Women's Voices at WTO
- WOMEN'S PEACEFUL VOICES OF RESISTANCE
Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) - [ 13 ¸.¤.
12:33 ¹. ]
As the men in black suits gather today inside the cloistered Hong Kong
convention centre to discuss deals on how to protect their businesses
those of the transnational corporations, we, women from the Asian
join the thousands of people who are out on the streets to march in
against the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
We, women from different communities all over the region peasants,
fisherfolk, Dalits, indigenous peoples, activists, human rights lawyers
have come here not to cause violence, but to expose the violence caused
unjust and anti-people trade policies by the World Trade Organisation
And the violence carried out by those who protect these policies for
own profits and interests.
Among us here in Hong Kong from 13-18 December are women who are
courageously asserting their rights and seeking for change in their
communities against these powers that be, and have been the subjects of
state violence. Carmen Buena a filipina peasant woman leader of a
peasant women organisation, AMIHAN, who is currently living under fear
her security and her life, as several of her comrades have been killed
made to disappear by the Philippine Arroyo government. The crime that
have committed is their continuous struggle for their land rights and
against the liberalizing policies of the government.
With us is an Indonesian peasant woman who has been arrested by the
for her strong commitment in fighting for their local seeds against
transgenic cotton by Monsanto.
Some of us are from the rural communities of Thailand who bring the
of those who cannot join us here but are with us in the struggle. One
these women voices is those of Jintana, who have cases filed against
leading protests against large commercial projects which will render
communities landless and foodless.
Women workers from Hong Kong take valuable time off to be part of this
women's resistance. While they face possible consequences from their
employers, often arbitrary dismissal, the women workers expose the
conditions of contracted labour, unprotected by the non-minimum wage
in Hong Kong and exacerbated by the liberalization of services.
Our voices would have been stronger and louder had our sisters from the
rural communities of Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan been allowed to join us
here. But they have been denied visas, possibly considered as potential
instigators of violence.
The threat of violence and actual harassment have continued at the
border of Hong Kong. Three days ago, one of our members has been
the immigration upon arrival here, questioned for 6 long hours on why
was coming here. Indonesian migrant women's workers here are being
for their continuing active demonstration of their opposition against
Who is then violent? Who then are the real causes of violence?
In the last few days that we were here, we have been often asked by the
media and even by the local people here are you a peaceful group, or
you be causing trouble and violence? But now that the Ministerial
has officially opened, that question should be directed towards the men
black suit how much trouble are you still planning to create; how
lives are you still willing to sacrifice to pursue your profit-oriented
These political killings, harassments and intimidations are meant to
the corporate interests both by the governments and the transnational
corporations. They are meant to silence voices of dissent, even as this
dissent is expressed in peaceful means. The systematic negative
the anti-WTO protesters as violent and trouble-makers in Hong Kong
meant to divide the Hong Kong people and us. But our issues are the
our struggles are shared, our enemy is one.
The women's voices will not be silenced. In the next four days, as the
in black suits do their horse trading, which will not be of any good to
or to our communities, we will raise our voices to expose the trouble
the violence that these unjust and anti-people trade policies have
into the lives of the rural communities in the last 10 years of the
Don't globalise hunger! Assert women's rights to food and land!
Women say no to WTO!Visit my web page at http://daga.dhs.org/maxYou don't make peace by talking to your friends; you have to make peace with your enemies. Nelson Mandela
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around