Dear WRI Women

All of us have been watching the developments in the struggle for democracy in Thailand and concerned for our friends there. We have been assured by our co-organizers in Thailand that the conference will still proceed. When making your travel plans, please be aware that progressive groups within Thailand such as the International Network of Engaged Buddhists have called for a boycott of Thai International Airways. One of the most powerful military generals in the country, Supreme Commander Kaset Rajananil, is also Director of Thai International Airways. Progressive groups are working to make the coalition of five political parties responsible for the nomination of General Suchinda as Prime Minister accountable for their actions.

So our plans for the conference are continuing—and becoming more exciting as the list of speakers and participants grows. Some groups who have been invited to send a representative include S.O.S. Femmes, the first shelter for battered women in Mauritius; the Musasa project, in Harare, Zimbabwe, which provides counseling and public education on violence against women; and the Maori Women’s Center in Aotearoa/New Zealand, which uses traditional healing methods to help survivors of abuse.

In order to help these women attend, and the many others who had asked for financial assistance, please continue your fundraising efforts! If you or your section is interested in sponsoring a participant, please contact the London office.

In the following pages you will find a partial agenda for the conference, some thoughts on past WRI women’s conferences and some more background on the situation for women in Nepal. You will also find an article on Korean ‘comfort girls’, an insidious example of how militarism and violence against women intersect.

You will also find more information on the beautiful array of T-shirts, pins, holiday greeting cards and note cards which are being sold in support of the conference. A beautiful gold and black poster with a scene from one of Thailand’s historic temples will also be available soon—contact the London office for details.

See you in Bangkok!
Shelley Anderson