EXTRACTS FROM THE REPORT
OF THE INTERNATIONAL
CONGRESS OF WOMEN
Zurich May 12 - 17, 1919
Published by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom,
Resolution VI: Programme on the Status of Women
This congress holds that women cannot make their fullest and most characteristic contribution to the community in any capacity so long as they have not social, political and economic dependence and full opportunity for education and development: it believes that the recognition of women's service to the world, not only as wage-earners, but as mothers and homemakers, is an essential factor in building up of the world's peace. [pp.98-99]
Resolution III. section 2: International Education Council
Believing that the basis for Peace between nations and within nations is a fuller and wider education of the peoples, this Congress resolves that a Permanent International Educational Council be instituted for the purpose of promoting the idea of world organization and international ethics and citizenship. The congress asks the officers of the ICWPP to appoint an International Committee which shall create the machinery, etc. [pp. 135-136]
On page 137 there is a proposal for an International Normal School with faculty to be drawn from every country (one man and one woman from each) and 10 students from each country.
The events of the last five years have proved that our civilization has completely failed. Our lives have been dominated by a purely materialistic philosophy, by a policy of sheer force and violence. The Women's International League for peace and Freedom seeks to establish a basis for a new human civilization. Properly to accomplish this, we must begin with the education of the peoples. Respect for human life, the sacred character of the individual personality, must become fundamental in our thinking. Only men and women of high moral and intellectual standing can be trusted with so sacred a task. [p.267]
Creation of an International Spirit Through Education:
Everything which tends to hinder international understanding, to injure national pride, or to arouse hate and scorn for foreign peoples should be excluded from text books. The history of civilization should be fundamental to all instruction; the young shall be made familiar with the evolution of peoples, and with the lives of great men of all times. Instruction in civics should develop a world consciousness and give an introduction to the duties of world citizenship.
The introduction to national literature should go hand in hand with acquaintance with the masterpieces of other countries.
The preparation and distribution of books exciting to hate should be subject to the same legal penalties as exist for impure foods. International commissions to examine such books are proposed.
In future the press cannot, as an international influence, be permitted to continue in the service of violent and imperialist politics, but must be put upon a new basis as a factor in the education of mankind.
Instruction in foreign, languages should be supplemented by the introduction of an auxiliary world-language.
Especial attention should be paid to comparative studies of the psychology of peoples.
The establishment of a free international university and of an international normal school is desirable.
The existing exchange of professorships and exchange of students should be extended. A period of residence in foreign countries should so far as practicable be required as part of preparation for teaching. Higher schools for women should train the women as a world-citizen for her responsible task as mother of humanity.
There should be established in all countries: Numerous clubs, unions and summer courses for foreigners without distinction of nationality; circulating libraries for foreign books; internationally organised associations of professors and students.
Exchange lectures on the experience of various countries in special fields might become the basis of a permanent institute for international information.
Development of physical culture should take the form, not of military drill, but of a method of developing the strength and efficiency of the human race. [pp. 268-269]
Contributed by Carol and David Bowie
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