Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

BBC Press on Tucson WILPF Raging Grannies

This BBC article, "US anti-war grannies face justice," is even better than Newsweek, especially since it explicitly states that the Grannies are affiliated with WILPF. It was written last Saturday, before the Grannies plead not guilty to trespassing charges.

The article begins:
They have been accused of trespassing after entering the centre earlier this month, saying they wanted to enlist.

The group, mostly women in their 60s and 70s, said they wanted to go to Iraq so their grandchildren could come home.

An army spokeswoman says the protesters were not serious about enlisting and were harassing recruiters.

Nine people - five elderly activists and four journalists - are due to appear in court on Monday.

The Raging Grannies, who are associated with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, have held protests outside the Tucson recruitment centre every week for three years.
Tucson WILPF, y'all are an inspiration!!

We're Quoted in Newsweek!

One of the activities created by WILPF women is Raging Grannies. Typical Raging Grannies actions include wearing big, silly hats and singing anti-war songs at demonstrations and community events. Our Raging Grannies in Tucson, Arizona went to a recruiting center to enlist so that their children and grandchildren would not have to go to Iraq or Afghanistan. They were charged with tresspassing and on Monday, July 25 all of the Grannies pleaded not guilty.

We made the Perspectives Page of Newsweek! Right under a quote from Lance Armstrong, Betty Schroeder is quoted:
"They should've said, 'You're too old,' but they just called the police."
Betty Schroeder, a 74-year-old member of the Tucson Raging Grannies, on facing trespassing charges after trying to enlist at a military-recruitment center in Tucson, Ariz. The group of grandmas hope to go to Iraq so their children and grandchildren can come home.
Way to go, Betty and Tucson WILPFers!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Abortion Drug to Reach Developing Countries Despite US Obstruction

WHO (the World Health Organization) has managed to endorse safe abortion using mifepristone and misoprostil despite a half-year delay attributable to U.S. opposition.

Addition of the abortion-inducing medication, formerly known as RU-486, was finally achieved by a compromise that tagged it as suitable "where permitted under national law and where culturally acceptable." The drug was originally banned in the U.S. by the first Bush administration, markedly impeding its testing and development.

In year 2000 19 million women underwent unsafe abortions, 18.5 million in developing countries. 68,000 women die each year from botched surgical abortions and many more suffer severe, permanent injury. The death rate in developing countries is 100 times higher than where mifepristone has been available to the population for the past 14 years.

With mifepristone, most surgical abortions should be unnecessary worldwide. Inclusion in the WHO Model List: Essential Medicines is instrumental in making selected drugs accessible and affordable in all countries regardless of patents, taxes and production costs on the grounds that healthcare is a right, not a privilege. The Model List is an important contributor to the 5th of the UN Millennium Development Goals: "Improve Maternal Health."

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

My Letter to my Congressman about the War Against Women in Iraq

We're not all writers, so I'm offering the letter I composed to my Congressmen as an example of how you might frame your discussion with your Congresspeople about this issue. The one major change you'd want to make is to say you're a member of WILPF (if you're not a fellow board member).

Find your Congressman (you'll need your full zip code, including the last four digits, which you can get by entering your address at Mapquest.)

Write Your Senators.

Write the President.

Write the Secretary of State.

Write the Secretary of Defense.

As a constituent and national board member of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), I am writing to you in outrage at the way the United States has handled its occupation of Iraq. The military and civilian forces are completely disregarding United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, and have not integrated women into the conflict resolution and nation-building efforts.

The result is a country where a minority radical segment is able to terrorize women. Women are being raped and murdered for refusing to wear a veil. Their murders are committed with impunity, leading me to believe women, who are 60% of the Iraqi population, are somehow considered less important than their male counterparts.

It is imperative that you and your fellow members of Congress pressure the military and diplomatic U.S. occupation forces to immediately increase their interaction with women and stop this war on Iraqi women.

For more information, please see Leslie Abdela's article "Iraq's War on Women," available at:

I appreciate your response to let me know what you are doing to end this war against women.

Cynthia Minster

cc: Congress person's name, Senator Name, Senator Name, Secretary Rice, Secretary Rumsfeld, President Bush

Iraq's War on Women

Via a link from Juan Cole, I found "Iraq's War on Women," by Lesley Abdela.

Abdela describes the way Iraq has become an increasing hostile place for its female citizens. Women are 60% of the population, yet must deal with death threats from religious extremists who murder with impunity.

Iraqi women want us to know about their situaton - why wearing makeup is an act of defiance that can get you raped and killed; why a successful beauty shop was closed; why female university students are being targetted for rape and murder.

And they need action - from the U.S. occupying force, from other Western countries and the United Nations, from the Iraqi government.

Please send an email to your representatives in Congress, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the President urging them to read this article and take significant actions to stop the violence against Iraqi women.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

US WILPF Triennial Congress in August!

Have you registered yet for WILPF's Triennial Congress? Don't delay! At this point, housing is filling up - so be sure to email in your registration form and then put your check in the mail.

The deal: US WILPF gathers every three years to celebrate our work for peace and justice. In recent years, it has been a way to galvanize support for our national campaigns. This year, we're meeting at San Francisco State University from August 10-14 to celebrate WILPF's 90th birthday and kick off our two new national campaigns: Women Challenging U.S. Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East and Save the Water! The cost of attending Congress, including all workshops, meals, and housing is $350 for WILPF members. You can choose to attend for a shorter period of time and/or without housing, which will lower the total cost.

We've also put together a great Leadership Institute for young women and people new to WILPF. The Leadership Institute will be a way to get to know WILPF's organizing method and to take on a more active role in WILPF. We've got room for a few more participants, so the application deadline for the LI has been extended until July 20. You've got a week to join me and some other WILPFers the day before Congress begins (on Aug 9) for a full course in WILPF history and peace activism! The cost of the LI and Congress including all workshops, meals, and housing is $430 for WILPF members.

More information on WILPF's Congress is here!

Registration Form for Congress, a Word document, is here.

More info on the Leadership Institute is here.

Leadership Institute Registration, a Word document, is here.