Unbeknownst to many people, May 24th is International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament. While bringing peace to yourself and others may seem like a large task, there are actually several small ways to do so that can make a difference in your community, in the nation, or even in the world at large.
There are countless ways to celebrate International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament. This list provides some good examples to get you started on your peacemaking journey.
In Your Community
1. Attend community events
One of the simplest ways to help spread peace is to connect with the people around you. This can mean participating in town beautification projects, attending local festivals and fairs, or even going to a movie night in a nearby park. Since many of these activities have been moved online due to the pandemic, be sure to check the websites of local businesses to stay updated.
2. Don’t hate, educate
If you hear someone say something that offends you, instead of getting angry and yelling at them, try to educate them on why the words they spoke were hurtful. They may not even know that what they said was offensive, and you can provide a valuable lesson to them. People are much more willing to listen to you if you speak calmly and politely, rather than if you scream or accuse them of being bad people.
3. Avoid gossiping
Gossiping never improves a situation, no matter what it is. It builds tension and creates unsafe social environments for people of all ages. The next time you hear a rumor about someone, make sure to find out if it is true before passing the information on to others. And even if the rumor is true, if the subject of it will be hurt by people spreading it around, you should avoid discussing the matter when possible. If you would not wish for someone to speak badly about you, you should try to promote peace by not speaking badly about others.
4. Thank service workers
People working in the service industry often face long hours, low wages, and harsh treatment on a daily basis. A great way to promote peace in your community is to thank the people you interact with in stores, restaurants, and other customer-service related businesses. Simply letting someone know how much you appreciate them can brighten their day, and inspire them to spread that positivity to others.
5. Advocate for legislation that promotes peace
If you have a strong interest in politics, advocating for peace legislation is a good way to celebrate International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament. You can contact local representatives, attend city hall meetings, or even write to national politicians to bring their attention to peace-related policies. Getting the attention of the legislative branch can mean a huge step towards instituting peace programs both in the community and nationwide.
In The World
1. Educate yourself on global affairs
We cannot hope to promote world peace without first acknowledging the problems the world faces. The first step to promoting peace on a global scale is to educate yourself about current events. This way, you can share the information you learn with people in your life and even on social media, bringing greater awareness to issues that people in your own country may not know about.
2. Donate to relief organizations
There are a surprising number of organizations working to help people in other countries recover from disaster, be it political, environmental, or otherwise. And you don’t only have to donate money; Freerice allows people to donate rice to developing countries by answering questions in a variety of categories. By participating in the UNICEF Tap Project, you can provide clean drinking water to people in foreign countries by simply putting your phone away for five minutes. Through organizations such as these, we can all help to bring peace and prosperity to our friends around the world.
3. Sign up for Peace Corps
While this type of work is definitely a bigger commitment, joining the Peace Corps is a great way to promote peace internationally. In the Peace Corps, volunteers live abroad for a minimum of two years, helping to improve healthcare, education, and other programs in their designated country. Peace Corps volunteers serve in over 60 countries, meaning that joining up means a chance to explore places you’ve probably never been before, while also helping to establish friendly relations between the United States and your country of service.
4. Learn the custom of the countries you visit
Traveling to other countries is like going on an exciting new adventure. But before you arrive, you should always make sure to read up on the customs of the country you are visiting. This can help to prevent accidental miscommunications that might be considered offensive in another country. Showing that you care enough to learn about the norms of another country or culture will help the residents of that country feel more comfortable around you, making it easier to establish friendly connections.
5. Learn new languages
As mentioned before, sometimes even the smallest miscommunications can cause a bad first impression when meeting new people. One way to avoid this is to learn new languages. Learning a different language again shows an interest in, and respect for, the country (or countries) where that language is spoken. Additionally, it is much easier to communicate with others, especially when you are trying to foster peaceful relationships, if there is no language barrier involved.
There is no one way to promote peace. You don’t have to start a nonprofit or donate a million dollars in order to celebrate International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament (though you definitely should, if that’s what you want to do), you simply have to want to help. Performing even the smallest acts of peacemaking can mean a world of difference when everyone is participating. On May 24th this year, don’t forget to spread the love by taking up olive branches instead of arms.
Isabel is a student from South Carolina who enjoys writing, drawing, and other artistic endeavors. She has a strong interest in the women’s rights movement, and hopes to contribute to that movement through her writing.