Monday, March 8, 2021

OMNI: UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY NEWSLETTER #8

 

 

OMNI

UNITED NATIONS International Women's Day (UNIWD) NEWSLETTER #8, March 8, 2021.

Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology. 

http://omnicenter.org/donate/

  

 See: OMNI Gender Justice Newsletter and OMNI Women’s Equality Day/19th Amendment Day, August 26

 2021

The little-known radical history of International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is celebrated with everything from flowers to breakfast. But the holiday started with a 1907 labor strike.

By Eleri Harris  Mar 8, 2021, 9:10am

https://www.vox.com/identities/2021/3/8/22318412/international-womens-day-history-2021-strike

International Women’s Day started as a protest organized by anti-capitalist American socialists and suffragists. “It was not … a woman’s fancy that drove them to it, but an eruption of a long-smoldering volcano, an overflow of suffering, abuse, and exhaustion.” - Theresa Malkiel, organizer of the 1907 National Woman’s Day.  The concept of a dedicated day for women was picked up at an International Socialist Women’s Conference, and on March 19, 1911, the first International Women’s Day was observed by more than a million people protesting at hundreds of sites across Europe. office.On March 8, 1917, women in Russia went on strike for “Bread and Peace” — demanding an end to World War I, food shortages, and czarism — kicking off the communist revolution. Which might be why it took until the second feminist wave of the 1960s for the day to be popularized in the West.Today, March 8 is a public holiday for women in 30 countries, celebrated all over the globe, yet the radical roots of International Women’s Day have largely been erased. In Australia, you might enjoy a corporate breakfast spread for IWD.In China, you might go on a shopping spree for that special lady in your life. Or in Italy, women may be presented with a Mother’s Day-style bunch of mimosa blossom flowers (an idea originally promoted by communist politician Teresita). But on IWD in 2017 & 2018, 5 million women in 50 countries from Pakistan to Poland went on strike for 24 hours, protesting against the gender pay gap, domestic violence, and sexual discrimination in the workplace.More than a century after those first protests, women across the world still have much to fight for. The time for demanding radical social change isn’t over.

Eleri Harris (she/her) is a multi-award-winning cartoonist and editor living and working in Naarm/Melbourne, Australia. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @elerimai.

 

Celebrating International Women's Day! 3-8-21

Shauna Scherer, Population Connection <vp@populationconnection.org> 

12:12 PM (45 minutes ago)

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Dick,

Today, we’re celebrating women by fighting for reproductive health care access around the world. The ability to decide whether and when to have a child is fundamental to improving people’s lives, while protecting our planet from rapid population growth.

That’s why I hope you’ll join us again to advance family planning programs for people around the world, with your generous gift of $35.00.

Your continued support will boost our collaborations with foreign health organizations in the developing world. Today, I’d like to honor one inspiring woman who leads Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH), Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka.

Dr. Gladys and CTPH keep Uganda’s endangered mountain gorillas healthy and safe in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park by addressing the public health needs of the human communities surrounding the park. They improve infectious disease control and community hygiene practices, while providing education and access to modern family planning.

Rapid human population growth at the edges of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park threatened the health and homes of the mountain gorillas that live in the park. Gorilla habitats were being destroyed by too many people drawing on the forest’s resources for their survival. People’s encroachment into the park exposed gorillas to human illnesses and diseases.

Dr. Gladys, a wildlife veterinarian, saw a solution: CTPH initiated voluntary family planning programs, in addition to other public health initiatives, which have reduced the Bwindi region fertility rate, helping local people and gorillas to live more harmoniously.

Thanks to your support, we’ve been able to collaborate with CTPH since 2015.

That’s why I hope you’ll consider making a generous gift of $35.00 today. Your donation will advance vital relationships with community-based organizations such as CTPH in Uganda.

Human population growth remains one of the most staggering challenges facing our planet today. But, thanks to you, and with the work of visionary women like Dr. Gladys, we can make progress!

So, please, consider making your generous donation of $35.00 today to support these efforts and more. Your gift will be doubled by our generous matching gift sponsor!

With many thanks,  Shauna Scherer
VP for Marketing and Development

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2020

US Peace Prize Awarded to Christine Ahn

 

Michael D. Knox, US Peace Memorial Foundation via gmail.mcsv.net  10-14-20

12:22 PM (3 hours ago)

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Christine Ahn


Awarded


US PEACE PRIZE

The 2020 US Peace Prize has been awarded to the Honorable Christine Ahn, “for bold activism to end the Korean War, heal its wounds, and promote women’s roles in building peace.”

https://ci5.googleusercontent.com/proxy/7QiUWzltAS7dLKkfQjtZC0vh6QhV98-VptiP5Dewj7A90-Ns5Ny9ERAWh8gjteRNYcmp2wrya6r9qtQ8ZejZOJwHzmRFVrLKp9YipZNzKwhwgUNjCPDBooqJ2lpi56b4r6UFaG-HTnPVsujeOaufRlzUYPvCQB4NzVysjLk=s0-d-e1-ft#https://mcusercontent.com/61d517c59e38337407cacd004/_compresseds/546015e1-7b2e-4135-8477-019b43aaccd3.jpegMichael Knox, Chair of the Foundation, thanked Christine for her “outstanding leadership and activism to end the Korean War and halt militarism on the Korean Peninsula. We applaud your tireless work to involve more women in peace building. Your efforts over the last two decades are greatly appreciated in the U.S. and around the world. Thank you for your service.”

In response to her selection, Ms. Ahn commented, “On behalf of Women Cross DMZ and all the courageous women who are working to end the Korean War, thank you for this tremendous honor. It is especially significant to receive this award in the 70th anniversary of the Korean War — a war that claimed four million lives, destroyed 80 percent of North Korean cities, separated millions of Korean families, and still divides the Korean people by the De-militarized Zone (DMZ), which in reality is among the most militarized borders in the world. 
 
