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Women's WG

Woman in an Upright Flight

(New WRI Council member MiX sent this poem, which is based on a dream she had of a woman floating upright, eight inches from the ground. "I've talked with other women about our dreams," MiX writes, "and wondered whether we all have ´historical dreams', that is, dreams generated by the times we live in. I interpreted this dream as one of those historical dreams, feeling completely linked to those banned ones living in an insane world.")

Taking the worn-out bend of the mansion of the slaves, the wild woman moves forward
opening her way through the air with her arms.

Death is Not Always Dying

by Susan Giesen

Why are you so afraid?

It's all this war talk.
My sons will all be draft age
very soon. I can't bear the
thought of them--

Of them what? Are you afraid
of them being shot?


Are you afraid of them being
disabled, losing an arm, a leg,
being blinded?

It's not that. I could live with
that and so could they.

It must be death that you fear
so much. The thought of losing

No, it's much worse than that.

What could be worse than that?

I've seen soldiers come home.
It's the look in their eyes. My
sons have never had that look,


The Clothesline Project

The idea is simple. The result is chilling. The Clothesline Project is collecting 250,000 shirts, designed by women survivors of violence, their families and friends. The shirts--T-shirts, sweatshirts, children's blouses--are sometimes decorated with poems or drawings by abused children, and sometimes with photographs of women who died from being battered. The shirts will be displayed during the Actions to Stop Violence Against Women in Washington DC, April 8-9, as an attempt to educate the public about violence against women.

Making Women Visible: A Report from the WRI Triennial

by Maggie Helwig

"Our daily lives must be visible," says Staša. "They must become international policy. It is my international policy that Haya comes to my house. That is my government."

Staša, from Belgrade, and Haya, from Jerusalem, were both part of the theme group on women's work against violence at the War Resisters International's Triennial in Sao Leopoldo, Brazil, held in December 1994. Although the group's conclusions cannot be summed up in any brief form, Staša's words do express a fundamental principle underlying much of what was said.

One Step Forward

by Julie Mertus

On Wednesday, 16 November 1994, Arkadia's lesbian activist Lepa Mladjenovic, appeared on the local television show called "Nus pojave" ("Incidentals"). That was the first time in Serbian history that an official representative of a lesbian and gay group took part in a public TV show. Another guest of the show was Wendy Eastwood, British lesbian feminist, presently living in Novi Sad (Vojvodina-Serbia).


Greetings! This newsletter, the first for 1995, contains a report from the women's theme group at WRI's Triennial, held last December in Brazil. We're happy to report that women were very visible during the Triennial, and that seven out of the 12 available Council seats went to women. We have a poem from one of WRI's new Council members, MiX (from the State of Spain), whom many readers will know from the days she worked in the WRI office in London. We look forward to other contributions from women Council members, so readers will get to know them better.

Migratory Nurses: The Brain Drain

(Translated from "Uruguay las Produce, Europa las Consume," by Carmen Tornaria in Mujer/Fempress, No. 120, October 1991, reprinted from Connexions, "The Global Factory", No. 44, 1994.)

Just as in the old days, today Europe is once again taking material produced in the Americas for use at home. The materials, this time, are human and the demand stems from a worldwide shortage of trained nurses.

Books and Publications

"Death Without Weeping: Daily Life in Northeast Brazil" is the theme of the April 1994 The New Internationalist. Based on the book Death Without Weeping (600 pages, 1992, University of California Press) by anthropologist Nancy Scheper-Hughes, the lives of slum women and their children in Brazil's poverty-stricken Northeast are shocking and moving by turns. The exploitation, by sugar cane plantations, is endless and gives rise both to desperation and resistance.

Hear My Testimony by María Teresa Tula (1994, 224 pages, $14).


Women's Comics

What is artistic, political and, most of all, FUN, all at the same time? Comics! The last twenty years have seen an explosion of women's comics, most often in small magazines that women publish themselves. Adriana Batista and Ana Barreto of Mexico produce Esporádica, the comic magazine with the adventures of two women who face problems like rising rents or the debt crisis without ever losing their dignity or sense of humor.


Boa tarde! This issue of the WRI Women's Newsletter focuses on Latin America. Inside, you will find interviews with feminists from Brazil, Bolivia and Columbia; articles on women in Brazil's environmental movement and on street girls; and information on the continent-wide struggle against violence against women. We hope this will provide some background on women's struggles in Latin America, as preparation for the next War Resisters' International Triennial, which will be held in Sao Leopoldo, Brazil, December 10-17, this year.

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