1. 1325 NEWS FOR PEACEWOMEN
Somali Women Discuss Peace Talks At UNIFEM Meeting
October 9, 2002 - Women from five regions in southern and central Somalia recently wrapped up a three-day, workshop co-sponsored by UNIFEM and a local NGO in the town of Marka at which they discussed strategies for the upcoming peace talks in Eldoret, Kenya. The workshop was intended to, among other things, promote awareness" on the Islamic view of women's role in decision-making and political participation.” The group is expected to draft an appeal outlining participants' strategy for the peace negotiations. To read the article online, go to: http://irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=30292
UN Conference Examines Women's Role in Conflict Prevention and Reconciliation
October 11, 2002 - The Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders, the three-day conference at the UN in Geneva, which brought together 500 women spiritual and religious leaders and leading businesswomen, from 75 countries, ended this past Wednesday. Participants established an International Women's Negotiating Corps to help prevent conflict and promote reconciliation after conflict, a Business Council for Peace that would offer women in conflict-ridden countries help with rebuilding their lives, and also proposed the establishment of a web site, in collaboration with UNIFEM. The participants also decided to send an international delegation of women spiritual leaders to meet with U.S. political leaders to stress the importance of pursuing alternatives to war in Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
From UN Wire: http://www.unfoundation.org/unwire/util/display_stories.asp?objid=29597
Peter Ford, writer for The Christian Science Monitor, reported on this conference in “Spiritual leaders tap future of peacemaking: women” at: http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/1011/p07s02-wogn.htm
General Assembly Opens Annual Debate On Women's Advancement
October 11, 2002 - The U.N. General Assembly's Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee (Third Committee) opened its annual debate on the advancement of women Wednesday. One of the issues highlighted was the critical situation of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), the only UN institution located in a developing country (Dominican Republic), which lacks adequate funding resources and institutional stability. The majority of Third Committee countries raised concerns, some quite vehemently, about the future of INSTRAW, recognizing its importance as an institution within the UN. For more coverage, go to: http://www.unfoundation.org/unwire/util/display_stories.asp?objid=29591
Third Committee Concludes Annual Debate with Discussion of Link Between Women, Poverty and Violence
October 15, 2002 - The General Assembly's Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee concluded its annual debate on the advancement of women with speakers linking violence against women to poverty and armed conflict. For more coverage, go to: http://www.unfoundation.org/unwire/util/display_stories.asp?objid=29624
Female Correspondents Changing War Coverage
October 16, 2002 - The growing acceptance of women war correspondents is ushering in a new kind of reporting for the new-style war--one in which the casualties are women and children more often than soldiers. For the full opinion piece by Sheila Gibbons, Women's Enews columnist, go to: http://www.womensenews.org/article.cfm?aid=1074
For More News please see: http://www.peacewomen.org/news/newsindex.html
2. PEACEWOMEN STATEMENT: Edith Ballantyne Speaks at the Sharm El Sheikh Initiative, Egypt
In the last issue of the newsletter we briefly reported on the three-day conference “Women for Peace, Dialogue for Action,” or the Sharm El Sheikh Initiative, held in Egypt in late September. Edith Ballantyne, WILPF UN Special Advisor, participated in the conference. We have included a copy of her intervention made at a plenary session, below
Madame Mubarak, Excellencies, sister and fellow participants in this conference:
I bring greetings from the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. We thank Madame Mubarak and her colleagues for this 'women for peace' initiative and for inviting us to take part in launching a new Dialogue for Action - for peace. We fully support this exciting undertaking and will want to be part in the future activities.
The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom had its birth, as an international women's peace organization, in the international women's Congress, held in 1915 in The Hague, Holland, to stop the war that was then ravaging Europe, and to seek conditions on which a permanent peace could be built. It was the first ever women's peace congress.The women appealed to the neutral states to bring the belligerent nations to the negotiating table and talk instead of fight. Although we were not too successful at the time, we continued and continue to work ceaselessly to end the war system and to resolve conflicts by peaceful means. We seek to understand the root causes of conflict and war and endeavour to help eliminate them. WILPF advocates, educates and mobilizes for peace based on justice. We have consultative status with the United Nations and use the opportunities we find to undertake, promote and support peace initiatives and dialogue, working singly and in coalition with other organizations.
In the many years of our work we have seen moments of progress, experienced their fragility as we were plunged back into greater violence. All too often the reason that such progress could not be maintained was because its base was too fragile, usually forced by the stronger on the weaker, with the root causes not at all or not seriously touched.
