News

Women in Argentina's Military

Women, formerly banned from Argentine's military, are now being accepted as volunteers. The move came last year after mandatory conscription for men was abolished. Conscription ended because of public outrage over the death of a conscript after being beaten by his superiors. Over 5,000 women have applied to join the military, only ten percent of whom have been accepted into the Army, for communications, administrative and medical work. Three hundred women are now serving their first one-year term. Competition for the few jobs open to women is fierce. There are 82 openings for women in electronic operations for the 601 Communications Group Battalion (located in City Bell, 60 kilometers outside Buenos Aires). This is the only battalion so far opened to women. The Navy and Air Force are refusing to accept women volunteers, claiming there are not enough bathrooms for women.

Women must be between 18 and 24 years of age, single, in good health and with no criminal record. Most women are volunteering because military service is seen as an adventurous job opportunity."I've been out of work since I finished secondary school and I saw military service as a way of earning an income, at least for a year," said one 19-year old woman, who was rejected for service.

Latin American Women in Austria

Lateinamerikanische Exilierte und Emigrierte Frauen in Österreich (LEFO) is an organization of and for Latin American women in Austria. LEFO helps with legal, employment and immigration/asylum questions, provides courses in integration into Austrian society, and fights against discrimination and the traffick in women. Counseling is available and social gatherings, to help women keep in touch with events in Latin America, are regularly organized. LEFO also organizes workshops and operates a library (in Spanish and German). Contact: LEFO, 1050 Vienna, Kettenbrückengasse 15/4, Austria. Tel. 58 11 881 fax 58 11 882. You can also subscribe to the LEFO newsletter "Lefita", or make donations through kontonummer von LEFÖ: Bank Austria No. 68 40 63 605.

In Memoria

Bernie Constance Crossland (born January 24, 1907) died on March 21, 1995. She was the last suffragette in Britain. She was seven when she marched in a demonstration for women's right to vote earlier this century. Bernie's mother was Eleanor Higginson, a militant who had chained herself to railings outside Parliament and been on hunger strike in Holloway Prison. Bernie lived long enough to participate in the 1987 opening of the Pankhurst Center in Manchester, a feminist center and archive for suffragette memorabilia. Rest in peace, sister.

Rape Hotline Needs Help

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) operates the only national hotline for victims of sexual assault in the US. The hotline was founded in July 1994. When victims call the toll-free hotline (800-656-HOPE) they are automatically connected to a trained counselor from the rape crisis center closest to them; presently 599 rape crisis centers nationwide participate with RAINN. The hotline provides callers access to counseling 24 hours a day, from 48 states and the District of Columbia. RAINN has already helped more than 15,000 victims of sexual violence.

In order to keep the hotline running, US $120,000 is needed. Many calls to RAINN are from children being molested by someone in their household; before RAINN, they were afraid to get help because a call would show up on their phone bill. Donations to RAINN can be sent to: RAINN, 252 Tenth Street NE, Washington, DC 20002, USA. Tel. +1 202 544 1034; fax +1 202 544 1401; email at RAINNmail@aol.com RAINN accepts Mastercard, Visa and American Express. Donations are tax deductible in the US, as RAINN is a 501©(3) organization (tax ID number is 52-1886511).