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Selected Jane Addams Quotations:
"Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world."
"Old-fashioned ways which no longer apply to changed conditions are a snare in which the feet of women have always become readily entangled."
"Social advance depends as much upon the process through which it is secured as upon the result itself. "
Emily Greene Balch Quotations:
"There is no way to peace; peace is the way."
"Let us be patient with one another,
And even patient with ourselves.
We have a long, long way to go.
So let us hasten along the road,
The road of human tenderness and generosity.
Groping, we may find one another's hands in the dark."
"As the world community develops in peace, it will open up great untapped reservoirs in human nature."
October 2009 - A Month of Actions and Insight
This issue of WILPF's e-News covers a lot of ground. From national and regional actions against the war in Afghanistan, to a behind-the-scenes look at big changes for women at the U.N. - we've got it all. WILPF members are also invited to attend the JAPA book awards, or the spring Commission on the Status of Women meetings, both in New York. Can't make it to Manhattan. Visit us online. WILPF is active in communities across the U.S. and abroad.
In this issue of the WILPF Enews:
October Actions to End the War
This month WILPF will participate in a national period of resistance and demonstrations to end the war in Afghanistan. October marks the 8th year of the U.S. war in Afghanistan and the 7th year of the war in Iraq. These month-long actions come at a crucial time, as Congress will debate Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's expected request for an increase in troops for Afghanistan. WILPF is opposed to military action as a way of resolving the armed conflict in Afghanistan. Some important dates:
- October 5th: Mass march and civil disobedience at the US House of Representatives office buildings and White House.
- October 7th: National request for local action on the anniversary of the day the U.S. invaded Afghanistan. Check www.unitedforpeace.org for action suggestions. On this day call your Representative and ask for support of the McGovern amendment calling for an exit strategy from Afghanistan.
- October 9th: The Portland Branch will be coordinating a coalition rally and march. Carol Urner will be speaking about "Predators and Reapers," the pilot-less planes used by the U.S. army for long-distance killing in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
- October 10th: The Philadelphia Branch will be screening the film View from a Grain of Sand which was filmed clandestinely to expose the desperate conditions of women and families in Afghanistan.
- October 17th: Coordinated marches and demonstrations throughout the U.S. and in Washington. Mark the 40th anniversary of the Vietnam moratorium. ANSWER is developing a listing of events.
- October 25th: the San Francisco Branch will be hosting a night of food, video and culture with the Revolutionary Association of Women in Afghanistan. Contact the San Francisco Branch at (415) 864-5166, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put Blue October on Your Calendar
Blue October is an international month of action to challenge corporate control of water and protect water as a shared natural resource. It was inspired by the people of Uruguay who voted in October 2004 to amend their constitution and recognize this fundamental human right.
Communities worldwide celebrate Blue October by taking action.
October 24 is also United Nations Day. In July 2007, the CEO Water Mandate was initiated as part of the Global Compact. You can join a United Nations Day panel or create a program to educate your community about the "Water Mandate" and how it competes with General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto's initiative calling for U.N. member states to recognize water as a fundamental human right, not as a commodity to be bought and sold.
Thanks to all California members who answered the "Call to Action" to support AB1242, the Human Right to Water Act formally supported by U.S. WILPF. The bill is on the Governor's desk, so take action here.
Please watch for new "Save the Water" Branch pages for news of activities. Please email the Save the Water leadership collective at email@example.com so we can share your news and inspire other Branches and members! You can also connect with others on the water issue via our group listserv at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Getting in GEAR: WILPF Helps Create New U.N. Women's Agency
WILPF is such a vast organization, it can sometimes be difficult to explain what we do. GEAR provides one great, recent example of how activism - and your member support - makes our organization vital to building a better world.
Since 2006, the Gender Equality Architecture Reform (GEAR) Coalition has campaigned for greater recognition of women, and better coordination of work on women's issues, within the U.N.
