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Meet Anke Kuiper, Dutch citizen and member of The Women's International League of Peace and Freedom - an organization which arose out the historic 1915 meeting of an international group of women who came to The Hague in an effort to stop World War I. A kindred to spirit to the individuals behind 'Piece of the Palace', Anke used the Peace Palace Centenary - and the Hague's first ever ‘Peace Run’ (Vredesloop) on September 21, 2013, to raise awareness about Aletta Jacobs. Anke ran along with her daughter and daughter-in-law (pictured above) and was supported by other friends to honor the legacy of Aletta Jacobs and raise awareness about her important work in organizing women to help realize the vision of global peace for which the Peace Palace stands as a symbolic monument. Piece of the Palace supported Anke's effort, in part, by helping to share Anke’s (and Aletta’s) story. Photographed above are (top set) Anke Kuiper with daughter Jolijn and daughter-in-law Eva, WILPF member Carolien van de Stadt, WILPF member Jitske Zitman and Niels van Tol (research librarian at Peace Palace Library); middle set: Anke Kuiper; bottom set: Jitske Zitman and Hope Elizabeth May in front of the Peace Palace, Anke Kuiper and family after the run. Some video highlights of the day can be seen here.

The work of Aletta Jacobs is importantly linked to a number of peacebuilding women that came before her.
Bertha von Suttner - another important peace activist about whom 'Piece of the Palace' has been educating the public - died in 1914. Bertha laid the foundation stone for Aletta's 1915 meeting as she helped to organize women around the goals of peace, disarmament and arbitration by raising the public's consciousness about the senselessness of war. Bertha did this through publishing in 1889, her bestselling novel 'Die Waffen Nieder! (Lay Down Your Arms!), which paved the way for the 1899 Hague Peace Conference. Bertha and Aletta knew eachother (Bertha was 19 years older than Aletta). Unlike Bertha, Aletta saw the right to vote as an essential component to peace - for if women's voices could influence the policies of nations and states, the vision of the 'peace through law' movement could be realized. Bertha - through the success of Die Waffen Nieder! realized that her voice could also influence the policies of nations and states through less 'official' means. In other words, Bertha realized the 'soft power' of writing, speaking and organizing. Indeed, she saw the 1899 Hague Peace Conference as an effect of these 'soft power' efforts, so she was not as focused on women's suffrage as was Jacobs. In fact, Bertha originally criticized Aletta for this focus - but eventually saw the importance of votes for women.

Aletta not only worked to get Dutch women the right to vote, but she also organized the historic 1915 Hague meeting mentioned above. Aletta and the approximately 1000 women who came to The Hague in 1915 in an effort to stop World War I laid the groundwork for WILPF, allowing subsequent generations of women such as Anke's to continue this important work
. One of WILPF's campaigns focuses on UN Security Council Resolution 1325. This resolution acknowledges the importance of women's voices in peace processes and when fully realized, women of armed conflict will be seen not merely as victims but as "agents of peace and reconciliation". Bertha said it best, 'Hail to the Future!'.



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Only connect ... and human love will be seen at its height.  Live in fragments no longer. 
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E.M. Forster, Howards End