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Peace Movements and Mothering

  • By: Rebecca Reviere
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Peace movements are organized groups of people who use coordinated action to promote a nonviolent resolution to conflict. Peace movements require a certain level of liberalism in a society, and mothers' involvement in peace movements requires economic support, some loosening of mothers' traditional domestic responsibilities, and either good childcare or an empty nest. Because of these preconditions, there are relatively few peace movements in the United States that are either designed by or for mothers. However, women generally and mothers specifically have often been a strong voice against war. Various times and people have demonstrated mothers' involvement in antiwar efforts.

In the United States, women's work for peace is rooted in the 19th-century suffrage, temperance, and abolition movements and the moral pacifism of the Quakers. For ...

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