Led by the Center for Women's Global Leadership, the Women's Environment & Development Organization (WEDO) and WILPF, GEAR was formally launched in February 2008. It now consists of over 300 women's organizations across the world!
All that work has paid off. In mid-September, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution that will combine the four main U.N. women's agencies into one entity focused on the rights of women. The U.N. Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the U.N. Division for the Advancement of Women, the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues, and the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women will be merged.
AnnJanette Rosga, director of WILPF's U.N. office, says prior to GEAR it has been far "too easy to ignore women's issues" at the U.N. "There was a commitment to women's issues," she adds, "but not enough high-level, well-coordinated leadership and not enough resources. Without a centrally organized, well-funded institutional presence within the U.N., and on the ground, at important meetings, it's possible to allow women's concerns to be an afterthought. The hope with this new entity is that policy-level and so-called 'field-level' operations will be more strategically integrated. Real women's concerns will be addressed more systematically - with greater accountability to agreed-upon legal norms."
The four existing women's agencies will be put under a single office, forming a full-fledged new agency perhaps by the middle of next year, according to the Inter Press Service. The agency will be headed by an under-secretary-general, the third highest ranking position within the U.N.
It took years of negotiations and hard work, but this landmark in the struggle for women's equality and rights happened, in part, because WILPF has a strong presence at the U.N. There's still more work to do: Donor countries will need to pledge approximately one billion dollars to support the agency. Rosga says "Drastic underfunding has been a huge problem facing the existing U.N. women's agencies."
GEAR hopes the new entity will be operational by the time of the Beijing + 15 Review at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March of 2010. WILPF members are invited to attend the CSW.
Another way WILPF members can help make sure this new agency comes to fruition? Support WILPF! WILPF will continue to be active in GEAR's important work, but recent funding difficulties resulted in the loss of half of WILPF's U.N. PeaceWomen two-person staff. PeaceWomen Project Director Sam Cook staff has been key in the GEAR advocacy campaign, but loss of half her team makes it tough for the U.N. Office to be as active in GEAR's work as they would like to be.
Read e-News editor Theta Pavis' full interview with AnnJanette Rosga, director of WILPF's U.N. office here.
Join Us at the JAPA Book Awards!
|Planting the Trees of Kenya by Claire A. Nivola: The 2009 Winner in the Books for Younger Children Category
We often talk about improving the world for future generations, but it can be hard for activists to see that in action. The Jane Addams Children's Book Awards ceremony is an exception. For one afternoon in New York, JAPA , WILPF and many of our friends gather annually to celebrate books for children that promote peace, racial and gender equality, social justice, and world community. This remarkable event brings together the talented writers, illustrators and publishers behind these important children's books. Imagine yourself sitting high above the East River, the afternoon sun dancing across the buildings of the United Nations, while you join your sisters to honor these writers and artists. There is always a great sense of camaraderie at this event, a lively discussion, lovely reception, and plenty of beautiful books to buy for the children in our lives. This year's event will be held in Manhattan, at 777 United Nations Plaza, on October 16th at 2:30 p.m. It's free and all are welcome. This is the 56th Annual Awards Ceremony.
WILPF at the G-20
WILPF members joined thousands of peace activists to voice their demand for a peaceful, sustainable and democratic world order at the recent G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh.
"It was a strong presence by the people who are really left out of global decisions made by the few for the many, and we attempted to represent the world's people," said Marjorie Van Cleef, a WILPF member who was in Pittsburgh.
After a battle in federal court, WILPF and Code Pink were allowed to create a "Tent City" in Pittsburgh's Point Park. Inside, activists conducted workshops, panels, and discussions for two days prior to the official meeting. These dialogues included topics of special concern to women, including militarization, gender discrimination, Colombia, Gaza, and many other topics concerning global economics and the G20.
A group of WILPF women also joined some 5,000 activists in a "People's March" through downtown Pittsburgh on September 25.
Participants in the march aimed to have their demands heard and by the leaders of the G20, who collectively represent 85% of the world economy.