Birth Pangs has the goods on this, as well as an Activist Page where you can email Stephane Dion a letter demanding that he whip his Liberal caucus to vote against the Bill. And Choice Joyce has the reasons why the Bill must be defeated.
From Malalai Joya, on Afghanistan, in Q&A: “When I Leave My House, Im Not Sure Ill Make It Back”:
IPS: What has changed since Canada’s increased role in Afghanistan?
MJ: It is shocking news, a catastrophic situation for women in our country. I moved back to Afghanistan to be a social activist on women’s issues. Many women have been kidnapped, many are raped, according to official statements, there have been 250 cases of rape in the west of Afghanistan in the first six months of 2007. Every 28 minutes, an Afghani woman dies from childbirth. The conditions are worse than ever for women.
And let us remember to remind Premier-elect, Brad Wall, that Saskatchewan’s uranium made its way there, too.
This is US data, but it makes one wonder how Canadian veterans fare in this regard. Surely we are better placed to prevent such horrific statistics, by simply being a less militaristic culture than our southern neighbours. Mind you, with Harper and Hillier at the helm, we may be doomed to echo the patterns of the USians. From AlterNet: War on Iraq:
Why Male Military Veterans Are Committing Sexual Assault at Alarming Rates
A recent study by the Department of Justice found that military veterans are twice as likely to be incarcerated for sexual assault than nonveterans. When asked about the finding, Margaret E. Noonan, one of the authors of the study, told the Associated Press, “We couldn’t come to any definite conclusion as to why.” The intrinsic and systemic connection between militarism and violence against women, however, makes this finding far from surprising.
Sexual violence has been a de facto weapon of war since the beginning of the patriarchal age. Raping and assaulting women is seen as a way to attack the honor of the enemy, and women have always been the spoils of war. The result is that many types of violence against women are exacerbated by militarism, including the indirect effects on civilian populations both during hostilities and after the conflict ends and soldiers go home. These include:
- Rape/sexual assault and harassment both within the military and perpetrated on civilian populations
- Domestic violence
- Prostitution, pornography and trafficking
- Honor killing
Having just been through a lump scare, I find this piece most interesting.
Finally, at long last the connection between chemicals and breast cancer has been firmly established.
Drafted by representatives of women’s rights organizations from six continents and endorsed by leading international human rights advocates including Stephen Lewis, former UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, the Nairobi Declaration is founded on the experiences of women and girl survivors of sexual violence and the expertise of activists and jurists who are helping them rebuild their lives. At the Declaration’s core is the belief that justice for women and girl survivors of sexual violence will never be achieved if reparations programs are not informed and directed by those they are meant to serve. The Nairobi Declaration aims to correct the systemic flaws of national Truth and Reconciliation initiatives and existing reparation schemes and to inform those being developed by the International Criminal Court.The Nairobi Declaration asserts that reparation programs must go beyond mere compensation and restitution. According to the Declaration, adequate reparation and remedy must:
- Empower women and girls, support their efforts to rebuild trust and relations and foster their participation in social reconstruction. Decision-making about reparations must include victims as full participants.
- Address social inequalities and discrimination in existence prior to conflict, which lie at the root of violence against women and girls in times of conflict.
- Promote social justice and encourage the transformation toward a fair and equal society.
- Emphasize the importance of truth-telling in order to allow women and girls to move ahead and become true citizens. Abuses against women must be named and recognized in order to raise awareness about these crimes and violations, to positively influence a more holistic strategy for reparation and measures that support reparation, and to help build a shared memory and history.
“Reparations should provide women and girls with the tools to rebuild their lives not as they were prior to war or conflict, but in ways that address and transform sociocultural injustices and structural inequalities that predate the conflict,” says Ariane Brunet, coordinator of the Coalition for Women’s Human Rights in Conflict Situations. “Women and girls’ right to reparation is not only about restitution, compensation and access to judicial redress, it is about women playing an active role in repairing the social fabric and building afresh a just and equal society.”
The Nairobi Declaration is the first stage in a long-term international campaign on gender reparation. It is intended as a tool to be implemented by States, multilateral agencies, regional agencies and national entities, such as Truth and Reconciliation Commissions.
Read the Nairobi Declaration
Sign the Nairobi Declaration
If I knew what to do I would embed the video here, but alas and alack, I don’t so you’ll have to click the link to see Dispatches: IraqThe womans story at Google Video.