UK WILPF marches against violence against women

Posted by on Mar 11, 2018 in Blog, News | 0 comments

Saturday 10th March, UK WILPF were among thousands of women who marched through central London demanding an end to violence against women. The Million Women Rise march is now an annual fixture the Saturday after International Women’s Day, with this year being the march’s 10th anniversary.  As we marched, we sang and chanted “What do want?… Safe streets….” and “Whatever I wear, wherever I go, yes means yes and no means no”. The atmosphere was jovial, as women joined together to celebrate our power. Onlookers clapped and took photographs. With some passing parents even taking the time to point out the march to their children – which was particularly heart-warming. UK WILPF was proud to be there, and we carried our banners chatting with other women, swapping anecdotes of our activism. What was striking was the number of younger women on the march. It was great to see so many young women arm in arm with their older sisters, standing together against violence against women. It shows the next generation is growing up feminist. You can see coverage of the march here. Here is a selection of some of the best banners we saw on the march:   UK WILPF legends Sheila Triggs and Paula Shaw with one of our banners. At the end of the march we congregated at Trafalgar Square.   Isabel Bull  (Views expressed in The Blog do not reflect those of...

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UK WILPF gives evidence to UK Parliament

Posted by on Mar 9, 2018 in Featured, News | 0 comments

On 22nd February, UK WILPF gave written evidence to the UK Parliament’s International Relations Committee on Foreign Policy in Changed World Conditions. You can read our full submission here, and the other oral and written evidence presented as well here. In this, we urged the UK government to utilise the UN system and develop our ties with other countries through other supranational organisations such as the Commonwealth. Also, highlighting how the government should take greater notice of the activities of civil society groups. The government should be more susceptible to activities of civil society which utilises social media and other digital technologies as well as more conventional methods to mobilise and connect individuals, local, national and international networks, and global institutions setting and achieving its political goals. The UK should work internationally through the UN and other institutions to be more responsive to civil society’s voices, reaching agreements for the welfare of the people and planet such as climate change and banning nuclear weapons (by signing the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons). Existing and new structural inequalities that can influence on negotiation and decision-making processes should be addressed, as all parts of society should be represented in negotiations and decision making. We, furthermore, weighed up the debates on the benefits and potential costs of digital media. Underlining the recent proliferation of fake news and its negative effects on democracy. Key to our message was also negotiation and how we should be privileging global welfare over trying to gain strategic advantage. We thank the UK government for giving us this opportunity. As well as Maki Kimura and Pat Pleasance and the Orpington Branch for compiling this evidence...

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WILPF member shares history fighting against nuclear weapons

Posted by on Mar 7, 2018 in Featured, News | 0 comments

UK WILPF member Rae Street has been interviewed by the Manchester Evening News about her experiences fighting against nuclear weapons. Rae was part of Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp and protested outside NATO headquarters. In the interview, she says that it was a visit to Hiroshima which sparked her activism. The article has gained great traction on social media, raising awareness of our cause. You can read the article in full...

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Read WILPF Colombia Press Release ‘More Life Less Arms’

