Honor the True Origins of Mother’s Day
Did you know that the celebration of Mother’s Day in the United States began as a call for a “Mother’s Day for Peace?” After witnessing the bloodshed of the U.S. Civil War, women leaders called for mothers worldwide to unite:
– Julia Ward Howe, 1870
It has been more than 150 years since those words were written, but the urgency of peace—and of women’s peace leadership—is just as pressing today. Globally, research has shown that when women lead, crises are more likely to be resolved without violence, and peace agreements are more likely to last. Yet women remain grossly underrepresented in governments and in peace processes.
We have seen, through our collaborations worldwide over the past 28 years, that having women in positions of leadership opens up entirely new understandings of conflicts and opportunities for resolution. In order for peace to be sustainable, everyone affected needs to be part of the solution.
If you want inspiration this Mother’s Day for Peace, you might enjoy looking back on our stories about the power of Senegalese priestesses to stop war or women in Madagascar taking on new leadership. You can also learn more about our current women-led collaborations in Nigeria and Myanmar.
We would love know what you think! Comments are open (below) if you have thoughts or a tribute to share about peacebuilding this Mother’s Day. If you would like to make a gift in honor of someone, we would be glad to inform them and/or share your words on this webpage as well.
Community Tributes & Comments
Make a Mother's Day Gift
Your gift in honor of a loved one will support initiatives to develop long-lasting peace in communities impacted by conflict. Thank you!DONATE
Maureen Flannery made gifts in honor of Adrienne Flannery-Reilly and Maggie Lehnerd-Reilly with the message: “War is not healthy for children and other living things. Praying for a safe and peaceful world for your children and my grandchildren.”
Thank you for the great work that your organization does and for sharing the lost intentions of Mother’s Day.
I want to share the following link for an extended history of what became Mother’s Day:
The Surprisingly Radical History of Mother’s Day
By: Laurie L. Dove | Updated: May 5, 2022
Thank you for that additional context! The more I learn about this the more fired up I feel about it. I just also saw this in-depth resource from the Zinn Education Project: https://www.zinnedproject.org/news/tdih/mothers-day-for-peace/