This has been a very rich enriching morning. Everything that has been said, WILPF can agree with, and I will refrain from taking your time by repeating what has already been said so well. I would like to take the few minutes I have to add one or two points we in WILPF consider important:
- We are in the UN declared Decade for a Culture of Peace. For us in WILPF, this means transforming our militaristic culture into a peace culture. This is a gigantic task and is one that must be tackled at so many levels. Militarism is pervasive in our culture. For an anecdote, let me give a small, almost banal but telling example: Mrs. Margarita Papandreau, while first lady of Greece, giving a key-note speech at a peace conference in Geneva, wondered why government hosts always lead their guest upon arrival through a military contingent, when it would be so much more creative and telling about their country if they received their guests by showing something about their traditional, cultural side of their heritage?
- WILPF has and continues to be a strong supporter of international institutions and international law. We strongly support the United Nations system which, in our view, is an essential system of institutions to maintain peace and promote disarmament, justice and sustainable development,. The UN is for us the world's peace organization per se. Or, I should say, is intended to be, should, must and can be the world's peace organization. But this unique multilateral body today runs very short of our expectations and its capabilities. We witness the organization being used by the strong to impose its will onto the less strong and the weak. We see the organization unable to apply equal standards; looking only at what is happening in this region, the Middle East region, we see the double standards applied for all too many years in the implementation of UN resolutions. We must work to get the UN back on the right rails and be the organization in accordance with its mandate under the Charter.
- We cannot speak of action for peace, particularly in this region, without considering action for realizing the rights of the Palestinian people and ending their many years' terrible suffering and now their very existence as a people. Nor can we neglect to act in the face of the suffering caused by the continuing sanctions against the Iraqi people and the threats of a new war against them. Why are we not out in the streets demonstrating our opposition to the war plans?
- This brings me to another concern many of us in WILPF, and the peace movement generally have: As others, I sit before my computer every day, downloading my email or browsing the Internet. Every day I read hundreds of messages, articles written and speeches made, protesting strongly about what is happening in the Middle East and the Gulf region. It makes me feel good to know that I am one of the very many opposing the policies of some of the most powerful countries in the world, and wanting and calling for change. But we send and receive this information quietly in our homes. This is not good enough. We must not lull ourselves into thinking that by communicating by email or the Internet our work is done. We must not let the new electronic communication system persuade us that by 'communicating' our information and thoughts and beliefs we are changing things. It is an important step, but much more is needed. We must take this information to the streets and into conference rooms, to meet one another, make our voices heard and our bodies seen. It is urgent that this new women's dialogue produces action for peace.
- A final thought: The word 'compromise' is so often used in connection with peace negotiations and peace processes. We in WILPF prefer to think in more positive terms and rather than seek compromise we set out to seek solutions that serve the interests of all concerned.
Thank you Madame Chair.
To read this statement online, go to: http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/voices/declar/SharmElSheikWILPF.html
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
3. ANALYSIS OF SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 1325: Feedback from WILPF's “Women and Peacemaking” Workshop at the Women and Globalization Conference, Mexico
In the calendar section of the last issue of the newsletter, we featured the workshop “Women and Peacemaking: Implementing UN Resolution 1325,” organized by women from WILPF sections in Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador and the US. This workshop was held at the Women and Globalization Conference, sponsored by the Association of Women in Development (AWID) in Guadalajara, Mexico, in early October. Robin Lloyd, a representative of WILPF-US who participated in the workshop, has written a report of this workshop, featured below:
Report on WILPF's Participation in AWID's 9th International Forum on Women's Rights and Development
By Robin Lloyd
Four members of LIMPAL/WILPF, from four sections in the Americas, gave an hour and a half presentation on Women and Peace Making at AWID's (Assn of Women in Development) Guadalajara conference on October 5th. The conference, entitled “Women Reinventing Globalization,” drew 1200 women from 100 countries to question and strategize on the advances (and retreats) of the international women's movement since the first International Conference for women in Mexico in 1975. Executive Director Joanna Kerr threw out a challenge to the participants in the opening plenary: "I do not think we should support holding a Beijing +10 conference in 2005. NGOs, she said, referring to those organizations that commit their energies to monitoring and lobbying the UN, "have been co-opted into a process where lip service prevails. "This debate on the effectiveness of women's lobbying at the UN spilled over into our workshop. What are the chances that Resolution 1325 could merely be part of that 'lip service'? The Resolution, passed unanimously by the Security Council in October of 2000, calls for 1) gender sensitivity in all UN missions including peacekeeping; 2) for women to participate equally at all negotiating tables and 3) for the protection of women and girls during armed conflict. In its 18 points the Security Council "urges", "requests", and "encourages". Unlike its treatment of the issue of arms inspections in Iraq, it does not "order", "mandate" or "require". Aware of this wording, panelists agreed that Resolution 1325, like CEDAW, is only as strong as the groups that claim it and proclaim it and fight for it.
