WOMEN'S INITIATIVE FOR PEACE: HOW DID IT START


Açıklama: We are a group of women who come from different social and political backgrounds; who have different identities, beliefs, and sexual orientations, yet we all live in the same country and thus are affected by the same kinds of violence. We have all been struggling against war and male dominated violence for many years. We know exactly what war means for women.
Kategori: Women's Initiative for Peace
Eklenme Tarihi: 23 Mayıs 2013
Geçerli Tarih: 24 Eylül 2017, 13:17
Site: Barış İçin Kadınlar
URL: http://www.barisicinkadinlar.com/baris/yazar.asp/haber_detay.asp?haberID=365


WOMEN’S INITIATIVE FOR PEACE: HOW DID IT START?

We are women who have come together to struggle for peace.

We are a group of women who come from different social and political backgrounds; who have different identities, beliefs, and sexual orientations, yet we all live in the same country and thus are affected by the same kinds of violence. We have all been struggling against war and male dominated violence for many years. We know exactly what war means for women.

Since the 1990s, we have come together from time to time in various women’s peace groups. Women’s Initiative for Peace was formed in May 2009 as a result of our collective struggle against male domination and war. Ever since we have been trying to transform streets, homes, schools and work places into “peace spots” in order to promote our demand for peace and open the way for peace all over the country.

In April 2009 some of our friends, who had been involved in our struggle against war and violence against women were arrested and taken away from us without any explanation whatsoever. It was our belief that these arrests were motivated by the desire to prevent our struggle against both war and male domination, and that was why Women’s Initiative for Peace was established. The aim of these attacks specifically targeting women was to drive them away from the streets and political arenas. Ever since these attacks, as women living in Turkey, we have continued on our path in the pursuit of peace as we reach out to each other, grow in numbers and raise our voices. We believe that unless the will and say of women are taken into account peace and creating the conditions for peace are impossible, thus we continue to struggle to make this happen.

WE WANT A BUDGET THAT NURTURES LIFE, NOT ONE THAT KILLS!

Even though as women, we are the ones who carry out two thirds of the world’s work, we are never asked for our opinion about wars, which destroy and poison the earth as well as its inhabitants. It is us women, who most acutely feel the devastating consequences of war, such as forced migration, poverty, violence, rape and discrimination.

As a result of policies created by administrations that constantly and systematically exclude women, the money that should be allocated for the education, health, safety and self development of women, and the protection of the earth is instead being spent on war making, military operations, bombs and mines.

As huge portions of the national budget is spent on war, women are deprived of shelters they can take refuge in as they escape domestic violence inflicted on them by their fathers or husbands. They are deprived of means for earning an income and sustaining their lives. They are abandoned  to live on the streets, to become prostitutes, to return to their violent homes,  or even to die. Social rights that women have fought hard to gain are snatched away from them. The fact that the basic right to be educated in one’s mother tongue still doesn’t exist, not only prevents women from receiving education but also effectively excludes them from the public space. Thus, these women become further isolated and overly dependent on men, as they are dragged off to new and unfamiliar worlds as a result of forced migration.

War means forced migration, emptying of villages, burning down of forests, destruction of life. For women, who make up the poor in wealthy countries, and the poorest of the poor in impoverished countries, war means becoming even poorer as a result of forced migration.  As women, we are being pushed even further to the margins of life.

WAR TRANSFORMS MALE SEXUALITY INTO A WEAPON

War means the plunder of women’s bodies, which are problematically identified with the country, the motherland, and the flag. War means creating, once again, possibilities for legitimizing violence against women such as attacking, raping, abusing, and imprisoning women in their daily lives.

The invasion and capturing of the land, which is identified with the woman’s body, turns male sexuality into a means for war. War transforms male sexuality into a weapon.

War and militarization forces women into giving birth to more children, remaining within the home and family, and giving up their dreams and aspirations. It causes women to accept motherhood as the only identity they will ever have in this life.

The weight of all kinds of domestic labour and poverty falls heavily on our shoulders. War strengthens nationalism and racism. It makes enemies out of people and threatens to turn neighbours into each other’s murderers.

As women, in both times of war and peace, violence is part of our daily lives. We are subjected to domestic violence perpetrated by our fathers or husbands at home, state violence when we demand our rights on the street, sexual assault, harassment and rape when we are taken under police custody. Our voice against male dominated system and war is being silenced, and our space of  political struggle is being violated. War obstructs and weakens women’s struggle against discrimination, being rendered invisible and male dominance.

War turns the land we live upon into a huge military post, consisting of nothing but men and guns. Masculine language and male violence dominate the streets.

Since war has come to be synonymous with “manhood”, all forms of existence that are seen as tarnishing manhood or threatening to family values are being suppressed, trying to be eradicated now more than ever. Violence and hatred against the LGBT individuals, already present in times of peace, dramatically increases during times of war.

We believe that the war on women continues full force, with and without weapons; with and without armies. Thoughts and beliefs such as bonds of love, compassion, motherhood and marriage in everyday life are used to cover up this violence. It is the normalization of violence against women during the so-called “time of peace” that makes possible and legitimizes violence against women during armed conflicts.

We do not believe that ‘the Kurdish issue’ is insoluble – regardless of what war itself and those who profit from war are trying to make us believe. We believe that a world in which nobody is subjected to discrimination or violence because of their thoughts, beliefs, identities or sexual orientations, a world in which we live in peace, is possible. We know that peace will not just be given to us as a gift . We know that we must struggle for it. We insist on peace, for peace. As women, we women want a livable, habitable world for all the living things upon the face of the earth. There can be no peace without women!

Women’s Initiative for Peace