Sadly, the Korean War is known as the 'Forgotten War' in the United States, even though it continues to this day. That’s because the U.S. government refuses to negotiate a peace agreement with North Korea while continuing to wage a brutal war of sanctions against innocent North Korean people and impede reconciliation between the two Koreas. Not only is the Korean War the longest standing overseas U.S. conflict, it is the war that inaugurated the U.S. military industrial complex and put the United States on the path to become the world’s military police.”    

Read her full remarks and see photos and more details at: www.USPeacePrize.org. You are invited to attend a virtual event on November 11 with Medea Benjamin and Gloria Steinem celebrating Ms. Ahn and her work with Women Cross DMZ.

In addition to receiving the US Peace Prize, our highest honor, Ms. Ahn has been designated a Founding Member of the US Peace Memorial Foundation.  She joins previous US Peace Prize recipients Ajamu Baraka, David Swanson, Ann Wright, Veterans For Peace, Kathy Kelly, CODEPINK Women for Peace, Chelsea Manning, Medea Benjamin, Noam Chomsky, Dennis Kucinich, and Cindy Sheehan.
  
The US Peace Memorial Foundation directs a nationwide effort to honor Americans who stand for peace by publishing the US Peace Registry, awarding the annual US Peace Prize, and planning for the US Peace Memorial in Washington, DC.  We celebrate these role models to inspire other Americans to speak out against war and to work for peace.  CLICK HERE TO JOIN US!

Thank you very much for your support.
 
Lucy, Medea, Margaret, Jolyon, and Michael
Board of Directors

March 30, 2020

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WOMEN & GIRLS

 

UNFPA ramps up support for women, girls during outbreak

The United Nations Population Fund is ramping up supports for women and girls as the coronavirus pandemic limits access to sexual and reproductive health care and increases the risk of domestic violence, says UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem. "We must not forget that there are people we may not immediately see, who are at great risk as a result of the consequences of the crisis," Kanem says.

 Full Story: The Associated Press (3/28),  India Blooms News Service (3/28) 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy International Women's Day

Restore Humanity via gmail.mcsv.net 

Sun, Mar 8, 2020 11:21 AM (12 days ago)

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HELP US PROVIDE MAXI-PADS FOR 1000 KENYAN GIRLS FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR!

Today is International Women’s Day and we want to celebrate all women across the globe! The women of Restore Humanity believe the best way to celebrate International Women's Day is for each of us to look at other women and find out what they really need--and then find effective ways to help provide it.

Here in the US our focus tends to be on the necessity for our equality, respect, and opportunity--and rightfully so! However, we are remiss if we fail to notice the huge chasm between groups of women when it comes to more basic needs. And what could be more basic, or more of a woman’s issue than our periods?

While “lady-time” is no picnic for anyone, for millions of women and girls worldwide it means so much more than discomfort. Millions of women and girls do not have access to maxi pads or tampons at all simply because they cannot afford them. However, every woman knows that nature will still take its course and “Aunt Flo” is coming whether you want her to or not. So unfortunately these girls and women have to use things like mud, sticks, leaves, pieces of a foam mattress, or old rags to try to manage their cycles. Not only do these things not work, they sometimes cause harmful infections.

The statistics are staggering. For example, some estimates say that the average girl in Kenya misses 4.9 days of school every month, every single month of the school year. That means they’re missing at least 20% of their school year due to lack of maxi pads! That is just unacceptable. Period.

In 2012 I met with the girl students at Sirembe Secondary School (In Kenya) to talk about life and being a girl. At some point our discussion turned to the issue of schoolgirls having sex with older men, which is a problem for many reasons, not the least of which is the rapid spread of HIV. I asked them why girls were doing this and the first answer I got was “they do it to get money to buy things like maxi pads.” My jaw hit the floor. As I was leaving I asked them if there was one thing that I could do to help them, what would it be? Unanimously they said “Please buy us maxi pads.”

Since then Restore Humanity has provided maxi pads for the girls at Sirembe Secondary School, even as their population has continued to grow rapidly (to over 700 girls). While getting them pads was the most important thing, the impact on the environment was always in the back of our mind. The plastic in maxi pads is non-biodegradable which means they stay in landfills for about 800 years! So if we buy pads for 700 girls each month, and if each girl uses that pack of 12 every month, that is 8,400 pads thrown away each month and 100,800 per year from just one high school in rural Kenya! (432 million pads are disposed of each month globally).

The good news is that 3 years ago we found a better way! An incredible social business in Uganda called Afripads makes reusable maxi pads that last for an entire year and they are amazing! They employ 150 people in Uganda and upwards of 90% of them are women (in all levels of the business). They partner with nonprofits and women’s groups and have reached over 3.5 million women and girls with their products! (Watch the video below to learn more!)

Another exciting development is that Afripads is offering a special “schoolgirl menstrual kit” which has five pads (instead of four) including one for light days. They changed up their original product based on the feedback of school girls and we are excited to get this improved product to our girls! This packet costs around $5 and it lasts for an entire year. I have tested them out myself and they are really comfortable, they actually work really well, and they’re also really easy to wash and take care of! There are so many reasons why we love this program and here are just a few:

1. We help girls be safe, stay in school, and manage their periods with confidence and comfort.

2. We help the environment in a big way.

3. We support a social business in Africa that employs over 150 women.

4. AND it is cheaper! We now spend around $5.00 per girl per year and we were spending $12.00.

 

So pretty much it is a win, win, win, win. How could it get any better than that?!?

 

HERE IS WHERE YOU COME IN

 

We want to buy 1000 packets of Afripads at the end of this month for girls 7th-12th grade in Sirembe and at least one other secondary school in the area (high school). Again, this packet will last these girls ALL YEAR!

 

We need to raise $5,000 by March 31st.

 

We have raised $1,400 of our goal so far and only have $3,600 to go!

 

 

 

DONATE HERE


$25—COVERS 5 GIRLS FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR

$50—COVERS 10 GIRLS FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR

$100—COVERS 20 GIRLS FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR

$500—COVERS 100 GIRLS!!

