We want to thank everyone who helped make the crafts table at WRI Triennial such a success—over US $500 was raised for the Women’s Conference! Special thanks go to Pippa, Francoise, Shelley, Trini, Niramon, Laddawan, Margaret, Matt Meyer (for the bagels), Peter Jones and Milan for donating their time and goods. We also want to thank the Interfaith Women’s Fellowship for Peace and Development of Sri Lanka for their donation from the sales of the beautiful batiks made by the women’s cooperative (the cooperative can be contacted in care of IFPD, P.O.
Greetings from London! My name is Caroline B. Pinkney-Baird and I am the woman that War Resisters’ International hired to help coordinate the upcoming women’s conference in Thailand (Women Overcoming Violence:
Redefining Development and Changing Society Through Nonviolence). It has now been exactly a month since I started work in the WRI office-~ and what a busy month it has been!
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.
According to a report in the major Thai newspaper The Nation (September 24, 1991), Dr. Saisuree Chutikul of the Thai government has expressed concern about the increasing number of Burmese women lured or tricked into Thailand to work as prostitutes. At a meeting with the wife of Burma’s Public Health Minster, Dr. Saisuree said, “I asked the minister’s wife to tell her husband to think about how concerned Burmese officials can stop the flow of Burmese women coming to Thailand for prostitution.
Many thanks to all the women who worked on preparations for the WRI Women’s Conference at the Triennial. Much progressive was made: we now have a date—November 25 (International Day Against Sexual Exploitation of Women) to December 1 (WRI Prisoners for Peace Day) 1992. The proposal by Laddawan and Niramon to hold the conference within the framework of PP21 was accepted. PP21 stands for Peoples Power in the 21st Century, and it is a broad-based Asian coalition of groups and movements dealing with trade unions, the environment and womens rights, to name a few of its many issues.
On February 23, 1990, the first lesbian group in Taiwan was started. Its name is Wo Men Zhi Jian (Between Ourselves).
The first task of the founders after starting was to network and start letting other lesbians know about the group. They got a post office box in Taipei (number 10464) to give women a way to Contact the group. Roberta, one of the members, went to the Asian Lesbian Conference in Thailand in December 1990.
In the southern pan of India, thousands of very young girls are dedicated every year to the Goddess Yellamma. They are called devadasis or “Servants of God”. These girls account for an average of 15% of Indian prostitutes and up to 80% of those prostitutes living in the south.
In the world today, women have many duties and obligations. They are responsible for giving birth and have transformed humankind so as to develop sufficient abilities to build up world peace.
Unfortunately, in the poorest countries, women have weak spirits as a result of customs, religion and civil war. Specifically, in Indochinese countries such as Cambodia, women have been victimized by government policies since post-independence. Mental and physical repression made women not undertake key leadership positions.
Opening the Doors to Peace is a memorial to Myrtle Solomon, chairperson of WRI from 1975 to 1985. It brings together her major writings into each of which she succeeded in injecting a nugget of significance, of originality, of creative intelligence. Her interviews for oral history give her a voice and reveal something of her personality even to those who did not know her. The tributes at her death help explain why this book was seen as a suitable commemoration to a woman who engaged all her formidable energy in the cause of peace.
AGISRA (Union Against International Sexual and Racist Exploitation) is a German-based umbrella organisation of groups that deal with sex tourism and forced prostitution. Groups in the coalition include Terre des Femmes and Caritas, and their work ranges from collecting information such as lists of traffickers to operating shelters for battered women. AGISRA, Mainzerlandstr. 147, D-6000 Frankfurt 1, Germany.