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History

Our History

The organization PeaceWomen Across the Globe is based on the initiative, 1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize, which was set up in 2003 in Switzerland by women who are active in peace work. A thousand women were collectively nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize as representatives of the hundreds of thousands of female peace activists and as a symbol of the courageous – but mostly invisible – peace work undertaken by women. 

Unfortunately, the PeaceWomen were not awarded the prestigious prize. However, the global campaign and the networking conducted by the successor organization, PeaceWomen Across the Globe, have helped to make women's commitment and expertise more visible. The association's work has also enabled women to contribute their knowledge to conflict resolution, peace and democratization processes to a greater extent than in the past. 

The milestones

  • 2003: Ruth-Gaby Vermot-Mangold, a Member of the Swiss National Council and the Council of Europe, calls for women's peace work worldwide to be made visible. The idea is that the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize should be awarded to 1,000 women as representatives of hundreds of thousands of women. 

    The project is launched with a small team. Female peace activists from 20 countries meet for the first time in Switzerland and agree to work as coordinators in their regions, with the aim of nominating women collectively for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize. 

    An office is set up in Bern, Switzerland. 

    The project funding is secured through a significant amount of PR and fundraising activities. Foundations, women's organizations, service clubs, the public sector and individuals provide support. A peace share is created. Each share costs CHF 1,000. 
  • 2004: Working with female researchers from the University of Bern, criteria are drawn up to ensure that the selection of the 1,000 women for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize is transparent and as fair as possible. 

    2,000 nominations are submitted. We decide to stick with the original concept and the symbolic number of 1,000. Regional committees are responsible for the final nomination of the 1,000 women from 150 countries. 

    The wide range of women's peace work is illustrated and made visible via biographies and images in the book and exhibition, 1000 PeaceWomen Across the Globe. The film, 1000 Women and a Dream documents the story of the project and portrays four PeaceWomen. 
  • 2005: Swiss Federal President Micheline Calmy-Rey expresses her support for the project and adds her signature to the nomination letter to the Nobel Prize Committee in Oslo. 

    We hold over 40 press conferences worldwide at the same time on the same day to announce the names of the nominees.

    On 7 October, the Nobel Prize Committee announces that the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. We are disappointed! 

    Nonetheless, the initiative is a great success, as it has made PeaceWomen's work more visible.  

    The book 1000 PeaceWomen Across the Globe receives an award in Switzerland as one of the 15 most beautiful books. It is published in English and later translated into German, Spanish and Japanese. Parts of the book have also been translated into Chinese, Nepali, Portuguese and Arabic. 

    The exhibition and film about the PeaceWomen are shown well over 1,000 times, and on all continents. 
  • 2006: Although the Nobel Peace Prize was not awarded to the PeaceWomen, we decide to continue our work. The successor organization is called PeaceWomen Across the Globe (PWAG). Its International Board meets once a year. 

    The initiative is awarded the Gernika Peace and Reconciliation Award, as well as the Ida Somazzi Prize for outstanding services to the advancement of women. 
  • 2007: The International Board and the International Secretariat set themselves objectives on the participation of women in local and international peace work. The network plays a key role in examining various project options. 

    PWAG is represented by an international delegation at the World Social Forum in Kenya and holds its own workshops on peace issues. 

    PWAG takes part for the first time in the international campaign, 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. 

    Films about PeaceWomen and their work are made in Indonesia and China. The exhibition is translated into Nepali, Sinhala, Tamil and Russian and held in various countries in cooperation with the Swiss Embassy. 

    PWAG holds workshops on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security and invites PeaceWomen from the network to participate as experts. 
  • 2008/2009: PWAG lays a strategic foundation for its project work through its new program, Redefining Peace – Women Lead the Way. The program focuses on two topics: conflict transformation, peace and justice; and safeguarding livelihoods and ecological sustainability. The network of female experts on peace is promoted intensively. 

    We conduct four regional campaigns on peacebuilding against violence. In Brazil, the campaign addresses the issue of domestic violence; in Indonesia, a leadership training course is held with PeaceWomen; and in various Latin American countries, the focus is on femicide and the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325. Small arms trade and proliferation are to be banned in Mali. 

    PWAG is consolidated as an organization and a system is established to secure project funding. 
  • 2010: PWAG produces the exhibition, No Women – No Peace, to mark the tenth anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325. The opening of the exhibition in the lobby of the UN Security Council building in New York focuses on the non-implementation of this important resolution. 
  • 2011: The Sudanese PeaceWomen found the platform, Sudanese Women are Building Peace. The aim is that women will be included to a greater extent in the political decision-making process and in peace negotiations. 

    PWAG sends an international delegation to the World Social Forum in Senegal. 
  • 2012: PWAG designs the exhibition, safe water. with women!, and presents it for the first time at the sixth World Water Forum in Marseille. The exhibition portrays ten women who have developed creative solutions for using water sustainably. 

    The coordination office in Brazil develops a sensitization method that regards the relationships between women and men as a key factor in the fight against gender-specific violence. PeaceWomen take part as experts in the Second South-South Forum on Sustainability in China. 

    PWAG holds the first Dialogue Forum in Egypt in the city of Alexandria. The stated aim is for more women to participate in the process of democratization. Experts from the network of PeaceWomen Across the Globe from Sudan, Palestine, Sri Lanka, the UK, Uganda and Mexico take part in the forum. 
  • 2013: PWAG coordinates One Billion Rising, the campaign to end violence against women and girls, in India and Switzerland. 

    A PWAG delegation comprising women from Germany, China, Colombia and Mexico presents PeaceWomen's work in the field of sustainability and food security at the second world congress of the Blue Economy movement in Madrid.

    In cooperation with its partner organization Sangat, PWAG holds the first peace mediation course designed especially for women. The course takes place in Nepal and leads to the creation of the Women Peace Mediators Network. 

    The PWAG coordinator in China publishes the book, Peace Rooted in Ecology, Livelihood and Cultures: An Action Research with Chinese PeaceWomen, which documents the work of eleven PeaceWomen.   

    PeaceWomen Across the Globe receives Zewo certification, which guarantees that donations will be used responsibly. 
  • 2014: PWAG organizes regional dialogue forums in Egypt. These forums strengthen women's voices in the regions, as well as their networks for the democratization process. 

    The PeaceWomen's biographies are revised and updated in cooperation with the Interdisciplinary Centre for Gender Studies at the University of Bern. 
  • 2015: After spending several years supporting a dialogue process in Egypt, PWAG organizes a national dialogue forum in Alexandria on the political participation of women. PWAG celebrates its ten-year anniversary in Switzerland and around the world. Together with its regional coordinators PWAG organises Women's PeaceTables in ten different countries. 
  • 2016: Women's PeaceTables are organised in 19 different countries by PWAG and its local partner organisations and coordinators.