WOMEN IN BLACK For Justice. Against War

mekWomen in Black is a world-wide network of women committed to peace with justice and actively opposed to injustice, war, militarism and other forms of violence. Woman in Black is a means of communication and cooperation. Women in Black began in 1988 in Israel. In 1987, 20 years after Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza, the Palestinian intifada began. Intifada is an Arabic word which means uprising or resistance. Inresponse Israeli Jewish women began to stand in weekly vigils in public places, usually at busy road junctions. Starting in Jerusalem, the number of vigils in Israel eventually grew to almost forty. In the north of Israel, where the concentration of Arab communities is greatest, Palestinian women who are Israeli citizens were also active in Women in Black groups. By the time, in other countries, including Canada, the USA, Australia, UK, Serbia and many other European countries, Women in Black vigils soon began to be organized in support of those in Israel. In Berkeley, California, for example, Women in Black group has been standing on weekly basis since 1988. Women in Black Today: Today any group of women anywhere in the world at any time may organize Women in Black vigil against any manifestation of violence, militarism or war. Generally only women take part in Women in Black actions. They wear black clothes, stand in a public place in silence, carrying placards and handing out leaflets. It is impossible to know exactly how many Women in Black groups exist, how many women they include and how many actions have been held. However, I can bring an example which will show the huge power of this movement. When Women in Black in Israel/Palestine called for vigils in 2001 against the Occupation of Palestinian lands, at least 150 Women in Black groups from 22 countries across the world responded and it is estimated that altogether 10 000 women may have been involved… Thus, Women in Black are women from different countries, backgrounds and social groups. Nevertheless, they are all united by a conviction that the diversity does not ever mean inequality or priority. People can raise awareness, educate and influence on public opinion with joint efforts, communicating and refusing violence. Women in Black in Armenia erkuDecember 3, 2011 was of high importance for all Armenians: for the firsttime Women in Black worldwide famous movement came into our country, too, gathering dozens of women and girls from different regions of RA around one goal. The public event “Stop violence against women” in the frames of worldwide known “Women in Black” women’s network has been held in Armenia. The action was organized in the frames of 16 days of activism to stop violence against women and aimed to raise the issue of violence against women in silence. The participants gathered in the square to show their unity towards this vitally important issue and in commemoration of domestic violence victims. The action was silent: the posters and leaflets based on true stories were speaking instead. The public event was organized in Charles Aznavour square, in front of Moscow cinema. Society Without Violence Network members from Shirak, Lori, Gegharquniq and Syuniq regions and their farthest villages also took part in this event. Peace Corps volunteers supported the event as well. “I was not born because of being girl” “I don’t attend school because I’m the only girl in the classroom and I have to study with six boys” “My brother doesn’t allow me to study. He wants me to stay at home, next to him” “I was grew up in an orphanage, married at 17 and was beaten to death by my husband and mother-in-law”. “I’m a businesswoman, not protected from a brutal and rude beating even in public places” ereq“I’m a mother in black, grieving, because my son while being on his military service in peaceful time murdered in the army”. In response to these true stories, taken from the real life Women in Black were carrying the posters with “I have the right to be safe”, “I want to live without fear”, “Don’t keep silence, stand up and talk”, “Absence of violence is our strength”, “Stop violence against women” and many other slogans. During the action many booklets and brochures were distributed. This aimed to inform people passing by about the violence issues. Here I have to mention that their reactions were quite encouraging. Almost all of them warmly welcomed our initiative and agreed that violence against women is a problem in our society so we have to fight against this phenomenon with joint efforts. One man even stated that more people speak out about violence, easier the fight against the violence becomes. Well, now I can sincerely congratulate Society without Violence team and all of us for having such a successful start of Women in Black movement in Armenia and also make sure, that Women in Black have yet many things to do on the way of building society without violence, society, based on equality, diversity and peace.

This entry was written by WIB, Armenian Initiative , posted on Thursday January 17 2013at 01:01 pm , filed under Uncategorized . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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