Theme Peace Movements

Written by Hilary Summy, The University of Queensland and Suellen Murray, RMIT University

This essay on Women's leadership in Peace Movements has been split into three parts:

This page contains the first part: Introduction.

Introduction

A peace movement can be described as the collective effort of various organisations and individuals to promote peace. They may focus on a specific issue, such as anti-conscription, abolition of nuclear weapons or the cessation of a particular war. Alternatively, they may come together to promote a general principle, for example, the abolition of war, the creation of a peace agenda for educational purposes, or the fostering of non-violent relationships. The different emphases can be defined in terms of negative peace (the elimination of existing violence) and/or positive peace (development of structures and values that promote peace and prevent future violence). Some peace campaigners engage in both types of peace, considering it necessary to eliminate violence before putting in place preventative measures. Women have traditionally engaged equally strongly in both negative and positive peace, while men have tended to focus their energies on negative peace.

The means of achieving these peace goals can also vary. For example, pacifists (sometimes referred to as absolute pacifists) reject the use of violence as a means to achieving peace under all circumstances (either for religious or secular reasons), while the term 'pacifi-cist' is often used to describe those who have a strong predilection for peace but consider violence may be necessary as a last resort. While most peace activists can be defined as the latter, a greater percentage of women are pacifist than a comparable percentage of men.

A leader of a peace movement is characterised by deep commitment, courage, resourcefulness, willingness to make sacrifices for the cause and, along with these qualities, the ability to communicate to others and inspire them. Women leaders generally have needed a greater measure of these exceptional qualities in order to overcome prejudices and difficulties associated with traditional gender roles and expectations.

Published Resources

Australian Women's Register Entries

Books

  • Allen, Judith, Rose Scott: Vision and Revision in Feminism, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, Victoria, 1994. Details
  • Bomford, Janette, That Dangerous and Persuasive Woman: Vida Goldstein, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, Victoria, 1993. Details
  • Burgmann, Verity, Power, Profit and Protest: Australian Social Movements and Globalisation, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, New South Wales, 2003. Details
  • Caldicott, Helen, Dr Helen Caldicott: A Passionate Life, Random House Australia, Sydney, New South Wales, 1996, 402 pp. Details
  • Fabian, Sue and Loh, Morag, Left-wing Ladies: The Union of Australian Women in Victoria 1950 - 1998, Hyland House, Melbourne, Victoria, 2000. Details
  • Gibson, Ralph, One Woman's Life: A Memoir of Dorothy Gibson, Hale & Iremonger, Sydney, New South Wales, 1980. Details
  • Lake, Marilyn, Getting Equal: The History of Australian Feminism, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, New South Wales, 1999. Details
  • McHugh, Siobhan, Minefields and Miniskirts: Australian Women and the Vietnam War, Doubleday, Sydney, New South Wales, 1993. Details
  • Moore, Eleanor, The Quest for Peace, as I have Known It in Australia, Wilke & Co, Melbourne, Victoria, 1948. Details
  • Rasmussen, Carolyn, The Lesser Evil? Opposition to War and Fascism in Australia 1920 - 1941, The University of Melbourne: Department of History, Melbourne, Victoria, 1991. Details
  • Roseneil, Sasha, Disarming Patriarchy: Feminism and Political Action at Greenham, Open University Press, Bristol, England, 1995. Details
  • Saunders, Malcolm, Quiet Dissenter: the life and thought of an Australian pacifist : Eleanor May Moore 1875-1949, Australian National University (ANU): Peace Research Centre, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, 1993. Details
  • Saunders, Malcolm and Summy, Ralph, The Australian Peace Movement: A Short History, Australian National University (ANU): Peace Research Centre, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, 1986. Details
  • Sawer, Marian and Simms, Marian, A Woman's Place: Women and Politics in Australia, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, New South Wales, 1993. Details
  • Street, Jessie M. G., Truth or Repose, Australasian Book Society, Sydney, New South Wales, 1966. Details
  • Summy, Hilary N., "Peace Angel" of World War I: Dissent of Margaret Thorp, Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, Brisbane, Queensland, 2006. Details
  • Young, Pam, Daring to Take a Stand: The Story of the Union of Australian Women in Queensland, Pam Young, Brisbane, Queensland, 1998. Details

