Asked in a conversation with the Dalai Lama, via live-streaming and video link-up, how he believed war could be stopped, Tutu responded: "Actually it is very straightforward: let women take over."
He said women were by nature more inclined towards compassion, whereas men tend to feel they have to be "macho".
"You are basically life-giving, life-affirming. That is what you are naturally when you are unspoilt... Women can actually make society civil."
Tutu, who is celebrating his 80th birthday, ventured that if Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler had been given more love by his mother, history may have been different.
"Hitler was not dangled by his mother. He did not get the sense of security... because he felt empty inside himself, as bullies tend to, he tried to get affirmation by being nasty."
Tutu and the Dalai Lama resorted to the long distance conversation after the South African government failed to issue Tibet's spiritual leader with a visa in time to travel to Cape Town for the birthday celebrations.