 

DONATE HERE

 

 

Please watch this video below to learn more about our partner Afripads!

 

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“The Political Economy of Women’s Liberation: Margaret Benston & and the Rise of Social Reproduction Theory. “ Monthly Review (September 2019).  Special Number of 5 articles and a poem.

 

2018

 

 

WAND Celebrates International Women’s Day!  2018

Dear Dick,

WAND knows that if the world is have peace more women need to be in the seats of
power at every level of government. That is why we are working to elect
progressive women to public office in 2018. Our job is to educate women about
issues they won’t read about in the mainstream media. As our country is about to
embark on a new nuclear arms race, we need to know who is profiting from the
manufacture and maintenance of the most lethal weapons man has ever Invented.
That is why we are forwarding this article

We especially honor today a woman who is challenging the world to end the nuclear
nightmare and Ban the Bomb once and for all. Beatrice Fihn is Executive Director of
the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

Read more about Beatrice Fihn and the Campaign on our Facebook page and in this article at Common Dreams.

 

 

Copyright © 2018 Arkansas WAND, All rights reserved. 
You are receiving this email because you have subscribed to the Arkansas WAND mailing list. 

Our mailing address is: 

Arkansas WAND

2510 Hidden Valley Drive

Little RockArkansas 72212

 

The Fate of the Earth Depends on Women
How a feminist foreign policy can save us from nuclear weapons.

By Beatrice Fihn NOVEMBER 8, 2018

https://www.thenation.com/article/nuclear-prohibition-beatrice-fihn/

 

Be the first to hear about Nation Travels destinations, and explore the world with kindred spirits.

On October 20, President Trump announced that the United States would pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty after more than 30 years. In doing so, he ended an agreement that abolished an entire class of nuclear weapons and recklessly pushed us to the brink of a new Cold War. He’s brought us back to a time when the United States and Russia could develop and expand their nuclear arsenals without restraint.

Trump’s decision is a wake-up call as much as it’s a clarion call. It highlights the flaws of a system in which one man can determine our collective fate, and makes clear why all nations need to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was adopted by 122 countries at the United Nations last year. By banning nuclear weapons under international law, we can still pull the hand brake on a new arms race.

In a series for The New Yorker, Jonathan Schell wrote a masterpiece on the horrors of nuclear war. Schell’s series was such a tour de force that when it was published as a book, The Fate of the Earth, in 1982, The New York Times wrote: “It accomplishes what no other work has managed to do in the 37 years of the nuclear age. It compels us, and compel is the right word, to confront head on the nuclear peril in which we all find ourselves.” Schell embedded his argument against nuclear weapons in human stories. As with climate change, simply explaining the basic facts rarely provokes action. Talking about the absurd number of nuclear weapons challenges people only to reduce stockpiles, but describing what the fire following a nuclear blast felt like at Hiroshima and Nagasaki makes us realize that these are weapons of mass slaughter.

The breakthrough for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons came after we showed political leaders the faulty foundations of the realpolitik arguments underpinning the nuclear world order. When it comes to doomsday weapons, the supposed realists ignore reality. Reality like the 7,000-degree-Fahrenheit ground temperature in Nagasaki after an American B-29 bomber dropped “Fat Man” on the city in August 1945, or the radioactive rain that poured down later. Reality like the people in Hiroshima crying out for help, although none was forthcoming because 42 of the city’s 45 hospitals had been instantly destroyed, and 90 percent of the doctors and nurses killed or injured. Or reality like the testimony from inhabitants of the Marshall Islands, where the United States conducted 67 nuclear blasts. One resident, Dretin Jokdru, recalled trying to survive on fish: “We got sick from them, like when your arms and legs fall asleep and you can’t feel anything. We’d get up in the morning to go to our canoes and fall over because we were so ill. We were dying.”

When faced with these realities, the insanity of what we have done for the last 73 years becomes hard to ignore. Recognizing the threat to humanity from climate change, ecological destruction, and nuclear weapons, we ask: “What is the fate of the earth?” I’d answer that by borrowing from former secretary of state Hillary Clinton: “The fate of women is the fate of the earth, and the fate of the earth is the fate of women.” To state this more explicitly: The survival of the human species depends on women wresting power from men. For too long, we have left foreign policy to a small number of men, and look where it has gotten us.  MORE  https://www.thenation.com/article/nuclear-prohibition-beatrice-fihn/

Roughly 1,000 miles west of New York City, a radioactive by-product of the Manhattan Project pollutes the air, soil, and water. Now where do you picture a pile of carcinogenic waste from the government’s most famous science project being stored? It’s not buried underground or contained within a lead-lined storage tank; it’s not in a secured government facility. It isn’t even in some remote field. No, this waste sits within the city limits of St. Louis, Missouri. When a handful of St. Louis moms, families, and neighbors began experiencing headaches, nosebleeds, and breathing problems one winter, they identified the problem and organized. Now a bunch of moms in St. Louis are a regular feature at the State Capitol, lobbying their representatives to clean up the mess that is killing their community. They fittingly called their group Just Moms, and they are only one example of the women around the world leading the charge to fix the problems created by men.

Even if these weapons are never used—which, by the way, is unlikely—they still harm people. In Texas, contract workers at the Pantex Plant are removing plutonium cores from nuclear weapons by hand. Why? Because they need to make room for a new generation of even more lethal nuclear weapons. The United States is scheduled to spend at least $1.7 trillion updating its arsenal, because our leaders are locked in an archaic view of national security—one that believes against all reason that terror provides safety.

