Part 3: Kosen-rufu and World Peace
Chapter 31: The Great Path to World Peace [31.31]

31.31 Building a Culture of Peace through the Power of Women

In this selection, President Ikeda asserts that the power of women and their steadfast one-to-one efforts to encourage and inspire others serve as a driving force for building a culture of peace.

Throughout the long history of humanity, women have suffered the most whenever society has been wracked by war, violence, oppression, abuse of human rights, disease, and famine.

It has been women, in spite of this, who have persevered in turning society in the direction of good, in the direction of hope, and in the direction of peace. Women hold the key to opening a future filled with hope, as Mahatma Gandhi asserted: “If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed, is woman less brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior. . . . If non-violence is the law of our being, the future is with women.”1

Elise Boulding, the renowned peace studies scholar, stresses that cultures of peace are to be found in each individual’s process of tenaciously continuing peace-oriented behavior. She attaches particular importance to women’s role in this aspect.

Peace is not something to be left to others in distant places. It is something we create day to day in our efforts to cultivate care and consideration for others, forging bonds of friendship and trust in our respective communities through our own actions and example.

As we enhance our respect for the sanctity of life and human dignity through our daily behavior and steady efforts at dialogue, the foundations for a culture of peace will deepen and strengthen, allowing a new global civilization to blossom. With women leading the way, when each and every person is aware and committed, we will be able to prevent society from relapsing into the culture of war, and foster and nurture energy toward the creation of a century of peace.

The SGI has always been a movement committed to empowerment—of the people, by the people, and for the people—through a process we describe as human revolution. The essence of empowerment is to fully unleash the boundless potential inherent in every human being based on the Buddhist understanding that our own happiness is inextricably linked to the happiness of others.

It is our belief that through active engagement with others and the process of mutual support and encouragement, individual peace and happiness will be realized, and the foundations for world peace will be further solidified.

It is my great joy and pride that SGI members—committed to the inconspicuous but steady practice of empowerment by encouraging friends who are suffering and bringing out their courage to live and to hope—have built a people’s solidarity through their movement of peace, culture, and education as good citizens of their respective countries and communities.

I would like to affirm once again that the forging of personal relationships based on trust and respect is exactly the culture of peace put into practice. I am convinced that a culture of peace can truly be realized on a global scale and become permanent when peace takes root in the mind of every single person.

From a peace proposal commemorating the 25th SGI Day, January 26, 2000.

The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace brings together selections from President Ikeda’s works on key themes.

  • *1Mahatma Gandhi, All Men Are Brothers: Autobiographical Reflections, compiled and edited by Krishna Kripalani (New York: Continuum, 2000), p. 148.