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.
"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.
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).
B.a.B.e. (Be active, Be emancipated) is a human rights centre for women, located in Zagreb and initiated by the Zagreb Women's Lobby. Our mission is to enhance understanding and foster the spirit and principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in ways that are culturally relevant and integral to women's lives in Croatia.
It is more than a decade now since a small group of Thai women began to systematically raise gender questions. They had to struggle against all kinds of difficulties. First they had to clarify for themselves what the reality of the situation was between men and women and what kind of relationship they wanted between them, both universally and in the Thai context. Next, they had to decide what they should do to address related problems.
"We demonstrate with our bare hands as we are fighting for the truth. If we have truth on our side, we don't need any weapon." One of the Gari 14
On March 12, 1994 the International Year of Tibetan Women was inaugurated in Dharamsala, India, home of the Tibetan government in exile. The Year will last until March 12, 1995, and is dedicated to finding nonviolent solutions to the problems women inside Tibet and in exile face.
(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.
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.