 

Since the dawn of the nuclear age, many serious men have said that we need to get rid of these weapons, but they have lacked the vision, creativity, and strength to do so. We can no longer leave it to the same men who created these problems to solve them. As with so many issues, the consequences of men’s nuclear hubris fall disproportionately on women. Women in Hiroshima and Nagasaki die from cancer at twice the rate of men due to ionizing-radiation exposure. Findings from Chernobyl indicate that girls are considerably more likely than boys to develop thyroid cancer from nuclear fallout. Pregnant women exposed to nuclear radiation face a greater likelihood of delivering children with physical malformations or stillbirths, leading to increased maternal mortality. Near the Semipalatinsk nuclear-testing site in Kazakhstan, one out of every 20 babies is born with serious deformities. These effects will last for generations.   MORE  https://www.thenation.com/article/nuclear-prohibition-beatrice-fihn/

 



 

 

 

 

 

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Teen girls take on the world:

Bailey Leuschen, the UN Foundation 2-11-18  <donation@unfoundation.org>

2:30 PM (2 hours ago)

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Dick -- on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, I thought you might like to see the impact of Girl Up and the UN Foundation’s work in action: the Women in Science (WiSci) STEAM camp.

Every girl should be able to pursue her dreams in any field she decides, but right now there are barriers for girls in the STEAM fields (science, technology, engineering, arts and design, and mathematics).

That’s why Girl Up is partnering with the U.S. State Department, Intel, Google, and several local partners to help close the gender gap and increase opportunities for girls in STEAM education.

Working directly with the girls was the highlight of my year. Through access to education, mentorship opportunities, and leadership training, Girl Up’s WiSci STEAM camp promotes gender equality and empowering teen girls all over the world.

But don't take my word for it, Dick. See for yourself:
 


Thanks for supporting our work,

Bailey


Bailey Leuschen
Program Officer, Girl Up
United Nations Foundation

P.S. Applications are still open for our 2018 WiSci camp in Namibia! Share this exciting opportunity with a teen you know >>

 

 

2017

 

Democracy Now! Daily Digest

A Daily Independent Global News Hour with Amy Goodman & Juan González

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

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Women in More Than 50 Countries Set to Strike Today on International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day, and thousands of women are staging a one-day strike in what's been dubbed a Day Without a Woman. The impact of the ... Read More →

             

Women's Antiwar Diplomacy During the Vietnam WarPrinter-friendly versionPDF version

 

Book:

Women's Antiwar Diplomacy During the Vietnam War

http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/2157 

Jessica M. Frazier

Reviewer: Dr Jon Coburn
(Also review in Peace & Change Journal, October 2017)


Date accessed: 23 October, 2017

Jessica M. Frazier’s Women’s Antiwar Diplomacy During the Vietnam War Era illuminates a consistently overlooked feature of anti-war activism; the transnational exchanges and relationships forged between US women and their Vietnamese counterparts. In addition to enhancing the historical status of such endeavours, Frazier explores the impact these exchanges had on the women who took part. Covering the period from 1965 to 1978, she counters traditional depictions of US feminists’ cultural imperialism, instead arguing that women ‘crossed geopolitical boundaries to criticize American Cold War culture, not promote it’ (p. 3).

Women’s Antiwar Diplomacy makes three important observations; 1) it demonstrates that exchanges with Vietnamese women influenced the development of feminist thought in the US; 2) it shows how anti-war activists created space for political action, undercutting the authority of government while successfully performing citizen diplomacy; and 3) in doing so, it explains how US women used the otherwise divisive Vietnam War to form ‘effective transnational relationships on genuinely cooperative terms’. Although avoiding a couple of avenues for further analysis, Women’s Antiwar Diplomacy is a worthy addition to historiography of the Vietnam War.

Frazier’s persuasive and compelling account must be read in conjunction with the work of Mary Hershberger and Judy Tzu-Chun Wu (1), who both chart how US activists engaged with Vietnam during the war. Wu’s explication of ‘radical orientalism’ evidently influenced Frazier’s argument in particular (p. 4) and both effectively demonstrate how US women admired their Vietnamese colleagues while criticizing the reactionary imperialism of their own country.

Women’s Antiwar Diplomacy differs in two significant ways. First, while Frazier’s work is somewhat more descriptive, she provides insight into specific trips and instances of citizen diplomacy currently lacking from Vietnam War historiography. Her discussions of Women Strike for Peace’s (WSP) 1965 Jakarta Meeting, the 1968 Conference of Concerned Women, and the 1971 Indochinese Women’s Conference highlight overlooked but decisive acts of citizen diplomacy conducted by women during the war. Coverage of POW release and the sterling work of the Committee of Liaison with Families of Servicemen Detained in North Vietnam (COLIAFAM) restrains acknowledgment of North Vietnamese torture (p. 127), but demonstrates how women secured the trust of the DRV and could ‘gain more information on the POW issue’ than government officials and diplomats (p. 51). Additionally, Frazier brings neglected historical figures into the foreground, illuminating the transnational activism of Diane Nash, Anne McGrew Bennett, Elizabeth Sutherland Martinez, Elaine Brown, and Cora Weiss among others.

Second, Frazier expands her analysis to demonstrate how US women’s political views evolved as a result of these encounters. The influence of leftist activism and the anti-war movement on the development of women’s liberation has been noted at length, but Frazier takes this a step further. She notes that Vietnamese women, ‘as both subjects and objects, helped to mold American feminisms’ directly (p. 4). Crucially, Frazer explains that the feminist movement must not be depicted as a monolith, but as a conglomeration of various outlooks. As such, different women drew different conclusions from the example of Vietnamese women. Women Strike for Peace activists idolized their Vietnamese counterparts, but developed feminist consciousness and new perceptions of maternal roles when they witnessed mothers taking up arms to defend their children. Women of color viewed the Vietnamese both as revolutionary exemplars and feminine role models. Women’s liberationists meanwhile, perceived the legal, economic, and social rights enjoyed by women in Vietnam as exactly the gains they wished to achieve in the US. http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/2157

The book’s opening vignette evocatively frames the study with Frazier explaining that ‘a single photograph provides one of the few pieces of evidence’ of the historic 1965 trip to North Vietnam by Women Strike for Peace (WSP) activists Mary Clarke and Lorraine Gordon (p. 1). The first two chapters concentrate on the role played by self-described ‘mothers,’ with WSP as a key feature. Here, Women’s Antiwar Diplomacy offers a comprehensive assessment of maternal politics. Frazier demonstrates how visitors’ status as mothers helped them find common ground with their hosts while also stymying criticism back home (p. 26). Maternal identity created political space through which women could subvert the authority of the government.

