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Mary-Wynne Ashford

Mary-Wynne Ashford

Enough Blood Shed: 101 Solutions to Violence, Terror and War

Date Recorded: Oct 13th, 2006
Recorded At: Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver, BC
Recorded By: Thomas Hicks, Necessary Voices Society
Duration: 59:30  

Topic Background

With thanks to the media dictum “If it bleeds, it leads” North Americans have become increasingly subject to images and graphic reports of the blood spilled by their fellow citizens and Iraqis, Afghans and victims of war and violence across the world. Dr. Ashford’s recent book , Enough Blood Shed, confronts the reality of this world awash in weapons and the belief that war is inevitable, with solutions based on the power of ordinary people to make a difference.

The book unveils some startling facts that come from War and Peace in the 21st Century, a research report of the Human Security Centre at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Ashford discusses these facts as context for her hopeful, and practical solution-driven analysis. The book documents successful non-violent interventions that have prevented or resolved armed conflict, and offers solutions involving everything from empowering women, boycotting nuclear weapons manufacturers, and getting out of the arms trade, to addressing the needs of the poor and countering hate propaganda.

After already being a mother and having a career as a teacher, Mary-Wynne Ashford started medical school at 38. Her intent was to be a family doctor, but after hearing Helen Caldicott speak on nuclear disarmament, she took on the cause and found a way to combine it with her career. As a past co-president of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, a Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization, she has given more than 250 lectures, and presentations in some 20 countries. Her stories of peace encounters enliven the solutions with first hand experiences.

It was to better understand the roots of violence that Dr. Ashford pursued doctoral studies at Simon Fraser University, where she graduated with a Ph.D. in 1997. Her dissertation was on prevention of adolescent violence.

Speaker Biography

Mary-Wynne Ashford grew up in Edmonton, where she graduated from the University of Alberta in 1961. She received several awards at U of A, including the Mamie Shaw Simpson Trophy for the Outstanding Woman Student on Campus.

She returned to university to study medicine at the University of Calgary when she was 38 years old, graduating in 1981. She interned at the Victoria General Hospital and was a family doctor for the next 11 years. In 1984 she became active in the nuclear disarmament movement, working with the Canadian Physicians for Social Responsibility and the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). Her interest in the role of women in peace and disarmament led her to work with the Voice of Women and with the YWCA of Canada, both nationally and internationally.
Dr. Ashford served as President of Canadian Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War and chaired the World Congress of the International chapter in 1988 in Montreal. She was a Vice president of International chapter representing North America, and then Co-President of for two terms.

She has received many awards including the prestigious Gandhi Award from Simon Fraser University and the Thakore Foundation, the Governor General of Canada’s Medal on two occasions. She received the YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the Human Rights category, and the YMCW Peace Medal. She is an Honorary Citizen of the City of Victoria. She received the 2004 Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility Distinguished Physician Award in the name of Sir Paul Beeson.

She retired from clinical medicine at the end of 2003 in order to write Enough Blood Shed, for New Society Publishers. This book is the third in the “Solutions” series edited by Guy Dauncey, and was published in the Spring of 2006.

Dr. Ashford is married to Dr. Russell Davidson and has three children, four step children and eight grandchildren.She is now leading an initiative of Physicians for Global Survival for a web-based resource, “Responsibility to Care: The Physicians Call to End War” at

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