International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament (24 May) began with Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp and spread around the world in the 1980s. Our women’s networks have opposed nuclear weapon deployments. Most recently, the women-led International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for raising awareness about the unacceptable humanitarian suffering caused by nuclear weapons, resulting in the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). The Treaty entered into force in 2021. The UK Government has still not signed.
Tragically wars continue today, fuelled by man-made weapons that cause misery around the world. Women’s work for peace has never been more important. We create conditions for disarmament, reconciliation and reconstruction. We care for survivors, organise self-help groups, bridge differences, and initiate new approaches to build peaceful relations on all levels: local, regional, national and international. Most of the women doing this vital peace work are completely unknown except to those they help.
WOMEN IN BLACK SAY
- Militarism and war are being made to seem a reasonable solution for dealing with conflict. But violence, weapons and war cannot be the solution as they are the major problem. We believe the UK government should work for nonviolent political and diplomatic solutions to national and international problems.
- Women and children suffer in specific ways in war: rape, forced prostitution, sexual trafficking and abuse of women and children increase during and after war. Their burden of nurture, care and vulnerability is made heavier. 80% of refugees fleeing war are women and children.
- Militarism diverts resources from health, education and development. Arms dealers profit while people die in need of clean water and food. Single Individual Export Licences (SIELs) issued by the UK for military goods more than doubled to £8.5 billion in 2022. All arms increase the dangers and burdens for women.
Learn more about women peacemakers around the world
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) www.icanw.org
Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), www.caat.org
International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), www.iansa.org
Ruta Pacifica de las mujeres, www.rutapacifica.org.co
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), www.peacewomen.org
UN Peace & Security https://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/peace-and-security
NEW! NEW! NEW!
Women in Black: against violence for Peace with Justice by Cynthia Cockburn and Sue Finch, published 2023. Price £16.00 ISBN 987-0-85036-784-3
Women in Black hold vigils every Wednesday between 6-7 pm at the Edith Cavell Statue, opposite the National Portrait Gallery, St.Martin’s Place, London WC2. Our vigils are silent, women-only and if possible we wear black. We welcome all women who support our call for an end to militarism and war.
Contact us: Twitter @WIB_London FB @womeninblack.london
Donations for leaflets most welcome 31 May 2023