Yet Frazier importantly highlights that ‘maternalism was both a tool and a reality’ (p. 33). WSPers created a sympathetic image of Vietnamese women by highlighting their similarities to ‘ordinary’ American housewives and mothers, but when facing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the aftermath of their trip, they distinguished themselves as ‘the only group of American women who have had the opportunity to speak with “the other side”’ (p. 16).

Frazier also shows that conceptions of motherhood were not static. She documents the change in attitudes well, particularly when explaining ongoing tensions between nonviolent motherhood and violent resistance on behalf of children. Encounters with Vietnamese women exposed members of WSP to new perspectives of gender roles as they heard from mothers willingly fighting for their children (p. 11). As Frazier writes, the Jakarta excursion was a transformative moment in WSP’s history, changing activists’ definitions of femininity, motherhood, and perspectives on pacifism (p. 28). An additionally important feature of transnational exchanges was the manipulation of Vietnamese womanhood in order to suit domestic US audiences (p. 15).

Use of the term ‘citizen diplomats’ necessitates caution, especially as the extent to which activists derived authority to speak on behalf of their respective nation is complicated. Nevertheless, Frazier makes a convincing argument that transnational exchanges were diplomatic missions. By depicting such meetings, she shows the significance of women’s intervention in the Vietnam War. There is deserved coverage of WSP’s historic 1965 meeting with VWU and WUL activists in Jakarta, highlighting the formality and international scope of the event and noting that Vietnamese and Indonesian officials personally endorsed the conference (p. 12). Depicting the 1968 Paris Conference of Concerned Women, Frazier illustrates US and Vietnamese women’s ability to set aside their differences and talk peace more quickly than their political leaders (p. 37). Later, we see the instrumental role played by women in freeing POW’s and establishing liaison networks with their families through COLIAFAM (p. 51). During the stalled peace talks in 1972, it was women who ‘took the place of US diplomats’ by traveling to Paris to keep communication going (p. 115).

Chapters three, four, and five delve into the crux of Frazier’s argumentation. First, she examines the development of ‘third world’ feminist networks through the Vietnam War. It is a thorough dissection of how individual US women from different backgrounds saw their own struggles in the example of North Vietnamese women and the NLF. Where WSP saw mothers, Mexican-Americans, African Americans and Asian Americans observed revolutionaries embroiled in a struggle for liberation against oppressive racist imperialism. The detailed biographical case studies of Elizabeth Sutherland Martinez, Elaine Brown, and Pat Sumi demonstrate Frazier’s engaging writing as she shows the powerful politicizing effect of travel to Vietnam during the war. Each saw the Vietnamese as examples for those who felt oppressed and isolated in the US, and they returned home with a heightened awareness for the racism and sexism they faced.

Chapters four and five further demonstrate that transnational exchange with Vietnamese women influenced feminist thought and cultivated anti-imperialist critiques of US politics and society. In one sense, Frazier makes the practical case that diplomatic conferences transformed women into confident political leaders (p. 80). Moreover, she persuasively argues that the Vietnam War generated feminist perspectives on military actions, sparking debate about the relationship between sexism and imperialism. Here, the book affirms its central premise, arguing against the decades-long tradition of historians highlighting ‘instances when white Western women have supported imperialist endeavours by declaring that women in colonies needed to be saved from their traditional cultures’ (p. 101). Instead, US women sought collaboration. For the VWU, NLF, and American activists, US intervention in Vietnam actually impeded the development of women’s rights and caused inequality. This, Frazier argues, is an international context that much of second-wave feminist literature overlooks (p. 80). With US imperialism recognized as a common enemy, Americans ‘looked to Vietnamese women as the vanguard in women’s struggle for liberation’ (p. 94).

Women’s Antiwar Diplomacy shows the extent of such reassessments of US militarism. Anne McGrew Bennett, as a Christian feminist, began questioning the patriarchal basis of her religion. ‘Could it be,’ she asked, ‘that the drive for dominance, power, control by men is rooted in an identification of the male sex with attributes of God’ (p. 107). Vietnam also awakened ecofeminism as women connected male-led violence, chemical warfare in Vietnam, and imperialist destruction of the ecology (p. 48).

Frazier does not depict transnational exchanges as entirely successful. She notes considerable resistance to women’s involvement in the war as well as the struggles activists endured in being taken seriously as spokespeople. In what is probably an unintentional allusion to the contemporary post-truth climate, Frazier charts Barbara Deming’s difficulties convincing US audiences that American planes were bombing civilians. Attendees would only accept her word if she had ‘actually seen any planes in the sky?’ Even possession of US-made anti-personnel cluster bombs was not enough proof of wrongdoing (pp. 23–4). Similarly, visitors could expect severe denunciations and charges of treason, even if deploying their status as ‘ordinary’ mothers.

Still, further rumination on the subsequent public outreach of these excursions would provide more insight into effectiveness of these exchanges. Women notably experienced pushback, but how did these exchanges affect wider public impressions of the Vietnamese? For example, did reports of strong, independent Vietnamese women reinforce or erode the stereotype of South East Asian ‘dragon ladies’ (p. 13)?

The final chapter, discussing how the end of US intervention in Vietnam affected transnational relationships, is an important coda to the book’s themes. Frazier once again demonstrates her stylistic flair in the chapter’s opening, deploying an engrossing historical allegory to highlight the instinctive coordination that women’s groups in different countries developed during the course of the Vietnam War (p. 122). The chapter documents the sterling and underreported efforts of Cora Weiss to secure medical aid and humanitarian attention for the Vietnamese, as well as women who observed reunification initiatives, adoption programs, POW releases, and the continuation of war-related violence.

