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Building a 21st Century Transnational Women’s Movement: - page 3 / 4





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  • gender-based violence, including rape by military and occupying forces, domestic violence, and the trafficking of women as a systemic and structural concern for women everywhere in the world

  • the links among cultures of conquest, religious domination, heterosexism and women’s subjugation

  • the failure of current economic systems to achieve any semblance of equal opportunity or justice, while both absolute and relative poverty persist as the reality for most women

  • issues of migration, national identity, language and culture, hierarchies of citizenship rights, criminalization, and the exploitation of especially vulnerable populations

  • the experience of occupation and its impact on women and their families

  • the emergence of various forms of religious extremism and fundamentalism, and their impact on women, our organizations and movements

  • the growing influence of militarism as the only approach to conflict resolution, and its dangerous effects on the wellbeing of communities

The group emphasized that current U.S. administration rhetoric on militant Islam needs to be contextualized by the historical fact of U.S. support for militant Islamic factions in Afghanistan and other parts of the world during the Cold War, as part of the U.S. effort to counter the perceived threat of global communism. The current trend towards conflation of church and state in the United States exacerbates extremist trends in all religions in different regions of the world. The re-emergence of such extremism has the effect of reinforcing misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia and aggression, while narrowing secular space. At the same time, some participants urged us not to forget the potential of faith and religious traditions to play a more progressive role in women’s own liberation efforts and their resistance to multiple forms of oppression.

Our collective analysis of the post-9/11 world led us to a blistering critique of the current U.S. administration’s decision to wage a permanent war around the world. We are deeply concerned by the ways in which militarism shapes the lives of women, our children and communities worldwide. Around the globe, armed actors, from supra- national forces to village and neighborhood thugs, forcibly impose their will on women’s bodies, their families, and communities. Women both participate in militarism and are victims of its processes. They are forced to serve soldiers in occupation armies and become tragic victims of brutal sexual assault. The logic of militarism desensitizes and dehumanizes soldiers to the pain and suffering of others, whether armed combatants, or innocent civilians. Military violence both creates and fuels a culture of violence that is widely disseminated by corporate mass media. Militarism is hugely profitable for corporations based in the United States and Western Europe which are cornerstones of a permanent war economy.

Collective Call for Change:

The activists gathered in New York expressed unanimous resistance to the forces of violence, coercion, and inequality that mark current relations between the so-called developed and developing world, and that define women’s continued status as second- class citizens in every society. Our vision is one of a shared world that is free of poverty

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