Women at the Peace Table

Friday, December 13, 2002


461 Honor Killings Of Women Reported In Two Provinces in Pakistan
December 12, 2002 – (UN Wire) Pakistan's main human rights body said yesterday that at least 461 women were reported killed by family members in so-called "honor killings" this year in Punjab and Sindh provinces, up from 372 reported last year, which it said shows the need for increased protection for Pakistani women. The conservative Balochistan and Northwest Frontier provinces were not included in the report, which suggests the number of actual killings could be higher.

On International Human Rights Day, Women Say Little Has Changed in Afghanistan
December 10, 2002 - (IRIN) “We thought that that the fall of Taliban will herald new changes, but all the warlords and Jihadis have returned to power,” Hammasa Maiwandi told IRIN on Tuesday in the Pakistani capital Islamabad.

Survivor of Attacks Speaks for Iraqi Women
December 10, 2002 – (WEnews) Katrin Michael, who lived through chemical attacks unleashed by Saddam Hussein on Iraq's Kurdish population, now lobbies for women's concerns as part of the exiled Iraqi opposition movement.

10 French NATO Peacekeepers Caught at Off-Limits Bar in Bosnia
December 6, 2002 – (UN Wire) A U.N. and local police team in Bosnia questioned 10 NATO peacekeepers following a raid on a bar in a Sarajevo suburb suspected of being frequented by prostitutes and off-limits to the forces, Associated Press reports.

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence in Uganda
November 25-December 9, 2002 – To mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, Isis Women's International Cross-Cultural Exchange (Isis-WICCE), a global women's organization in Africa, broadcast by radio, during the 16 days, to highlight the violations against women during conflict, how these violations affect women's empowerment, and the role of the community in peace-building.

Women Building Peace and Good Neighborliness in the Great Lakes Region from the Grassroots to Government: A Regional Exchange Workshop
December 2-11, 2002 – During the 16 days of activism, Isis-WICCE, in collaboration with the Burundian organization Women's Peace Center of Search for Common Ground, also held a training workshop for women leaders in the Great Lakes region “to equip them with skills that empower them to actively engage in peace-building and conflict resolution activities and campaigns.” For more information about the radio broadcasts and workshop, visit: http://www.wougnet.org/Documents/IsisWICCE/isis16days.html (At this time there is no feedback available from these events) or contact Juliet Were at: isis@starcom.co.ug. For more information about Isis-WICCE, go to: http://www.isis.or.ug/

The First Indigenous Women Summit of the Americas Under Way In Mexico
December 2, 2002 – (UN Wire) The first Indigenous Women Summit of the Americas opened Saturday in Oaxaca, Mexico, with more than 300 representatives of indigenous women's organizations from the Americas and elsewhere in attendance to discuss human rights, culture, politics, development and gender.

For an article about the First Indigenous Women's Summit of the Americas by WEnews, go to: http://www.womensenews.org/article.cfm?aid=1129

Concern Over High Levels of Violence Against Women, says World Organization Against Torture
November 30, 2002 – (Pambazuka) The World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) has expressed its deep concern at the high levels of violence against women that persist throughout the world. "Women and girls continue to be exclusively or disproportionately subjected to a number of different forms of violence within the context of the family, in the community and at the hands of State officials," said an OMCT statement on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, marked on November 25.

Global Mobilization on Violence Against Women
November 30, 2002 – (Pambazuka) Tens of thousands of women and men around the world launched a 16-day global mobilization Monday to raise awareness about the extent of violence against women and demand that it be halted.

Women Lead the way to Rwanda's Future
November 21, 2002 – (International Herald Tribune) Rwandans say that women bore the brunt of the genocide - they lost husbands and children, survived rape and torture - and yet they were the ones who picked up the pieces of a literally decimated society. This story was written by Elizabeth Powley, Associate Director of the Women Waging Peace Policy Commission.

Fourth Annual Women Waging Peace Colloquium
November 2-8, 2002 – Although this is not a recent news item, it is a worthy news item! From November 2-8, 2002, the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government hosted the fourth annual Women Waging Peace Colloquium, which brought women peace builders together to share their experiences with each other and with high-level policymakers, journalists, and academics. The focus of this year's Colloquium was the promotion of the inclusion of women in official and unofficial peace processes. For more information about the Colloquium, visit the Women Waging Peace website at: http://www.womenwagingpeace.net/content/whatwedo/colloquium/

To read an article about the colloquium titled “Women Wage Peace at Kennedy School: Colloquium Draws Women from Around the World” printed in the Harvard University Gazette, visit: http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2002/11.14/15-women.html

For More News please see: http://www.peacewomen.org/news/newsindex.html

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Women at the Peace Table
By Swanee Hunt

Swanee Hunt is a former US ambassador to Austria, the director of the Kennedy School's Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard University, and founder of Women Waging Peace, also based at Harvard University.

This artcile was published in the Boston Globe Op-Ed Section, November 5, 2002.

Two years ago the UN Security Council took an unprecedented stop towards creating global peace, a cause more urgent - and elusive - now than ever. The Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security, which insists on the full inclusion of women in peace processes.

