If you Google “the secret to world peace,” you get a raw deal: Four out of the first five articles offered up to you by the internet gods were written by men.

It’s true, though, that the secret is out there. In fact, it’s been right before our eyes all along. But it’s merely a whisper in the halls of power, hardly applied in any practical or political sense, and often systematically discouraged.

The secret to world peace is women.

Although if you were in Vienna, Austria, on Feb. 19 and 20, you would be forgiven for assuming that women were already front and center.

It was the setting for the Global Women’s Forum for Peace and Humanitarian Action — a summit that brought together grassroots feminist activists from all around the world to learn from one another and build on a lifetime tackling gender inequality.

Here’s what they had to say about getting women involved in building peace processes from the start.

  1. Ndacayisaba Marie Goretti from Association Dushirehamwe in Burundi, Africa. Goretti is a sociologist, researcher, and activist who has been in the equality space for more than 25 years. She’s an expert on UN Resolution 1325 — adopted in 2000, it acknowledges the impact conflict has on women and girls, while calling for women to be protected and included in peacebuilding efforts.
  2. Shire en Hussain from Sewan in Iraq, Asia. Hussain works for Sewan — an Iraqi organization that focused on 10 women in 15 different districts in the country for training in the art of conflict resolution.
  3. Ana Cristina Pino Cabrera from Centrap in Colombia, South America. Cabrera runs an organization in Bogotá that supports women’s groups across Colombia. Her team trains women to be leaders and to overcome their challenges to participate more fully in politics and earn social influence.
  4. Margaret Taylor from the Women Empowerment Network in Liberia, Africa. 
    Taylor has worked on gender equality for the last decade, and now works as executive director for the Women’s Empowerment Network, a group of 45 women-led grassroots organizations under one umbrella to advocate for equal rights.
  5. Dr. Nibras Almanoury from the Iraqi Women Journalists Forum in Iraq, Asia.
    Almanoury has worked in Iraqi media for 28 years, and after experiencing the gender bias in the industry, she established the first nonprofit organization in Iraq for women journalists. She also has a Ph.D. in political science to boot.

Read the full article about women activists fighting for world peace by James Hitchings at Global Citizen.