Event, General, Politics, Source, Women's History

A Century of Feminist Foreign Policy – Looking Back for Help Today

Since WILPF’s inception, the world has experienced 224 wars. During that same timeframe, women won two important struggles for human rights. The first, of course, was the right to vote in 1920; the second, the right to reproductive freedom in 1972. Jacobs, and the group that formed out of the Hague conference insisted then, and we insist now, on a third human right —the right to be at the peace table; to be part of the decisions to make war or keep the peace. Fewer than one in 40 of the signatories of major peace agreements since 1992 have been female, according to the UN development fund for women. This needs to change.

Today, there are 50 ongoing violent conflicts resulting in 50 million refugees around the world, and untold death and destruction. The international trade of lemons and toothbrushes is regulated, but not guns and other weapons. Would the adoption of more feminist foreign policy and an increase in women’s participation in peace negotiations put an end to arms and conflict? Probably not. But the point is not to end conflict, but to resolve it without recourse to military violence. The world is missing a powerful opportunity for creating sustainable peace when it turns to military solutions and restricts the participants at peace negotiations to the men with guns.

Event, Politics, Source, Women's History

International Alliance of Women (IAW) … Herstory in the Making: Pt 1

As these portraited men looked down upon the women gathered beneath then, voicing uproar and outrage at the ravages wrought by warring in Syria, denial of rights to children born but not formally registered so running the risk of being ‘seen’ as non-existent, the oppression, damage and destruction lying at the base of child marriage, the importantce of ecological balance and taking action to undo the damage of climate change … what would these men have thought? Would it ever have entered their comprehension, when they lived, that one day these hallowed halls would be filled with the sound of women’s feet and laughter, that the walls would be assailed by women’s voices, women’s support for one another and for changing the world? Would they ever have thought that resolutions would be passed by women – articulate, angry, compassionate, forthright, brave, courageous, indomitable?

Event, Politics, Source, Women's History

‘… if you are silent now.’ In the Struggle for Peace, Not War

On Anzac Day, we forget to tally the lives saved by women by their courage and their votes in opposition to war demands – to forcing boys and shaming men to be soldiers. And we forget that armed force has, since the 1914-18 war, been made the priority of Australia’s defence and security, and that that maintains a strong prejudice against the rationality of prioritising human rather than military security.