Frazier shows that the rise in humanitarian endeavours provoked greater scrutiny on the inner workings of Vietnam, while the disappearance of the ‘common enemy’ in the postwar period caused a divergence in the priorities of women’s groups. Meanwhile, the chapter weaves the end of the war into the context of US feminism in the 1970s. UN International Women’s Year in 1975 and the 1977 National Women’s Conference saw feminists drawn away from anti-war activism towards the cause of global and domestic women’s rights (p. 134). Vietnam fell away as a priority. Significantly, when Saigon fell, the prescribed role of women in the DRV shifted. Nguyen Thi Binh, previously lauded as an icon by western feminists, was demoted from foreign minister of the PRG to minister of education. A number of American women, previously admirers of Vietnamese gender equality, expressed disappointed with the return to sexist assumptions and emphasis on women’s maternal responsibilities (p. 135).

Frazier’s explanation of shifting alliances in the war’s aftermath makes explicit an important feature of her argument – that US women did not eulogize Vietnamese culture and society uncritically. They did not naively venerate America’s ‘enemies’ simply to highlight their own country’s failures. Their later criticism of failures to maintain gender equality show this. Instead, they celebrated Vietnamese culture and gender roles based on a rational assessment of its merits.

The scope of Women’s Antiwar Diplomacy is not strictly limited to American perspectives of transnational exchange. Frazier neatly interweaves her narrative of US women’s activism with appreciation for the actions of Vietnamese. She notes that VWU and WUL delegations often had their own motivations for meeting, often centering on the desire to illustrate their determination for liberation (p. 14). It is important to acknowledge that such initiatives were part of Ho Chi Minh and North Vietnam’s broader attempts to secure international sympathy for their cause, which Frazier mentions on a number of occasions (p. 99). Similarly, Women’s Antiwar Diplomacy provides illuminating profiles of Vietnamese women. Frazier importantly highlights the influence Nguyen Thi Binh had on western feminists, while the biographical discussion of Ngo Ba Thanh’s anti-war initiatives is a particular highlight of the book.

Nevertheless, the narrative is predominantly focused on American activists and would benefit from some more insight into the Vietnamese story. From the outset Frazier notes that gauging Vietnamese perspectives ‘is more difficult to determine because US voices dominate most of the available sources’ and the Vietnamese sources that do exist often emerged from ‘those who were closely connected to the North Vietnamese government and generally agreed with the official line on the war effort’ (pp. 5–6). Yet some more could be done to show the extent to which diplomacy was collaborative and a two-way exchange of ideas while depicting how transnational meets changed the lives and outlooks of Vietnamese activists. Such a suggestion may run counter to the book’s premise that US women did not act as cultural imperialists, yet it would further demonstrate how Vietnamese activists engaged with the wider world. For example, Frazier touches briefly on the Women’s International Democratic Front (WIDF) and relations between Vietnamese groups and those in the Eastern bloc. While very illuminating, mention of this is all too brief. The WIDF is often discounted from ruminations on Cold War transnational activism (something this reviewer is guilty of themselves). Extending the discussion to include Vietnamese relations with groups outside of the US would add enlightening context.

Reflections on the Vietnam War frequently acknowledge that the conflict and its legacy divide society. In contrast, Frazier demonstrates how the war brought people together across borders. ‘By war’s end,’ she writes in her conclusion, ‘women had created networks such that, despite national, social, political, and economic differences, they collaborated on terms dictated by those asking for assistance’ (p. 142). Yet there is a lingering issue of the legacy left by transnational exchanges. Women’s Antiwar Diplomacypresents a favorable assessment of such trips, yet many participants are still considered traitors by some. Jane Fonda, for example, is actively detested by veterans groups. Similarly, women who met with POWs and recounted the welcoming experience of visiting North Vietnam were criticized for their supposed naivety. Frazier justifiably emphasizes the building of bridges between citizens of warring nations. She confronts this in her conclusion, acknowledging that the ‘memory of the war still divides US society’ but that ‘evaluating American and Vietnamese women’s relationships leads to a different conclusion’ (p. 142).

Frazier makes an illuminating case that Vietnam only mattered while it represented issues at the heart of US culture and society, but persuasively asserts that the example shown by Vietnamese women during the war fundamentally influenced the development of women’s liberation in America. As such, Women’s Antiwar Diplomacy During the Vietnam War Era provides a compelling rumination of cultural imperialism, US feminism, and anti-war activism. Read in conjunction with Wu and Hershberger, it draws attention to overlooked events and emphasizes the significant work conducted by female citizen diplomats during the war.

http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/2157    

 

 

FWD: she knows the power of the vote

Chris Carson   3-8-17 via mail.salsalabs.net 

7:06 AM (6 hours ago)

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Dick,

Today is International Women’s Day, the one day set aside all around the world to celebrate the incredible social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women—and to highlight the imperative for full equal rights, everywhere.

The theme of this year’s celebration? BeBoldforChange!

And if you’re looking for bold, you won’t have to look any further than the remarkable woman the League is honoring as one of our three Democracy Defenders this month, Olga Hernandez.

In case you missed my earlier email introducing Olga, you can see it below.

Congratulations again to Olga … and, on this International Women’s Day, thank YOU for all that you do!

Chris

Meet the League's second Democracy Defender.

League of Women Voters

 

Dear Dick,

The right to vote is something Olga Hernandez, a League member has never taken for granted.

Maybe because she was born in Cuba. Maybe because she was 18 before she became a U.S. citizen.

And maybe because, as one of the driving forces in the League of Women Voters of Virginia for more than 20 years, she has seen how the faces of new voters—from high school students to new citizens—light up when they get their first voter registration card.

That’s why Olga has invested so much of her time and energy into defending voters’ rights and expanding citizen access to the ballot…

… and that is why we chose her as the second of three Democracy Defenders we’re highlighting in March as part of our celebration of Women’s History Month.

