the economic, social and cultural role of mothers, based on their skills and responsibility as primary educators of their children. MMM articulates its action around two areas: field work (via its network) and advocacy. In collaboration with its member associations working in the field, MMM acts at international level to influence policy and public opinion in order to bring about positive changes in the lives of mothers. Working for and with mothers by involving them in development projects, has beneficial effects on their children, their family and more broadly on society.
Haro is a apolitical and non-denominational NGO founded in 1981. Haro is one of Sweden´s leading women organisations with a critical view on swedish family policies. Its mission is to empower parents with the child in focus.
Anne-Claire de Liedekerke
Make Mothers Matter
+32 475 45 29 53
+46 73 445 95 96
Haro är Sveriges ledande kvinnoorganisation med ett kritiskt perspektiv på svensk familjepolitik. Haro fokuserar på barns behov och ökad valfrihet.
Haro arbetar för att värdesätta och säkra föräldrarnas ansvar för sina barn och öka respekten för familjers val av barnomsorg, inklusive den egna familjens omsorg. Både jämställdhet och barnens trygghet stärks om föräldrarna får lov att fullt ut ansvara för vilken omsorg barnen behöver. Haro är en ideell demokratisk organisation som arbetar opinionsbildande både nationellt och internationellt.