William & Mary Psychology Professor Harvey Langholtz will participate in a United Nations panel discussion Monday about the role of women in war and peace building.
The event will be webcast live between 1:15 and 2:30 p.m. at http://www.unmultimedia.org/tv/webcast/index.html.
Along with Langholtz, the other members of the panel include the U.N. ambassador from Brazil, the ambassador from Norway, a minister from Nigeria and the assistant secretary general for U.N. women.
Langholtz said the topic of the discussion is the idea that women can, do and should play active roles in conflict resolution and post-conflict peace building and reconstruction. Throughout history, war was thought of as something that was fought between men, Langholtz said. However, now, especially in developing nations -- like Liberia, Sierra Leone, former Yugoslavia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Colombia, Ivory Coast -- war is often culturally or locally based.
“It’s not just one country against another, but it’s these internal conflicts,” he said. “And the idea is that women can play a constructive role in ameliorating these differences at the political and social levels and trying to get the violence to stop. And, once that violence has stopped, cross-culturally and across groups, build on women-to-women relationships in terms of developing trust and peace building.”
These are concepts that are outlined in U.N Security Council resolution 1325. Langholtz was invited to participate in the panel because he helped develop a self-paced, e-learning course on the resolution.
“This is not a theoretical topic, but it’s a recognition of the role that women can play in these difficult situations,” he said.
Langholtz has often received recognition for his work on peacekeeping. In 2009, he was presented with the Peacekeeping Education and Training Award during the annual meeting of the International Association of Peacekeeping Training Centres. Langholtz received the award for the work he had done through the not-for-profit organization he began, which provides online peace-keeping training to people around the world. He has also published numerous pieces on the topic of peace keeping, including two books.