Development and Peace 2017

Message to Parishes and Schools
You know, it is interesting that during our lifetime here in Canada there has been a significant increase in the number women in leadership roles. Not only do we see this increase, but we also know there are special efforts being taken by our governments and in the business and professional world to encourage women and girls to seek leadership roles.
This is not surprising because women and girls are essential in building peace and security in society. You may think this sounds idealistic, but, did you know that studies have shown that a peace agreement in 35 percent more likely to last at least fifteen years if women are included in its creation.
Why is this so? It is because women are recognized as honest in brokering peace.
Also, dis you know, that the number of women parliament is the most effective predictor of peace in any country. Studies have shown that the more women parliamentarians there are in a given country, the less likely it is to be in a state of civil war. In fact in countries where at least 35 percent of parliamentarians are women, the risk of reverting to conflict is close to zero.
In Canada we are striving for more and more equal representation of men and women in all walks of life. Equally we should be striving to encourage women to be key players in advancing their societies through peace building and conflict prevention.
But as you know, women all over the world are being barred from peace processes. Although evidence shows that women play a vital role in creating lasting peace, discrimination and marginalization by decision makers continues. Gender based violence and cultural practices stand solidly between women and a peace that would benefit all humanity.
Did you know there is something all of us can do about this?
First, let us celebrate all of the women who have been part of our rich Canadian history – starting with the women and girls in our own families, churches, schools and communities.
Second let us commit ourselves to learn more about why empowerment of women is so important.
Third, let us find ways to help women here and abroad who are currently barred from living a peaceful dignified life.
Fourth, Let us commit to signing the Development and Peace Action Card in your pews. This card asks our government to support women and women’s organizations working for peace. It also asks the government to increase Canada’s official development assistance to build a more peaceful world.
Thank You
Action cards (to be mailed to Prime Minister Trudeau) will be distributed in pews for masses of November 18th and 19th or you can – Sign the action card on line at –
Join the Development and Peace – Caritas Canada campaign to learn more about the role of women in violence prevention and peacebuilding. For more information, visit
Related Videos:
Women Peacebuilders – Women and peacebuilding
Women Peacebuilders – What is peace? (used at masses Nov. 18 and 19)
Women at the Heart of Peace Video
50th Anniversary: Animated Timeline
Regards, Bill Toivonen