Thomas Berry, in his book, The Great Work, identifies the wisdom of women as one of the four traditions that will guide humanity in the future on what he calls, “The Path of the Fourfold Wisdom.” I agree with him, that the wisdom of women will play a key role in leading humanity forward.

 There is some science behind this idea.

I was first exposed to this idea while doing research for my book. I wrote the following on page 126:

In a wonderful TED talk entitled, “How Women Wage Conflict without Violence,” filmmaker Julia Bacha cites a study conducted by Maria Stephan and Erica Chenoweth, documented in their book, Why Civil Resistance Works. In their study of the major nonviolent and violent conflicts that took place between 1900 and 2006, they found that nonviolent campaigns were more than twice as effective in producing the desired changes. Bacha cites the research of Victor Asal, who indicates

a major factor in the choice to use nonviolent resistance as a means of producing political change is whether women are allowed to play key roles in the public life of the society.

She also says this: “When a movement includes in its discourse language around gender equality, it increases dramatically the chances it will adopt nonviolence, and thus, the likelihood it will succeed.”

And this: “I don’t believe women are inherently or essentially more peaceful than men. But I do believe that in today’s world, women experience power differently. Having had to navigate being in the less powerful position in multiple aspects of their lives, women are often more adept at how to surreptitiously pressure for change against large, powerful actors.”



On International Women’s Day, I honor the women leaders who are leading us in finding nonviolent solutions to social inequities all over the world, and in the fight to minimize climate catastrophe. Whether political leaders, founders of nonprofits, business leaders, local activists and organizers, or community volunteers – we honor you for your often unrecognized service.

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