Press Release - Mothers are at the heart of a culture of peace. Together with fathers, they are the primary caregivers and educators of children, and they can contribute to the prevention of conflicts and sustainable peace – if only they are recognized as such, and adequately educated, informed and supported.
Make Mothers Matter, together with CARE International Morocco, organised on 3-4 May 2018 in Casablanca (Morocco) an international conference on the role of mothers for peace – “#Mothers4Peace”. The conference, which benefited from the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, discussed the role of mothers for peace at the family level, as well as at community, national, and international levels.
On this International Day of Peace, Make Mothers Matter wishes to share two of the main conclusions of the conference, which concern every parent, on how recent scientific evidence supports that peace begins in the home and peace education should start at a very early age.
The message of Dr. Rima Salah, Professor at the Yale Child Study Centre and former Deputy Director-General of UNICEF, is clear and says it all with regards to the need to invest in early childhood development (ECD) policies:
“While an individual’s genetic endowment is fundamental, parenting provides a legacy that transcends our genes. How a child is nurtured and cared for early in life has a direct impact on brain structure and function. This new knowledge holds significant implications for the future of millions of children living in fragile contexts worldwide, as well as on our thinking about creating a culture of peace and about sustaining peace in the world…
It further highlights the importance of positive parenting and reinforces the evidence that stimulation, caregiving, attachment, bonding and creating safe contexts for children, all have a positive influence on their brain development and can help children grow, learn and thrive.”
The message of Gary Barker, President and CEO of Promundo, a global leader in engaging men and boys in promoting gender equality and violence prevention, and Cofounder of the global campaign, MenCare, highlights the need to promote men’s involvement as equitable, non-violent caregivers. A key entry point is expectant fathers.
“New research demonstrates that engaging men in parent-training initiatives not only reduces multiple forms of violence, but also increases fathers’ involvement in childcare and expands overall gender equality in participating families.” (State of the World’s Fathers 2017, p.14)
For example, a parent training programme in Rwanda with 1,700 expectant fathers resulted in a 50% reduction in violence against women and a 30% reduction against children.
On the occasion of the International Day of Peace let’s recognize how mothers with fathers matter for building a culture of peace, as the primary caregivers and educators of their children.
Beyond the family, building peace is also our collective responsibility. We all have to be aware that recognizing and supporting the role of parents is crucial – and act on it. Make Mothers Matter hopes that the evidence will become so clear that it will be a priority for policymakers and for each and every one of us: parents need better recognition as well as training, information and support.
This message was also taken up by the Early Childhood Peace Consortium (ECPC)
UN New York, HLPF - Invitation to a virtual side-event to the 2020 High-Level Political Forum on 16 July
UN Geneva, Human Rights Council - At the discussion on violence against children MMM also reasserted the importance of supporting parents in caregivers, especially during the critical early years.