Women at the Tables of Power
March 8, International Women's Day, is a day to acknowledge the need for women's equal participation in economic and political decision-making, to celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments of women, and to denounce gender discrimination and gender violence.
The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) approaches this day with an analysis of the root causes of war and injustice: the pursuit of profit, rather than the fulfillment of human need. According to Naomi Klein, the problems perpetuated by disaster capitalism include the limitation of political participation to those with "specialized" knowledge, the perpetuation of fear through the buildup of military arsenals, the threat of violence and use of force, and finally the corporate framing of news.
In the WILPF March E-Newsletter:
WILPF Tucson celebrates with the Tucson Raging Grannies, Tucson Vice Mayor Karin Uhlich, first US Congresswoman and Lifelong Pacifist, Jeanette Rankin, and the voices of Military Women
Listen to a 2 minute excerpt of the upcoming solo show, Coming In Hot, featuring WILPF Life Member Jeanmarie Simpson, produced by Kore Press and adapted from their recent best-seller Powder: Writing by Women in the Ranks from Vietnam to Iraq.
WILPF Houston is creating their first "Country Camp," for children ages 9 to 13 during spring break. It grows out of their summer day peace camp, which is celebrating its 10th year this July.
WILPF Bloomington is sponsoring a talk by Madi Hirschland on her experiences in Kenya providing microloans.
WILPF members Regina Birchem and Alice Walker joined the IWD delegation to Gaza organized by Code Pink. We hope that this delegation will inspire women everywhere to denounce the violence being perpetrated on the Palestinian people and hold Israel accountable for its actions.
WILPF's 26th Consecutive International Women's Day Disarmament Seminar and Statement to the UN Conference on Disarmament
The United Nations Conference on Disarmament (CD), based in Geneva, Switzerland, is mandated to negotiate multilateral disarmament treaties. On March 5, 2009, WILPF submitted a statement to the CD recapping our disarmament seminar, "Getting To Peace in the Middle East-Changing Threat Perceptions."
The seminar was composed of a panel discussion on increasing understanding about the culture of fear that is pervasive in the Middle East and an NGO strategy session, "where women and men from more than 30 countries came together to discuss ways to address and change this culture of fear to create a sustainable culture of peace, not to create another roadmap for peace, but how to begin walking down that road."
After the statement was read by the current president of the CD, diplomats from four countries spoke to congratulate WILPF on our "tireless efforts at promoting peace and disarmament" and expressed regret that WILPF was not allowed to address the conference "formally and directly." Click here to read a complete recap of the CD proceedings on March 5 from WILPF's Reaching Critical Will Project.
It is Time to End the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
The world water crisis threatens the health and life of women, their children and their communities.
In developing countries, women and their female children on average carry 20 liters of water per day over 6 kilometers. The United Nations estimates that lack of access to clean and accessible water adequate individual and family health and well-being results in 1.1 billion people who do not have access to clean water, and 2.6 billion who do not have access to basic sanitation services causing 42,000 people, mostly children, to die every week from preventable waterborne diseases. No one should be deprived of safe and accessible water due to economic circumstance.
As we run out of fresh water because of water diversions, waste by industry and agriculture, and pollution, a powerful corporate water cartel has emerged to sieze control of every aspect of water for profit. Today, more than ever we need an International "Right to Water Treaty" that recognizes water as a human right.
Read this article from WILPF Building the Beloved Community Chair Vickie Fouts to understand why we must work to end both the gender wage gap and the racial wealth divide. Do you think it is inappropriate for a peace organization to feature an image advocating metaphorical violence? Give us your feedback in the comments section of our blog!
This week, WILPF's Practicum in Advocacy at the United Nations brought 20 women from 16 universities to NYC to attend the 52nd meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). Highlights from the seminar included dinner with peace-builder Kathy Sangha of Sun and Moon Vision Productions, a media partner of the Joan Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice at San Diego University and a private briefing with Ambassador Beth Schlachter, of the Office of Population and International Migration at the US Permanent Mission to the UN. We attended a performance "Ruined," playwright Lynn Nottage's new drama about the wartime experiences of Congolese women. The WILPF practicum is offered in partnership with the National Women's Studies Association and the Center for Women's Health and Human Rights (Suffolk University).
PeaceWomen Project Monitors the CSW
With regard to peace processes, the United Nations Development Fund for Women reported to the Security Council in October 2008 that since 2000, women averaged only 7% of negotiators in five major United Nations peace processes. In addition, fewer than 3% of the signatories in 14 peace talks have been women.Read the entire NGO Working Group statement to the CSW (pdf).
Read "Building a United Nations That Really Works for All Women," the Gender Equality and Architecture Reform (GEAR) Campaign statement to the CSW. (pdf)
Read "Uncloaking Invisibility - Claiming Space," Jacqui Patterson's report on increasing the engagement of women of color in international spaces on Open Democracy.
Twenty-years ago, Dorothy & Richy Aspinwall, shared their enthusiasm for WILPF's mission of peace and social justice with me. I was hooked.
WILPF now gives me context for action. A local WILPF world food crisis program last year translates to supporting local farmers and organic foods to lessen my environmental impact. Working for peace against an endless war mentality says I have better uses for my taxes. We can instead fund the United Nations to alleviate world hunger and want through basic aid and development.
Women are nurturers and caregivers. WILPF allows us to expand this role at home and aboard.
Shirley Lin Kinoshita
What does WILPF mean to you? Are you in WILPF because of the "W" or despite it? Join the discussion in the comments section of our blog. To post to the blog, reply to this email.
Or join the WILPF Facebook group to continue networking with WILPF women.
"Seeking Justice for Women in Post Conflict Situations," from the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
More news articles can be found in the 1325 PeaceWomen E-News
Miss an issue of the WILPF E-News? Read back issues at our E-News archives.
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