The mandate of 1325 is echoed in similar positions taken over the last two years by the European Union, the Group of Eight foreign ministers, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. All have essentially agreed that women should be included in all phases of conflict resolution - preventing, stopping, and recovering from war - and at all levels, from grass roots to the highest government offices.

Why women? Around the world, they're already "waging peace," to borrow a phrase from the newest Nobel Peace laureate, Jimmy Carter. Examples abound:

- In the Middle East, a coordinating body of two independent women's centers, one Israeli and one Palestinian, has bridged a seemingly bottomless chasm and recently issued a joint statement setting forth concrete steps toward peace.

- Northern Irish women have helped calm the often deadly annual "marching season" by mediating between Protestant unionists and Catholic nationalists, including going into the prisons to work with political prisoners.

-A young Colombian human rights law professor organizes busloads of thousands of women to converge on the capitol to demand an end to the kidnapping and massacres.

-Rwandan women are using drama and song to prepare citizens for the reintegration of hundreds of thousands of perpetrators of genocide into their decimated communities.

- In Southeast Europe, more than 20 women in Kosovo's new Assembly have banded together across seven party lines in a women's caucus, the only non-partisan effort in that traumatized community.

-An Afghan woman has traveled the desolate countryside on behalf of the UN, encouraging local women to risk their lives and family honor to travel to Kabul to participate in the Loya Jirga, the national assembly.

-A prize-winning Russian reporter has been repeatedly apprehended by security forces as she investigates military abuses in President Putin's "war on terrorism" in Chechnya, making her way through checkpoints disguised as a peasant.

Despite these and hundreds more examples of women's innovative work in intractable conflicts, in the two years since the passage of Resolution 1325 little progress has been made towards translating word into action. A memorable failure to comply with their own resolution was the international fact-finding mission to the Middle East led by former US senator George Mitchell in November 2000, shortly after the second intifadah and the passage of the council resolution. There wasn't a single woman included in the mission, nor were any women's groups consulted by the delegation during its visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories, an act mandated by 1325.

A similar scene was repeated in Kosovo, where complaints of troops and contractors under the aegis of the UN frequenting brothels with sexually trafficked women were brushed aside by the secretary general's special representative, who refused to support "the sexual repression of 10,000 men." That attitude is not great surprise given that there have only been five female special representatives of the secretary general in UN history.

Prospects for a more secure world are growing dimmer by the day. Indeed, if those in positions of power were doing all they could to ensure peace, there would be reason for despair. Happily, we have more options. Among the most promising tools available to creating a safer world are the talents of the many women around the globe who are qualified and ready to work inside formal peace processes instead of only outside.

A coalition of forces is building: On October 16, Secretary-General Kofi Annan released a strong statement insisting on the necessity of brining women into the peace process. Meanwhile, the primary UN women's organization, UNIFEM, has come up with its own study on the difference women can make in war areas. And this week, some 120 policy makers will convene at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government to meet with 40 women from more than 20 conflicts to learn how they are bringing new energy to the weary work of ending war.

These women are waging peace outside the system. It's time to bring them to the table.

To read this article online, visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/news/november/WomenAtPeaceTable.html
For more information about Women Waging Peace, visit: http://www.womenwagingpeace.net

For a comprehensive annotated bibliography of books, articles and analyses on women's peace theory and activities, as well as NGO position papers, reports, speeches, statements and tools for organizational building, please go to: http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/resindex.html

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Women to Women: A Letter to Iraqi Women from Women in the United States

In the last issue of the newsletter we included information about a letter, written by women from WILPF US to the women of Iraq. This letter is now being circulated on email. We have included the letter below as well as the note by WILPF US that has been circulated with it:

WILPF has launched an initiative called “Women to Women.” The project involves a letter from women in the United States to the women of Iraq…With this project we are declaring that we will not participate in war-making against the people of Iraq. We are publicly stating our commitment to oppose the U.S. government's push to war. Acknowledging the level of suffering that these women have faced due to sanctions and military action, we pledge to work for a just and lasting peace with Iraq.

We will be collecting thousands of signed letters to present publicly as part of our activities on International Women's Day, March 8, 2003.

What you can do:
-Collect signatures in your community
-Publicize the action with local media
-Send the letter out to friends and family

Please send signed letters to:
WILPF National Office c/o Jen Geiger
1213 Race Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107-1691
Contact Jen with questions at: (215) 563-7110 or jengeiger@wilpf.org

To the Women of Iraq:

We, women in the United States, declare our opposition to the proposed "pre-emptive strikes" by our government against your country. We reject the planned efforts for "regime change" by the United States and Britain.

We are committed to working toward a just and lasting peace and pledge to do all we can to prevent an escalated war on your country, recognizing that the United States' war against Iraq has not stopped since 1991.

We are appalled by the devastating effects of sanctions instituted by the United Nations and perpetuated by the interests of the United States, and we are committed to working toward ending them. They are a crime against humanity.

As women we know that it is the women in a society who bear the greatest responsibility for the well-being of children, for tending them when they are fearful, malnourished, sick or in pain.

As women – as mothers and daughters, grandmothers and aunts, as sisters – we are reaching out to you, offering our friendship, support, and strength. You are not alone in the struggle for peace and justice.

