We post this call on International women’s day for women’s role in Peace and Freedom from Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom. A similar call was made by Extinction Rebellion at last Sunday’s rally for peace in Ukraine where women have been told by the Ukrainian government to flee and men been asked to stay and fight the Russian army.
We note the role played by national leaders in promoting this and other wars. Scott Morrison is a case in point. But so was Australia’s Labor Party Prime Minister Jullia Gillard heavily involved in support for Obama’s surge of troops in Afghanistan. There was no mention in the flyer that a number of women leaders have taken their countries to war (Thatcher in the Falklands; Indira Ghandi in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971) not to mention US secretary of state, Madeline Albright, support for the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, and Golda Meir in the Yom Kippur war against the Palestinians in 1973. and Julia Gillard committed to a surge in the war in Afghanistan).
We support WILPF’s call for Peace & Freedom in Ukraine and women’s role in it but we must be careful what we wish for given the strong nationalist sentiment in both Ukraine and Russia and remember the call for peace on International Women’s Day, held on 19 March 1911, and planned at the International Socialist Women’s Conference in Copenhagen the previous year.
11 March 2022
Workers of all countries Unite!
It is hard to celebrate the many achievements of women when we see the horrendous situation of women and children in Ukraine , where lethal attacks disproportionately affect the more vulnerable young and elderly .WILPF joins with so many organisations in calling for a ceasefire and conflict resolution for all people in Ukraine and neighbouring countries .
WILPF Australia respects the efforts of the United Nations to resolve conflict around the world, but it needs so much more support from world leaders.
Recent sanctions against Russia do demonstrate more strategic thinking than the traditional military response, but there is an urgent need for more effort to be placed on conflict resolution and negotiation
In November 2012 the Security Council sponsored a day long conference on the importance of women in restoring fractured communities .
That conference ten years ago was told:
“Wherever there is conflict women must be part of the solution “