women and peace



Continuing Collateral Damage: health and environmental costs of war on Iraq

A November 2003 Medact report calculates the toll, and shows how the general state of health of the Iraqi people, already poor by international standards, has been compromised further by the war:

"The war in Iraq was declared officially at an end six months ago, but the health and environmental costs of the conflict are still being felt. Drawing on sources within and outside Iraq, the international health charity Medact says that the health consequences of the 2003 war on Iraq will be felt by its people for years, maybe generations...

The research was carried out by an international team of authors and advisers, all experts on health and conflict. The new report estimates that more than 20,000 Iraqis have died between the start of hostilities and when the report was finalised late last month. The number of people affected by the aftermath of the war is still rising as the Iraqi people continue to pay the price in death, injury and mental and physical ill health..."

Iraqi Women's News has a variety of articles and features on Iraqi women

Iraqi Women No Better Off, U.N. Official Says
by Sue Pleming , Reuters September 24th, 2003

WASHINGTON - In many ways, Iraqi women are worse off than before U.S. forces ousted Saddam Hussein and are too afraid to play a big political role for fear of being a target of extremists, a senior U.N. official said on Tuesday. Noeleen Heyzer, executive director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women, said the poor security situation prevented women from playing a bigger role in rebuilding Iraq...

The Day of the Jackals: Arundhati Roy
The following is the text of a talk by Arundhati Roy, pre-recorded for the May 31, 2003 United For Peace and Justice teach-in in Washington, DC. For the full text click on the link to the Alternet site, below.

"Mesopotamia. Babylon. The Tigris and Euphrates. How many children, in how many classrooms, over how many centuries, have hang-glided through the past, transported on the wings of these words?

And now the bombs have fallen, incinerating and humiliating that ancient civilization. On the steel torsos of their missiles, adolescent American soldiers scrawled colorful messages in childish handwriting: For Saddam, from the Fat Boy Posse..."

Statement from the Iraqi Women's Rights Coalition, May 2003

"We are a group of Iraqi women who are extremely concerned about women's rights and freedom in Iraq.  

We have decided to set up this coalition due to the regime change in Iraq. We are working together to make sure that the new constitution will exclude all the existent codes and laws which are based on Shariah law and which discriminate against women.

Iraqi women have suffered from many forms of discrimination which has led to the infliction of violence rape, torture, domestic violence and 'honour killings' - under the Ba'athist regime for more than two decades.   

Women have also suffered institutionalised oppression in the form of the prohibition of choice of marital and sexual partners; the lack of rights concerning divorce; denial of freedom of expression in political life; denial of access to independent travel and enforced veiling in certain regions of Iraq.  

Now that the war is over there is a chance for us, as Iraqi women, to impose our fair demands on the new Government and to put an end to the active discrimination that has been practiced in Iraq against women."

The coalition was founded in March 2003, London, England.
For a summary of its aims and activities, visit:

The Future is Also in our Hands

Sumaya Farhat-Naser is a Palestinian biologist and teacher, peace activist and author. During years of work in her own community, in Jerusalem, and with Israeli peace activists, she has become an important spokesperson for a just peace for both peoples. Her second book, written in German during the current occupation and Intifada, was published in English in spring 2003 under the title: "Daughter of the Olive Trees." The following is her speech given in Berlin on February 15, 2003, at the largest peace demonstration ever in the German capitol, with half a million people participating.


Twenty-Five Things You Can Do To Resist the War Against Iraq

As the US government rushes into war, it is easy to get overwhelmed, and to feel that there is nothing we can do. But as ever more citizens wake up to the potentially catastrophic consequences of Bush's war, as hundreds of thousands of people all over the globe protest this war, there are more groups to get involved with, actions to take, and ways to become informed and inspired. Long-term political activist and writer Mina Hamilton came up with this list.


DAWN's Call to Resist the War against Iraq

scholars and activists from the economic South who engage in feminist
research and analysis of the global environment and are committed to working
for economic justice, gender justice and democracy."
See: http://www.dawn.org.fj/

"DAWN pays tribute to the millions of people who have gone out into the
streets to demonstrate their stand for peace, most recently those who turned
out on 15 and 16 February 2003 in over 600 cities worldwide, including
Adelaide, Amsterdam, Melbourne, Sydney, Berlin, London, Rome, Hong Kong,
Kuala Lumpur and Penang, Lahore and 20 other Pakistan cities, Manila, New
York, Philadelphia, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Suva, and
DAWN shares the understanding that any war against Iraq is not about weapons
of mass destruction or any of the other stated rationales, but about
imperial greed and the abuse of human rights and power.

DAWN calls upon all women and men
  • in all war-mongering countries to continue holding their representatives
    fully accountable, including through campaigns pledging not to vote for
    individual politicians and political parties that have sought to justify and
  • support unilateralism and preemptive attack instead of genuine
    multilateralism and the rule of law; and
  • worldwide, to insist on the disarmament of all States and a total ban on
    arms sales.
  • To resist patriarchal intolerance and all types of reactionary backlash
against citizens rights, especially women's reproductive and sexual rights,
as these are linked to militarism and fundamentalism.
We want a world where equity, equality, diversity and genuine peace reign.
DAWN condemns all leaders and governments that brutalize citizens, violate
human rights, disregard international law, and use violence and destructive
weapons as a currency of power. This condemnation extends to the Iraqi
Government and Saddam Hussein, and even more so to the leaders of the United
States, United Kingdom, Australia and others in the so-called Coalition of
the Willing, who aided and abetted Saddam in the past and now propose to
ignore majority public opinion to launch an unjustifiable war against the
Iraqi people. We say "No to war, even as a last resort!"

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