Posted by on Feb 28, 2018 in Blog, News | 0 comments

Read La Liga Internacional de Mujeres por la Paz y la Libertad‘s (LIMPAL), the Colombian section of WILPF, press release from earlier this week on gun crime here. This follows their 2017 report “Women for Disarmament: More life, less arms”. UK WILPF stands by LIMPAL. MORE LIFE LESS ARMS Press Release: Monday February 26th, 2018 On February 14, Nikolas Cruz (19 years old) murdered 17 people with an AR-15 rifle at a high school in Parkland, Florida, in the United States. Less than two weeks later in the region of Valle, Colombia, Christian Garcés, a Colombian congressional candidate for the Democratic Center Party for the upcoming 11 March 2018 elections, proposed arming civilian population for their own “protection” as a central part of his campaign platform.   La Liga Internacional de Mujeres por la Paz y la Libertad (LIMPAL), the Colombian section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) denounces this call to arms. “We need more life and less arms,” said Katherine Ronderos, President of LIMPAL. “This is the wrong lesson from history.”   The 2017 report by LIMPAL, “Women for Disarmament: More life, less arms” shows that guns do not provide security. Instead they increase risks of gendered violence, especially violence against women. In Colombia, there are approximately 800,000 legal weapons and between 2 and 4 million illegal weapons in the country. In 2016, of the 2,626 homicides reported in the region of Valle, 80% were committed with firearms. In Colombia, during the 2014-2016 period, 16,665 crimes were committed with weapons that had legal permit. According to the Legal Medicine Institute data, the most used mechanism for homicides against women in 2016 was the firearm, with 527 cases.   LIMPAL has brought attention to how the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the civilian population increases violence. It leads to the death of girls and women, magnifies sexual and psychological violence and trafficking in persons, and augments other crimes.   LIMPAL rejects political campaigns that propose arming the civilian population.  This is not the solution to the problem of violence. The US armed culture of violence is not one for Colombia to follow. Garcés’s proposal also runs counter to the 2016 Peace Agreement with the FARC-EP, undermines the Colombian Constitution’s commitment for the State only to have a monopoly of weapons, and ignores the true situation of the proliferation of arms in the country. LIMPAL reaffirms the need for strict control over the carrying and holding of small arms and light weapons for the prevention of armed violence and the escalation of new local conflicts.   As part of the National Summit of Women and Peace and the Collective of Thinking and Action “Women,...

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Write to your MP about women detained in Yarl’s Wood

Posted by on Feb 26, 2018 in Featured, News | 0 comments

More than 100 women are currently on hunger strike in Yarl’s Wood, protesting against their unfair treatment. In light of our 2017 Autumn Seminar, Voices of Refugee Women, UK WILPF stands by these women and urge you to do so to! One of our members has drafted a sample letter to send to your MP, you can download it here – Sample Letter to send to your MP about women detained in Yarl’s Wood Together, we can highlight this issue and urge those with the power to do so to incite change. Women seeking asylum in our country must be treated better! The letter in full is as follows: Dear _____________________ MP   Two months ago, I attended a seminar in London organised by the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom, to give voice to women refugees. Their testimony convinced me that the British the asylum process under the current Conservative Government is built on an assumption of disbelief rather than a culture of compassion.   It is no surprise to me that now more than a hundred women are on hunger strike at Yarl’s Wood, the immigration detention centre in Bedfordshire, to protest the conditions in which they are imprisoned. Their detention ignores UN and international guidelines on how women refugees should be treated when they apply for asylum.   The human cost of indefinite detention is immeasurable; these women will suffer long-term damage to their physical and mental health, while their children experience the distress of separation. The financial cost is high; indefinite detention is robbing people of their lives and taxpayers of their money.   Every day that indefinite immigration detention exists further undermines Britain’s tradition of civil liberties. Indefinite detention is neither right nor necessary, and there are practical and humane alternatives to detention which allow people to contribute to society.   I urge you to ensure that the British Government and the Immigration officers stick to justice and compassion as the guiding principles in the treatment of asylum seekers, forced migrants and refugees.   I ask you to speak out in support of the women in Yarl’s Wood.  today support Parliamentary efforts to end indefinite detention in the next Immigration Bill.   Kind regards, _____________________...

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UK WILPF to join Women in Black’s Evening Vigil

Posted by on Feb 26, 2018 in Events, News | 0 comments

UK WILPF, Million Women Rise and Southall Black Sisters are going to join Women in Black (WIB) in an evening vigil on Wednesday 7th March to mark International Women’s Day, which will take place the next day on the 8th. Our message for the evening will be women against violence. WIB vigils are held around the plinth of the monument to Edith Cavell in St.Martins Place, London WC2H OHE, just opposite the entrance door of the National Portrait Gallery. They start on the dot of 6 pm, and end on the dot of 7 pm. They are women-only, as silent as we can manage and if possible vigil goers are asked to wear black. Although in principle we stand still for the one hour, it is fine that some less able vigillers bring a stool to sit on. Bringing a (black) umbrella is also not a bad idea! Please feel free to bring your own banners, signage, leaflets etc. but bear in mind the proposals for the evening as follows: The first placard is to have the names of our four organizations and (more boldly) “standing together to mark International Women’s Day, 8th March 2018” The second placard, good and bold, would read: “Women say NO to violence and militarism, YES to peace with justice” And the third: “End male violence against women and children. In peace, in war: no...

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