Halperin, Liv, "Beyond Clueless Mothers: Israeli "Women Wage Peace" Activists' Perceptions of Why Women Are Key to Peacemaking," Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society, Summer2024, Vol. 31 Issue 2, p249-272

Focusing on a contemporary peace movement in Israel, Women Wage Peace (WWP), this article studies female Jewish and Arab-Palestinian activists to understand if/why they believe in women’s peacefulness and why they chose a women-led movement. While not challenging the idea of women’s peacefulness, the activists’ testimonies shed light on various explanations behind the “women and peace hypothesis,” beyond maternal arguments. Despite a militaristic / patriarchal context where maternal collective action frames are culturally resonant, some activists refuse to be reduced to one-dimensional mothers. The article also finds that through caring practices, WWP creates a unique feeling of belonging, including for Arab-Palestinian activists experiencing a deficit of belonging. The article draws on qualitative methodologies, interviews, and ethnographic work conducted in 2019–2020. Implications include the value for women’s peace movements to use both maternal and feminine collective action frames, decoupled from motherhood, and to actively create “safe spaces” where women feel that they belong.