Olga became involved with the League of Women Voters of Virginia shortly after she and her husband moved to Fairfax, just outside Washington, DC, in 1995. After serving as President of the LWV of the Fairfax Area from 2000 to 2005, she went on to serve as Vice President and then President of the LWV of Virginia.

She has organized and moderated senatorial and gubernatorial debates, lent her energy and expertise to the State Board of Elections and many civic organizations, and become a respected source for reporters from the Washington Post and other media covering controversial election law proposals.

Thanks in large part to leaders like Olga, over the last decade the League has tirelessly advocated to protect the rights of millions of Virginians and directly empowered hundreds of thousands to successfully cast a vote.

She is, in other words, the perfect example of why the League of Women Voters has been the country’s preeminent advocate for voters and defender of voters’ rights for more than 96 years!

Congratulations to Olga Hernandez for being a Democracy Defender!

And thank you, , for joining Olga in doing your part in Making Democracy Work®!

Sincerely,

Chris Carson
President

P.S. If you would like to extend your commitment to the League’s vital work to protect voters and expand citizen participation in our democracy, please make a generous gift to the League by clicking HERE now.

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We don't work without women.

The Global Zero   3-7-17 Team via mail.salsalabs.net 

4:19 PM (3 hours ago)

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Dear Dick,

Tomorrow, many women around the world are walking away from paid and unpaid labor as part of a global day of action for equality, justice, and human rights. It will be a Day Without A Woman, and all of the women of Global Zero plan to join. We hope you can strike with us or find other ways to show your support.

As one of the few organizations staffed mostly by women that’s working on the front lines of nuclear nonproliferation and global security, we know few issues are as dominated by men as this one. Whether you’re looking at organizational charts, coalition calls, academic panels, or press coverage, women’s voices are chronically underrepresented.

This imbalance fails to reflect the powerful role women have played in the struggle for a world without nuclear weapons. From Coretta Scott King and Dagmar Wilson, to Valerie Plame and Jennifer Allen Simons, to a rising generation of young women championing our cause, we know women have always led progress on this issue. And we’re confident the world will look very different once there are as many women around the table as men.

We also recognize that tomorrow’s strike is an exercise of privilege. Many women simply can’t afford to miss a day at work or at home. With that in mind, there are a few other things you can do to show your support. You can:

·  Attend a rally (click here to find one near you)

·  Raise awareness by wearing red

·  Shop only at small buesinesses, especially those owned by women

·  Express support on social media using the hashtags #DayWithoutAWoman and #IStrikeFor

·  Donate to an organization fighting for women's equality (here's a list of five)

You can find more information on A Day Without A Woman here.

In solidarity,
Meredith, Lilly, Mary, Jessica, Anna, Jennifer, Haneen, Rashi and the rest of the Global Zero team

Global Zero is the international movement for the elimination of all nuclear weapons.
Sent by GLOBAL ZERO | 1342 Florida Avenue NW | Washington, DC 20009 USA

 

Be Bold for Change

Eric Grignol, UUSC hello@thegoodbuy.com via bounce.s7.exacttarget.com 

2:07 PM (36 minutes ago)

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Dear Dick,
 

On this International Women’s Day, we celebrate the millions of remarkable women leading the way to forge a better working world. And look how far we have come! In 1972, men owned 96% of the businesses in the United States. Today, one in three businesses is owned by a woman. 

That’s great progress, but we’ve still got more work to do to ensure a more inclusive, gender-equal world! The 2017 theme for International Women’s Day is #BeBoldForChange. At UUSC’s The Good Buy, we are partnering with strong women from around the world who run cooperatives, own businesses, and transform their communities.

This year, we are celebrating IWD by highlighting the work of these remarkable women in a new series called “Meet the Makers.”  I invite you to get acquainted with the women artisans behind the goods you choose and the fair-trade purchases you make. This series will share the stories of women like Dolores, a farmer in Honduras who ensured that a plot of land was registered in her name to grow her own coffee organically, unlike her husband who uses pesticides for his crops. Dolores’ efforts helped her gain income independence. And Kanta Ji, a papermaker in India who works with a fair-trade cooperative, earning 20-30% more than conventional markets. Through Meet the Makers you will have a chance to get to knowVeronica, a wool artisan in Bolivia, using her weaving skills to earn  a reliable income which allows her to send her kids to school, and Moo Kho, a refugee resettled in the U.S. who is now a master candle-maker training others. You can read about these inspiring women’s lives and others like them on The Good Buy’s blog.

These stories are just a few examples of how women aim to #BeBoldForChange everyday. Take part in the online celebration of International Women’s Day by following the hashtag #BeBoldForChange, and sharing these posts!

Of course, don’t forget an easy way you can support the success of women’s achievements in the global economy every day: Shop women-made, fair-trade products!

Cheers,

Eric Grignol
UUSC’s The Good Buy

 

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee | 689 Massachusetts Avenue | Cambridge, MA 02139-3302

 

2016

 

CELEBRATE UN INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

WAR RESISTERS LEAGUE

Resisting War at Home & War Abroad since 1923

 

 

Connect with Us      

 

 

Celebrate
International Women's Day 
​with us!

Are you in NYC? Join AF3IRM tonight to celebrate our personal & political victories with poetry, dance and musical performances at our International Women's Day Happy Hour.

All proceeds go towards our programs, including our annualSummer School for Women's Activism!

For a full list of events, please go to our website & join us!  Action Link! »

 

Happy International Women's Day!

Hi! We are members of the New York City chapter of AF3IRM--a national organization of women engaged in transnational feminist, anti-imperialist activism. Join AF3IRM & War Resisters League today as we celebrate our herstories and engage in a collective retelling of history to include women, queer, and trans community members.

