Women's WG

Resources Against Violence Against Women

Freedom from Violence, edited by Margaret Schuler (354 pages, 1992), is a collection of 14 essays on violence against women (including an article by a WRI Women’s Conference speaker, Siriporn Skrobanek). Voices from Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Thailand, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Mexico, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and the United States share their sources of Inspiration and common threads of agreement about what needs to be done to confront the violence In women’s lives in all its aspects: physical, social, economic, cultural and legal.

Thoughts From Different Conferences

Ulla Eberhard of Germany recently sent a questionnaire to previous participants of WRI Women’s Conferences (France, 1976; Scotland, 1980; Ireland, 1987) in order to gain a historical view of the conferences. The results of some of the interviews were published in the German magazine on nonviolence “Graswurzelrevolution”. Here are some excerpts:

News

IRISH PRISONERS STRIP SEARCHED

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.

Gifts Available In Support Of The Conference

It’s never too early…a beautiful variety of Christmas cards are available from the London office. Also cards with an original floral design, for every day letters and notes. Donated by the artist, proceeds from the cards go to the Conference. Inquiries from bookshops and stationery shops welcomed.

Très chic! From France, stylish black/gold/red pins with the logo “4th WRI Women’s Conference 1992”. Available for 20 FF per pin (plus postage), or 15 FF per pin for 10 or more.

Korean Women Drafted For Sexual Service By Japan

Korea, annexed as a colony in 1910, suffered under oppressive Japanese rule until the end of World War II. During that time there were many acts of repression against the Korean people, no single example of which was more severe or massive than the forcible drafting of Korean women for sexual service to Japanese troops located throughout the Asia-Pacific area. The euphemistic term by which these women were known is translated into English as ‘comfort women’ (or girls).

Women in Nepal

Women constitute half of Nepal’s total population of 10.7 million but are backwards in comparison to men in every way. In education, women are only 12% of the 33% of people who can read in Nepal. Various data show that in agricultural and household works, it is women that occupy 60 to 80% share, but they do not have any hold in the property. The legal right on the ancestral property has not yet been secured. Similarly, women lag behind compared to men in employment opportunities.

Childhood

I was nine that year
One day with tears in her eyes
My mother told me “Tomorrow
you have to go to another house”
I asked mother why
“Because father and mother cannot feed all of you”
The next day a middle-aged woman came My mother told me to go with her
I tried to run away, the woman
caught me by my wrist and pulled me away
I turned to look at mother
Mother had gone inside the house The doors were shut
After a very long walk
The woman took me to a house

Conference Agenda

The 4th War Resisters’ International (WRI) Women’s Conference is planned for November 25 to December 1, 1992 near Bangkok, Thailand. The conference will be organised by WRI and five Thai women’s groups. Participation is being limited to 150 community-based women activists who have shown a commitment to nonviolent social change, with a strong emphasis on promoting exchanges between women from the Southern hemisphere. The Conference’s 7 languages will be Thai, Spanish, French, English and at least one other Asian language.

Sex Tourism And Prostitution An Issue For WRI?

The dozen or so women who attended the Women’s Theme Group at the WRI Triennial (28 July to 3 August, near Namur, Belgium) met regularly to discuss the increasing militarization of women’s lives. One interesting aspect to the discussion was the role of religion in women’s lives, and how this either added to or undermined militarization. The question was asked “Think about your experiences as a woman growing up in a particular religious culture—or in an atheist environment.

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