A million women rise

IssueMarch 2008
Feature by Andrea D'Cruz

In the month of the 97 International Women's Day, PN celebrates another year of women around the world rising up and resisting all forms of oppression and injustice:

Palestinian women have been protesting the devastatingly debilitating Israeli siege on Gaza. On 25 February, in a peaceful action called by the Popular Committee Against the Siege, thousands of Gazan women and children joined hands to form a human chain, risking a violent response from the world's fourth strongest army.

Jamila al-Shanti, a Hamas MP and chair of the women's committee of the Palestinian Legislative Council said: “we are here to send out a clear message to the world that we still exist, that we are steadfast until the siege comes to an end.” 

In August, around 400 women from Nepal's marginalised Badi community won concessions. They had stripped off to their undergarments to expose the injustice of the system that leaves their people impoverished thus forcing the women into prostitution. 

“We have been stripped by society everyday so why should I be ashamed to press for our demands,” Rukmini Badi, one of the protestors, declared. 

Under ongoing US-UK attacks on their country and a repressive fundamentalist social climate, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan bravely continued their vital range of activities. Their projects include providing free mobile health services and running the Malalai hospital in a refugee camp in Pakistan.

There is a desperate need for these provisions. One in nine women in Afghanistan die during pregnancy or shortly after childbirth. Unicef attributes the figure to the effects of the conflict and conservative cultural sensitivities.

Since its establishment in 1977 RAWA has waged a struggle for social, economic and political rights and has opposed the US crusade to “liberate” the women of Afghanistan by waging war.

PN eagerly anticipates another year of reporting on global struggles for women's liberation and against the waging of all wars.