Panelists were Marta Benevides from El Salvador, Mary Day Kent, Executive director of WILPF-US, Katty Patino (Bolivia), and Amparo Guerrero (Colombia).
Katty pointed out that in Bolivia there is a high level of domestic violence and machismo. As a lawyer, and with other members of WILPF, she has made presentations to the government to implement regulations to protect women. They have also set up free legal clinics for women in marginalized communities. They are disseminating information on 1325 to women. Unfortunately, she said, "A lot of women permit violence to continue and so the abuse is passed on to the next generation." During the water crisis in Cochabamba, and land seizures caused by the militarization of the coca-growing Chapare region, they have also sought ways to affirm the human rights of women and children based on 1325. Marta discussed the International Criminal Court and stressed that the Court and 1325 go hand in hand. Since the Vienna Conference on Human Rights defined Women's Rights as Human Rights, women have been seeking to enshrine those rights into law. The Court defines gender related crimes. It is essential that women support the struggle to name a significant percentage of women to the International Criminal Court. Thus, the good ideas of 1325 will be formulated into law. Marta added: " We have to practice what we preach. We can't have impunity in the home, the church and the schools. We have to transform these conflicts into a process to build a path to peace."
Numerous women participated from the audience. A woman from Peru who is a member of a truth commission there, said, " The human rights of women have not been talked about in my country. The mothers and wives of the dead don't know their own history. They have to be helped to understand their own past. Sometimes women are the last ones who want to talk about what has happened to them. To achieve reconciliation we have to talk together."
A woman from Israel who is active in Women in Black brought up another problem. "Many women on both sides (in Israel and Palestine) are very militaristic. Women often justify violence, even though they don't execute it. To my view, this is an aspect of fundamentalism. Working with women against militarism is one of the most difficult things we are facing."
Marta summed up by saying that people around the world, especially in the US, do not know about the UN. The opportunity to learn more about this Resolution gives us a link where we can present women's stories to the US public, to women and peace-loving people - and help them see that the UN can help us - that there is a world community of which we are a part.
To read this report online, go to: http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/NGO%20reports/pwomen/1325resAWID.html
Previous Analysis done on the 1325 PeaceWomen E-news can be found on-line at http://www.peacewomen.org/news/1325News/1325ENewsindex.html
4. FEATURE CAMPAIGNS FOR PEACEWOMEN:
“10 Reasons Why Women Should Oppose the US ‘War on Terrorism'”
“10 Reasons Why Women Should Oppose the US ‘War on Terrorism' is part of the campaign “Women, Raise Your Voices!,” organized by the Women of Color Resource Center (WCRC) and the gender analysis working group, a project of the WCRC, to bring attention to the multitude of gender issues rooted in the ‘war on terrorism' and the construction of a repressive national security state.” The WCRC and working group have printed this list on a postcard and are asking women's organizations to distribute them among their members, allies and supporters. For more information about this campaign and for information about how to order this postcard, go to: http://www.peacewomen.org/campaigns/featured/tenreasons/tenreasons.html or call (510) 848-9272.
War With Iraq – Appeal to World Leaders
On September 26 the Boston Chapter of WILPF mailed an appeal in the form of a letter to 200 heads of state and Prime ministers.
We need your help in disseminating this letter and contacting your own heads of state who have received this letter. The letter focuses on the following main points:
"We fear that the leadership of our country is about to embark on a tragic and irreversible course, leaving thousands of people dead and millions of lives destroyed."
"As women devoted to finding resolutions to conflict through the use of law, negotiation, and nonviolent practices, we call upon responsible world leaders to use their power and authority to dissuade the Bush Administration from its current reckless path."
An appeal to world leaders was also taken in 1915 when WILPF founders, Jane Addams and Emily Green Balch, traveled across Europe to begin conversations among heads of states already engaged in an escalating war. Today's Boston chapter is composed of women who are activists on globalization issues, disarmament and racism. There are 75 chapters throughout the U. S. and in 38 countries.
