It was the women who helped end the bitter political and ethnic strife that ravaged Northern Ireland in the 1970s. It was the women who said enough to the atrocities in Liberia, peacefully resolving a civil conflict there more than a decade ago. Now, women are turning their attention to the divided Korean Peninsula, where a technical state of war has endured for more than 62 years.
On Wednesday at the United Nations in New York, using a conference on the status of women as a backdrop, leading female advocates of disarmament will formally announce their intent to walk across the Demilitarized Zone, the two-mile-wide swath of land, ringed by barbed wire and booby traps, that separates North and South.
Their goal, organizers of the walk said, was to punctuate their desire for a permanent peace treaty to replace the 1953 armistice that halted, but technically did not end, the Korean War, a conflict that claimed four million lives, mostly Koreans, and separated millions of families.