Genuine Security

Women for Genuine Security*

Security is often thought of as “national security” or “military security”. We believe that militarism undermines everyday security for many people and for the environment. Following the United Nations Development Program report of 1994, we argue that genuine security arises from the following principles:

The physical environment must be able to sustain human and natural life;

People’s basic needs for food, clothing, shelter, health care, and education must be guaranteed;

People’s fundamental human dignity should be honored and cultural identities respected;

People and the natural environment should be protected form avoidable harm.

Working for genuine security means:

Valuing people and having confidence in their potential to live in life-affirming ways

Building a strong personal core that enables us to work with “others” across lines of significant difference through honest and open dialogue

Respecting differences based on gender, race, and culture, rather than using these attributes to objectify “others” as inferior

Relying on spiritual values to make connections with others

Creating relationships of care so that children and young people feel needed and gain respect for themselves and each other through meaningful participation in community projects, decision making, and work

Redefining manhood to include nurturing and caring for others. Men’s sense of wellbeing, pride, belonging, competence, and security should come from activities and institutions and that are life affirming

Valuing cooperation over competition

Eliminating gross inequalities of wealth between countries and between people within countries

Eliminating oppressions based on gender, race, class, heterosexuality, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, able body-ism, and other significant differences

Building genuine democracy — locally, nationally, regionally, and internationally — with local control of resources and appropriate education to participate fully

Valuing the complex ecological web that sustains human beings and of which we are all a part

Ending all forms of colonialism and occupation

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