Joan Ecklein, (617 244-8054), Elisabeth Leonard, (617 561-9139) Co-Chairs
Boston Chapter Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
To read this letter, go to: http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/voices/declar/IraqWILPFBoston.html
For more PeaceWomen campaign please visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/campaigns/outreachindex.html
5. CALENDAR EVENTS FOR PEACEWOMEN: 1325 Anniversary Events
With the approaching anniversary of the adoption of Resolution 1325 on October 31st, we have devoted this calendar section to a compilation of events that are taking place at the UN and around the UN. There are also many events taking place outside of New York City-in other states and other countries-of these, we are listing just a sample here (where information was available). Location and contact information is given for events that are open to the public. If any of you have information about 1325 anniversary events that are taking place, we would like to hear about them so we can include them in the next newsletter. Please send any 1325 event information to: email@example.com.
The report of the Secretary-General is expected to be available to Security Council members on October 18th. The printed version of the study is expected to be available on October 21st. Look for a copy of the report on the WomenWatch website, which should be posted in the next week or so at: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/
8am-9:30pm: The Women's Studies Program at New Paltz, SUNY, is holding a conference on “Women and War, Peace and Revolution.” Participants will discuss the impact of conflict on women and women's participation in war, revolution and their efforts to create peace. The event is open to the public. For further information visit the website: http://www.newpaltz.edu/wmnstudies, call Pat Clarke at (845)257-2978 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WILPF-UK is holding a seminar in central London on "Earth Summit 2002 - the Effect of Militarism on the Environment" at which there will be a stall featuring UN Resolution 1325.
For more information email: email@example.com.
11am: The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security is hosting a press briefing with women peace activists from 4 war-torn countries (Burundi, Uganda, Israel and Gujarat) sponsored to come to New York by the NGO Working Group. The briefing will be moderated by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Tx). Location: UN Press Room, UN Secretariat, New York City. Not open to the public.
4-6pm: The Working Group has organized for three of the women activists to participate in an Arria Formula, an informal opportunity for NGOs to meet with Security Council members, sponsored by the Singapore mission. During the Arria, the women speakers will discuss their work and present their concerns directly to Security Council members. The three speakers will be: Angelina Acheng Atyam of Uganda, Cofounder and Vice Chair of Concerned Parents Association; Sabine Sabimbona of Burundi, Member of the Collective of Women's Organizations and NGOs of Burundi, and a Parliamentarian in the Burundian National Assembly; Gila Svirsky of Israel, a founding member of Women In Black and co-founder of the Coalition of Women for a Just Peace.
5:30-6:30 pm: Women in Black are hosting a vigil across the street from the UN at the Isaiah wall. Location: 1st Avenue at 42nd street, New York City.
6:30-9pm: The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security is hosting a reception after the Arria Formula. All three women who spoke at the Arria will be on hand at the reception to speak about their work and answer questions. In addition, an activist from India, Vahida Nainar, will be speaking. All welcome. Location: 777 UN Plaza, 2nd floor, NYC. Please RSVP at: (212) 682-1265 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
11am: UNIFEM and the Department for the Advancement of Women (DAW) are holding a joint press conference. At this press conference UNIFEM will launch their Independent Expert's Assessment on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Women and the Role of Women in Peace Building. Location: UN Secretariat, S-226, New York City.
10am: Vahida Nainar (India), one of the women sponsored to come for the 1325 anniversary events by the NGO Working Group, will address the members of an operational humanitarian meeting of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) about the humanitarian needs of women in Gujarat.
3pm (tentative): Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security. The report of the Secretary-General will be discussed during this open debate.
Possible continuation of the Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security
The United Nations Development Program is holding a two-day workshop (28-29th) on “Gender in crisis prevention and recovery: UNDP responses and challenges.” Participants will include the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).
1pm (tentative): UNIFEM and DAW will hold a press conference in response to the Security Council statements made at the Open Debate on the 25th.
WILPF-El Salvador is participating in a number of different events around the anniversary including various meetings with UNIFEM and UNICEF.
The Canadian Committee on Women, Peace and Security is organizing a Coffee Morning on Parliament Hill (Ottawa) to commemorate Security Council Resolution 1325 (by invitation only).
1:30-3:30: The Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee (CPCC) Gender and Peacebuilding Working Group and the International Development Research Center (IDRC)
are organizing a panel discussion on Two Years After Resolution 1325: Accomplishments and Challenges. All welcome: 1:30-3:30 pm, Auditorium on the 14th floor, IDRC, 250 Albert St., Ottawa, Canada. For more information, email: email@example.com.
For more calendar events please visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/frame/calendar/calendar.html
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