"Binding Themselves The Closer To Their Own Peculiar Duties": Gender And Women's Work For Peace, 1818-1860

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Peace And Change


Although there was no separate women's peace movement before World War I, women were active in the movement almost from its inception at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Before the Civil War, male leaders of the American Peace Society and its predecessors were ambiguous in their attempts to recruit women into the movement. They encouraged women to join peace groups, contribute financially, and influence other women and children but not to take leadership positions or direct movement policy. Women joined the mixed-gender groups and formed their own peace societies. They also worked individually and in groups outside of the societies, writing on peace issues, influencing others, and acting as citizen-diplomats by forming networks with women internationally.