Women have been historically linked with anti war movements. While some scholars consider this position reductionist, others have argued that women's traditional roles as mothers and nurturers situate them as natural opponents of militarism and warfare. The women represented in this theme found the struggle for peace to be their life's work. Both Vera Brittain
and Dora Russell
were radicalized for peace by their very different experiences in England during the First World War: Brittain, a young woman who lost both her fiance and her brother in the conflict, and Russell, who saw her future husband imprisoned for his outspoken resistance. Eva Sanderson
and Claire Culhane
were both outspoken Canadian anti-Vietnam War activists.
In addition to the four case studies presented here, women are also featured in the counterpoint theme to this one, Women and War. They also appear elsewhere, presented in various themes: Marion S. Simpson under The Hamilton Connection, Constance Malleson and Jane Abbott in Civilians Caught up In War, and Vera Brittain once again, this time as a young woman exchanging letters with her sweetheart in the trenches Life at the Front.