Book Sections

  • Buckingham, Lauri, 'Mobilisation of Women Leading Up to the Pine Gap Action', in Roache, Micheal J. and Curthoys, Anne (eds), Not the Bicentennial: A Collection of Essays on Australian History, New South Wales Institute of Technology, Sydney, New South Wales, 1988, p. 25 off. Details
  • Cairns, Brendan, 'Stop the Drop', in Verity, Burgmann and Lee, Jenny (eds), Staining the Wattle: A People‚Äôs History of Australia since 1788, McPhee Gribble/Penguin, Melbourne, Victoria, 1988, pp. 243 - 253. Details
  • Curthoys, Ann, 'Shut up you bourgeois bitch: Sexual Identity and Political Action in the Anti-Vietnam War Movement', in Damousi, Joy and Lake, Marilyn (eds), Gender and War: Australians at War in the Twentieth Century, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, Victoria, 1995. Details
  • Cuthoys, Barbara, 'Union of Australian Women', in Australian Feminism: A Companion, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, Victoria, 1998, pp. 507 - 508. Details
  • Gowland, Patricia, 'The Women's Peace Army', in Windshuttle, E (ed.), Feminist Perspectives on Australia 1788-1978, Fontana Books, Auckland, New Zealand, 1980, pp. 216 - 234. Details
  • Howe, Adrian, 'Anzac Mythology and the Feminist Challenge', in Joy Damousi and Marilyn Lake (eds), Gender and War: Australians at War in the Twentieth Century, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, Victoria, 1995, pp. 302 - 310. Details
  • Murray, Suellen, 'Lee Rhiannon: A Lifetime of Political Activism', in Davis, Fiona, Musgrove, Nell and Smart, Judith (eds), Founders, Firsts and Feminists: Women Leaders in Twentieth-Century Australia, The University of Melbourne: eScholarship Research Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, 2011, pp. 232-247. http://www.womenaustralia.info/leaders/fff/pdfs/rhiannon.pdf. Details
  • Saracino, Maria Antonietta, 'Woman, the Unwilling Victim of War: The Legacy of Olive Schreiner (1855-1920)', in Chatfield, Charles and Van Den Dungen, Peter (eds), Peace Movements and Political Cultures, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, United States of America, 1988. Details
  • Summy, Ralph, 'The Australian Peace Council and the Anti-Communist Milieu, 1949-1965', in Charles Chatfield and Peter Van Den Dungen (eds), Peace Movements and Political Cultures, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, United States of America, 1988, pp. 233 - 264. Details
  • Vallentine, Jo, 'A Tapestry of Passion and Peace', in Joan Eveline and Lorraine Hayden (eds), Carrying the Banner: Women, Leadership and Activism in Australia, University of Western Australia (UWA) Publishing, Perth, Western Australia, 1999, pp. 69 - 79. Details
  • Warne, Ellen, 'Constance Duncan: Translating Women's Leadership and Internationalism in Asia and Australia 1922 - 1958', in Davis, Fiona, Musgrove, Nell and Smart, Judith (eds), Founders, Firsts and Feminists: Women Leaders in Twentieth-Century Australia, The University of Melbourne: eScholarship Research Centre, 2011. http://www.womenaustralia.info/leaders/fff/pdfs/duncan.pdf. Details
  • Williams, Joan, 'Women Carrying Banners', in Joan Eveline and Lorraine Hayden (eds), Carrying the Banner: Women, Leadership and Activism in Australia, University of Western Australia (UWA) Publishing, Perth, Western Australia, 1999, pp. 16 - 31. Details

Journal Articles

  • Bartlett, Alison, 'Feminist Protest and Maternity at Pine Gap Women's Peace Camp, Australia 1983', Women's Studies International Forum, vol. 34, no. 1, January - February, pp. 31 - 38. Details
  • Damousi, Joy, 'Socialist Women and Gendered Space: The Anti-conscription and Anti-war Campaigns of 1914-1918', Labour History, May 1991, pp. 1-15. Details
  • Hopkins, Lekkie, 'Fighting to Be Seen and Heard: A Tribute to Four Western Australian Peace Activists', Women's Studies International Forum, vol. 22, no. 1, January 1999, pp. 79 - 87. Details
  • Murray, Suellen, '"Make pies not war": Protests by the Women's Peace Movement of the Mid 1980s', Australian Historical Studies, vol. 37, no. 127, 2006, pp. 81 - 94. Details
  • Murray, Suellen, 'Taking the Toys from the Boys: Feminism and Australian Women's Peace Activism in the 1980s', Australian Feminist Studies, vol. 25, no. 63, 2010, pp. 3 - 15. Details
  • Ramussen, Carolyn, 'The Australian Peace Congress, September 1937'', Australia 1938: A Bicentennial History Bulletin, no. 3, December 1980, pp. 19 - 28. Details
  • Smart, Judith, 'Respect not Relief: Feminism, Guild Socialism and the Guild Hall Commune in Melbourne 1917', Labour History, vol. 94, May 2008, pp. 113-132. Details
  • Summy, Hilary, 'Margaret Thorp and the Anti-Conscription Campaign in Brisbane 1915-1917', Hecate, vol. 32, no. 1, 2006, pp. 59 - 76. Details
  • Summy, Hilary, 'From Missionary to Ministerial Adviser: Constance Duncan and Australia - Japan Relations 1922 - 47', Australian Journal of Politics and History, vol. 54, no. 1, 2008. Details
  • Williams, Joan, 'A Significant Event: Cockburn Sound Women's Peace Camp, 1-15 December 1984', Papers in Labour History, no. 10, 1992, pp. 25 - 34. Details

Theses

  • Murray, Kay, 'Irene Greenwood: A Voice for Peace', PhD thesis, Edith Cowan University, 2002. Details
  • Smart, Judith, 'War and the Concept of a New Social Order: Melbourne 1914-1915', PhD thesis, Monash University, 1992. Details
  • Summy, Hilary, 'From Hope...To Hope: Story of the Australian League of Nations Union, Featuring the Victorian Branch, 1921-1945', PhD thesis, University of Queensland, 2007. Details

Online Resources