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Before and since Abraham we have been driven by an instinctual sense that force is the appropriate response to threat. We have seen that instinct become circular and self fulfilling; we have seen it become preemptive; and we have seen it formalized into national policy (the Bush doctrine). Now and then a prophet will assert a different view: (turn the other cheek or ....), but preparedness for or show of force remains the dominant strategy for group survival for our species. We have seen horrid consequences, even since the Holocaust. 900,000 people were murdered in Rwanda in 90 days in 1994. Five million have been killed in the past ten years in the Congolese Civil War. The number of people killed in the Bosnian War is estimated at 200,000 with an additional 1.8 million displaced.
How does a nation rebuild after such destruction ? In Rwanda there is evidence that it may be in woman that the greatest strength for rebuilding resides.
If we made a short list of major phenomena hampering progress on our planet our treatment of women would be on the list (along with our propensity to go to war). These phenomena illustrate this: