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This week openDemocracy is in Galway in Ireland, where we have been at the first conference of the Nobel Women's Initiative. Twelve women have won the Nobel Peace Prize since it began. Seven are still alive, one is under house arrest and one is running for president - and the remaining five have brought together some of the world's most influential activists, researchers, academics and professionals to talk about war, peace, security, justice, and how to change a world in which all of the above, except war, are in short supply.
Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Nobel laureate and veteran of peacebuilding in Northern Ireland, draws hope from the principles of peace that millions of ordinary people practice every day, unobserved by the world's media. Natasha Khalid and Nadera Shalhoub Kevorkian discuss the hardships and the creativity of women living in the occupied territories, in tackling the insecurity they face in every aspect of their lives. Shirin Ebadi, awarded the Nobel for her human rights work in Iran, warns of how power and patriarchy - through military intervention, religious traditions, violence or political practice - can undermine those who struggle for freedom and democracy. And she introduces a new kind of war memorial.