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Culture & Religion

Women Would Lead a More Peaceful World

Women's psychology is better suited to keeping the peace, say some of today's top minds. Informed by evolution, women have a greater incentive to negotiate with those around them.

What’s the Latest Development?

Were more women in positions of political power, the Earth would be a more peaceful place, says former secretary of defense Joseph Nye. Referencing Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker’s latest book, Nye says women’s evolutionary role in society has emphasized skills like nurturing and peace keepinghistorically, women have not banded together to wage war on neighboring villages. In cases where powerful women, like Margaret Thatcher and Hillary Clinton, have advocated violence, it is because they have conformed to male roles, says Nye.

What’s the Big Idea?

Though American women continue to lag in leadership positions, holding just five percent of top corporate positions and 16 percent of seats in political legislatures (compared with Sweden’s 45 percent), gender discrimination is being broken down. Some credit must be given to the decentralized nature of modern communication networks in information-based societies, says Nye. Shared and distributed leadership are becoming more valuable than strictly hierarchical organizations as technology brings a more feminine approach to politics.

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