We pledge to do everything within our power to prevent further suffering for you, your children, and all of the Iraqi people.

We call on women everywhere to join in nonviolent action to end current military operations and prevent future attacks. We are committed to doing the same.

We offer whatever support we can provide, directly to you, in these very dark and dangerous days.

Yours in peace.

For a comprehensive annotated bibliography of books, articles and analyses on women's peace theory and activities, as well as NGO position papers, reports, speeches, statements and tools for organisational building. Please go to: http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/resindex.html

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A Lingering Pain: Women and War in Uganda- A Video documentary
On November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Isis-Women's International Cross-Cultural Exchange (Isis-WICCE) launched the video documentary entitled "A Lingering Pain: Women and War in Uganda" in Kampala as one of its activities for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence. The documentary is an account of the experiences of Uganda's women war survivors during the past 25 years, who, despite their victimization at the hands of warring parties, have come together to mobilize. For information about how to order this video, visit: http://www.isis.or.ug/documentaries.htm

Hopes Betrayed: Trafficking of Women and Girls to Post-Conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina for Forced Prostitution
By Human Rights Watch, November 2002
HRW reports on the victimization of trafficked women and girls in post-conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the hands of those charged with protecting them-local police officials, and in particular, members of the International Police Task Force (IPTF). For more information about this HRW report and for related links, please visit:
http://www.whrnet.org/archive/news/news-02-12-04.htm#news2. To read the HRW report, visit: http://hrw.org/reports/2002/bosnia/

Common Ground or Mutual Exclusion? Women's Movements and International Relations
Edited by Marian Braig and Sonja Wölte, Zed Books
This book explores the impact of the women's movement on development, human rights and conflict, and raises a number of questions about the prospects for international women's movements to influence the international political agenda. Contributors include feminist scholars and activists as well as mainstream scholars of international relations. To order this book, visit: http://zedweb.hypermart.net/cgi-bin/a.cgi?1%2084277%20158%202, or contact: Mohammed Umar, Zed Books, at: sales@zedbooks.demon.co.uk or sales@zedbooks.demon.co.uk.

For a comprehensive annotated bibliography of books, articles on and analyses of women's peace theories and activities, as well as NGO position papers, reports, speeches, statements and tools for organisational building, go to: http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/resindex.html

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Women in Black Weekend
December 13-16, 2002, White House, Washington D.C.
This weekend has been declared Women in Black weekend by the Women's Peace Vigil organizers. The vigil continues until March 8, 2003. For more information about the ongoing Women's Peace Vigil and rolling fast, visit http://www.unitedforpeace.org, or email womens.vigil@verizon.net, or women@unitedforpeace.org.

Peacebuilding, Conflict Transformation and Post-war Reconstruction, Reconciliation and Resolution
January 20 - 24, 2003, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Peacebuilding, Conflict Transformation and Post-War Reconstruction, Reconciliation and Resolution (PCTR 2003), is a five-day intensive training program/workshop, exploring all three phases of violence and war -- pre-violence, violence, post-violence -- and what can be done. It is intended for experienced practitioners, aid and development workers, international diplomats, national and local level politicians, senior NGO staff, human rights and peace workers, and policy makers. The deadline for applications, along with CVs, is January 6th, 2003. For more information or to apply, please contact: training@transcend.org

Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
March 3-14, 2003 New York City, United Nations
The Commission this year will focus on two thematic issues: participation and access of women to the media, information and communication technologies, and their impact on and use as an instrument for the advancement and empowerment of women; and women's human rights and elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls as defined in the Beijing Platform of Action and the outcome document of the Special Session for the General Assembly entitled “Women: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”.
NGOs that are accredited to, and in good standing with, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) are eligible to designate representatives to attend the session. These NGOs are asked to provide the pre-registration form listing their representatives to the Division no later than Friday, 13 December 2002. Please note that an NGO may not forward additional representatives after this date and that the substitution of names of representatives after Tuesday, 31 December 2002 will not be allowed. For more information, visit: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/

International Human Rights March of Women for Peace in Israel/Palestine
April 2-20, 2003, Israel/Palestine
Twelve Norwegian women are cooperating with Israeli and Palestinian peace and women's organizations, and are supported by the Norwegian Peace Alliance and the Norwegian section of WILPF to hold an International Human Rights March of Women. This is a march open to women all over the world to participate. The March is founded on the principles of non-violence and on the UN's Declaration of Human Rights, and in the spirit of M. Gandhi and M.L. King. Fuller details of the planned program together with registration information will be forthcoming soon. For more information, contact Aliyah Strauss, Chair of the International Human Rights March Committee, Israel, at: mstrauss@012.net.il.

For more calendar events please visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/frame/calendar/calendar.html

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This edition of the 1325 PeaceWomen E-News Features:

1. 1325 News for PeaceWomen
2. Feature Analysis: Women at the Peace Table
3. Feature Statement: Women to Women- A Letter to Iraqi Women from Women in the United States
4. Resources for PeaceWomen: A Diversity of New Resources
5. Calendar Events for PeaceWomen