As we reflect, we question the choices available to us as women.How has the freedom to choose one’s clothing, partners, jobs and career path liberated women as a whole? What choices do women from the working class, in both industrialized nations and the Global South, have? What does liberation for women look like? And, how is my liberation different and intertwined with another woman’s liberation? How does feminism create a path towards the kind of humanity we envision?


AF3IRM values War Resisters League's work to end all forms of violence. Please support WRL by making a generous donation of $50 today!


“Choice is only possible when everything is equal,” says AF3IRM founder Ninotchka Rosca.

Yet, public policies and initiatives attempt to hand us the kind of feminism that perpetuates the very systems that stifle our ability to choose. Let's take for example, the Women’s Tactical Association, a national organization of female officers, military personnel, and civilians who promote and encourage training among female law enforcement to enhance and refine skills in the areas of firearms, combat mindset, and fitness.

Is this the kind of choice we need to lead towards collective liberation? No! This is a #FEMINISTFAIL! Militarization, war and imperialism disproportionately impact women and the global south. The freedom to pull a trigger does not address rampant global inequality or create access to jobs, education, or physical and emotional safety.

For nearly a month, members of Congress from across the aisle have been debating to extend draft registration to women. This comes at a time when the Supreme Court must decide on the constitutionality of draft registration for men. The Supreme Court decision would impact the choice to register or not. However, the debate has moved from the constitutionality of the draft registration to women’s rights to choose to register for the draft. Essentially pointing to sexism and exclusion of women as a basis for not only maintaining but extending draft registration. American consciousness has spoken on this issue and in the 1980s there was a groundswell of resistance to draft registration. The United States government is silencing the voices of resistance that say no to preparation for war. We call this another #FEMINISTFAIL.

We challenge the mythology of choice surrounding the opening up of the military and expansion of the draft to women and members of the LGBTQ community. Military bases hypersexualize and commodify women as comfort and rest and recreation for soldiers. While high rates of sexual harassment and sexual assault of women and LGBTQ soldiers is used as a tool of war.

As transnational feminists of color, we recognize that our struggles here at the local level are connected to other women’s struggles across the globe. Our feminism must move across nations, land, and borders to be truly intersectional and purposeful. 

For the past 25 years AF3IRM has worked tirelessly to dismantle the systems of oppression which have historically and continue to marginalize and deny us a say in creating the options to make choices between.

Stand in resistance and in celebration with us as we remember our journeys as women & transnational feminists. 

In solidarity, 
AF3IRM, New York City Chapter

*Photo credit: (Top) AF3IRM- NYC Chapter; (Bottom) AF3IRM National. Los Angeles International Women's Day Rally on Mar 6, 2016.


AF3IRM’s diverse, multi-ethnic membership is committed to militant movement-building from the United States and affects change through grassroots organizing, trans-ethnic alliance building, education, advocacy, and direct action.


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War Resisters League

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2015

Celebrating International Women’s Day with the Women of Gaza, Not in Gaza, but in Cairo

Ann Wright, Op-Ed, NationofChange, 2014: We, the International Women's Delegation to Gaza, greet you on International Women's Day. Although we can never know your suffering as you feel it, we hold you in our hearts, and pledge to you our continuing, ever-deepening solidarity. We will tell your story to all who will listen. We will tell your story to our Parliamentary and Congressional representatives so they can better understand the injustice they support and the suffering they cause by the billions of dollars they send to Israel and Egypt.

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Dear WAND Activists:

Today on March 8, recognize International Women’s Day and click here to urge your Members of Congress to co-sponsor the Women, Peace, and Security Act (S. 1942 / H.R. 2874) to ensure that the voices and concerns of women are heard on matters of peace and security!

 In a speech to the UN Security Council, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power stated: "Women's participation in conflict prevention, mitigation, and recovery is vital to the maintenance of international security and peace. Not a sideshow, but vital." Women and girls are disproportionately affected by crisis and conflict.

Over the past two decades, the nature of war has changed. Today 90% of casualties in armed conflicts are civilians, an overwhelming majority of whom are women and children. Sexual violence, abduction for sexual slavery and for fighting, and forced displacement have emerged as strategic new tactics of war. Yet women constitute fewer than 8% of peace negotiators and fewer than 3% of signatories of peace agreements. Even worse, perpetrators of violence and abuse during conflict are typically given a seat at the table while those committed to peace – often the women – are left out. Of the five women present at the Geneva II Peace Talks to end the violent civil war in Syria – none had a seat at the negotiating table.

By enacting the Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2014 (WPS Act), we can ensure that women's voices are heard on matters of peace and conflict. The WPS Act would turn the U.S. National Action Plan (U.S. NAP) on Women, Peace, and Security into law and ensure that women are equal partners in all U.S. diplomatic, development, and defense related work. The purpose of the U.S. NAP is to strengthen the role of women in peace-building and conflict prevention processes; protect women and girls from gender-based violence in conflict areas; and ensure women and girls have equitable access to humanitarian assistance during crises and disasters.

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who introduced the act to the Senate, stated "For too long, women have been left out of peace negotiations - even though they are disproportionately affected by these conflicts. From Northern Ireland to Liberia, women have proven how valuable their contributions are to peace talks, conflict prevention and conflict mediation, so it is critical that we ensure that women are at the table."

This year, in recognition of International Women’s Day, email your Senators and Member of Congress and ask them to sign onto the Women, Peace and Security Act (S. 1942 / H.R. 2874)!

Let us make sure that women’s voices are heard on the most important issue of all – peace. 

Sincerely, The WAND Team

 

WAND, Inc
691 Massachusetts Avenue | Arlington MA 02476
322 4th Street NE | Washington, DC 20002
250 Georgia Avenue S.E. Suite 202 | Atlanta, GA 30312

 

UNITED NATIONS International Women's Day (UNIWD) NEWSLETTER #7, March 8, 2018.

http://jamesrichardbennett.blogspot.com/2018/03/un-2018-international-womens-day-march.html

 

 

END UNITED NATIONS International Women's Day (UNIWD) NEWSLETTER #8, March 8, 2021.

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Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)