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Feminism and the women in black movement - Essay Example

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To fortify cohesion among women who have been alienated by guns and borders is a strong political aim and they intensely declare, "We are the group of women who stand in silence and black every week to express our disapproval against war. We have decided to see what is the women's side of this war. Women wear black in our countries to show the grief for death of the loved ones. We wear black for the death of all the victims of war. We wear black because the people have been thrown out of their homes, because women have been raped, because cities and villages have been burned and destroyed" (Women In Black, 1992, p. 50).
Brief History & Description In contrast to most feminist groups, WIB clusters do not have decision-making bodies, elected officers or branches. One year after the start of the Palestinian Intifada, WIB was instigated by Israeli women going up against the Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in 1988. Expanding rapidly during the Gulf War and Yugoslav wars in the 1990s, there are probably 300 WIB clusters in possibly 30 countries all over the world. A salient feature of these groups is the practice of holding vigils which entail the women to wear black and stand at regular times and intervals in public places (Cockburn, 2005).
Though WIB was in the beginning committed to obtaining peace in the Middle East, other groups almost immediately remonstrated against tyranny in the Balkans and India. For these activists, their status as women provided them extraordinary power and influence when it comes to insisting for peace. At present, the Women in Black in Israel persist on their peaceful and diplomatic resistance to the occupation in partnership with the Coalition of Women for a Just Peace. These groups have been protesting against the shutting down of several Palestinian cities, contending that the barricades preclude students from attending school and pregnant women from getting into healthcare centers and or having access to healthcare services. The group likewise calls for the full participation of women in peace negotiations (Foreign Policy, 2001, p.43).
During their very first public statement in Belgrade, the activists characterized themselves as an anti-nationalist, anti-militarist, feminist, pacifist group who opposes the diminution of women to the role of just mothers. "The work of women in peace groups is presupposed, it is invisible, trying, women's work; it's a part of 'our' role; to care for others, to comfort, aid, tend wounds, and feed. The painful realization that the peace movement would to some extent also follow a patriarchal model caused a serious dilemma for feminist-pacifists. We wanted our presence to be VISIBLE, not to be seen as something 'natural,' as part of a woman's role. We wanted it to be clearly understood that what we were doing was our political choice, a radical criticism of the patriarchal, militarist regime and a non-violent act of resistance to policies that destroy cities, kill people, and annihilate human relations" (Women In Black 1993, 23a).
In 1997, the WIB backed up and participated in the grassroots democracy movement in Serbia. The scenario looked more hopeful for the very first time in several years. However, Slobodan Miloevic was not about to be outmaneuvered of power by democracy. He rejected to acknowledge the outcomes of the election and later on seized power again. When ...Show more
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Introduction To question, defy and confront the militarist policies of their respective governments, the groups identified as Women in Black do not merely consider themselves an organization but actually more of an effective instrument, a dynamic channel for communication and a potent formula for action…
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