Subject: [fem-women2000 578] Fw: [apwomen2000] Fw: Invitation for statement of support and solidarity to the World Court on Women Against War, For Peace
From: lalamaziwa <>
Date: Thu, 08 Feb 2001 05:29:31 +0900
Seq: 578

see this url for letter in .doc or .rtf format

Forwarded by lalamaziwa <>
---------------- Original message follows ----------------
 From: "Eileen Pittaway" <>
 Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2001 06:56:54 +1100
 Subject: [apwomen2000] Fw: Invitation for statement of 
	support and solidarity to the World Court on Women 
	Against War, For Peace

----- Original Message -----
>From: "Asian Women's Human Rights Council AWHRC" <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, February 08, 2001 5:32 AM
Subject: Re: Invitation for statement of support and solidarity to the World
Court on Women Against War, For Peace

> 8 February 2001
> Dear Friends,
> This is an invitation to each one of you and your
> organization to send statements of support and
> solidarity for the World Court on Women Against War,
> for Peace taking place in Capetown, South Africa on
> March 8, 2001.
> Thank you for your support which gives strength and
> encouragement to all of us who share in the work to
> promote visions of peace and the empowerment of women
> and their communities.
> Please refer to the attached letter from the
> organizers and sponsors of the World Court.
> With our best wishes,
> Asian Women Human Rights Council (AWHRC)
> =====
> Nelia R. Sancho
> Manila Office Coordinator
> Asian Women Human Rights Council(AWHRC)
> 934-D Tuason Bldg., Aurora Blvd.cor.20th Avenue
> Quezon City, Philippines
> Fax: (632)439-4153 ; 912-5251
> Mobile phone: 0917-526-9144
> __________________________________________________

5 February 2001 

Request for Statement of Support and Solidarity for 
the World Court on Women 

Dear friends, 

Many happy greetings for the year 2001! 

On behalf of the International Co-ordinating Committee, we
invite you to the World Court of Women Against War, For Peace
that is to be held in Cape Town, South Africa from March 6-9,

The Court, through the voices and visions of women, will look
at the wars of this century, the wars against women, the
changing faces of wars. For this century has not only seen the
increasing technologisation and nuclearisation of wars that
have become destructive on a genocidal scale, but it has
revealed to the other faces of modern wars. Wars in time of

Besides the wars of armed conflict, the Courts will also look
at the wars of colonisation; the wars of racism; the wars of
globalisation; the wars of poverty; the wars of subsistence.  

The World Court of Women, through personal testimonies of
violence and of resistance, analyses of expert witnesses and
inspiring vision statements of a jury of wise women and men,
will seek to understand the roots of all wars in our times
towards evolving more holistic perspectives for peace in the
new millenium. A millenium in which we must begin to make wars
against women and the violence of all wars, unthinkable.  

While The World Court of Women will be held on March 8, 2001,
it will be preceded by two days of roundtables March 6 and 7,
following three basic themes: the first theme will include
issues ranging from globalisation, poverty and feminisation of
poverty; to nation states and nationalisms to militarisation
and militarism; the second theme will focus on International
Tribunals and Public Hearings, the Truth Reconciliation
Commission moving towards new alternative concepts of justice;
the third theme will include women's initiatives for peace,
ranging from the participation of women in international peace
processes to the healing of communities, towards new visions
of peace. Several simultaneous roundtables will be organised
around these themes. 

On March 9, 2001 we will together create the World Women's
Commission on Human Rights that we hope will provide the
perspective and structure for extending and deepening the
dominant human rights discourse, challenging it from the life
world and visions of women and also from the communities and
cultures of the global south.  

Other events that are being organised around the Court include
an International Film Festival on wars we must never forget,
on peace we must dream together; an exhibition putting
together the quilting and weaving of women who have survived
and resisted war and armed conflict situations; an art
installation on Comfort Women Survivors and other exhibitions
including publications; a Women in Black action for peace and
women's caravans.  

In preparation for the Court, the women's caravans have
already been initiated in different regions, countries, cities
and villages to connect the local issues to the larger issues
of the Court through song and story, dance, drama and drum. 

We should perhaps at this point tell you a little of the story
of the Courts of Women that was a dream of many years ago;
over ten years ago.  

For this World Court of Women, as many of you may know is the
culmination of a process initiated by the Asian Women's Human
Rights Council and several other women's and human rights
group in Asia. In 1992, it held the first Court of Women on
Violence Against Women in Lahore, Pakistan and subsequently
held six or more Courts in the region. The issues that the
regional Courts in Asia focussed on, included the Violence of
Wars and Military Sexual Slavery (Japan, 1994); Violence
against the Dalits (India, 1994); Reproductive Rights and
Genetic Engineering (Cairo, 1994); the Violence of Development
(India, 1995); and Trafficking of Women (Nepal, 1995). The
First World Court of Women on Violence against Women was held
during IV World Women's Conference in 1995 in Beijing.  

In September 1999, AWHRC, with Maori Women's Network,
organized by Nga Wahine Pacifika, the Pacific Court of Women
focussing on issues related to the nuclear testing, nuclear
waste dumping and uranium mining in the Pacific and its
effects on women.  

In June 1995, El Taller, an international ngo based in Tunis
and connected with AWHRC, together with women's groups in
Tunisia and Lebanon initiated the Mahkammet El Nissa
(Permanent Court of Arab Women) and in March 1998 held its
second Court on family laws in the Arab world. El Taller also
organised the Mahakama Wa Mama Wa Afrika (Africa Court of
Women) in Nairobi, Kenya in July 1999 with women's and human
rights groups in Africa focussing on the war of poverty; and
the Mediterranean Forum on Violence Against Women in Morocco
in November 1999 in preparation for Meditarranean Court of
Women that will focus on north-south issues.  

Besides these Courts that have been held, several more are in
preparation. These include the International Court of Women on
Violence of the Economic Blockade and its effects on women and
children organised by El Taller with the Federation of Cuban
Women and the Institute of Philosophy in Cuba; the European
Tribunal on Refugees and Migrants organised by El Taller with
migrant, a network of 140 refugee and migrant ngo's; the
Asia-Arab Court on honour crimes; and a Court of Women in
Racism; the Holocaust and Apartheid at the World Conference on
Racism in September 2001. These Courts are scheduled to be
held in 2001/2002. 

Many of you have been with us in the creation and holding of
these Regional Courts. Many of you were among the over one
hundred supporting women's and human rights organizations that
extended their support to the First World Court of Women held
in Beijing in 1995.  

We thank you for the strength and encouragement that your
solidarity gave us.  

You will know therefore, that while the Courts are deeply
symbolic and an attempt to define a new space for women; a new
politics, they also offer a valuable input local, national and
international campaigns against different forms of violence
against women; serve to generate support from the national and
international community for the victims and survivors of these
violations while providing a valuable body of evidence that
wish to seek redress and compensation through national and
international legal institutions; contribute to a body of
knowledge that will help question, transform and initiate
alternative perspectives, institutions and instruments that
seek to address the violation of women's human rights at
regional, national and international levels.  

The Courts of Women provide a forum for human rights education
and have been an extremely sensitive and powerful media to
reveal the interconnections between the various forms of
personal and public violence against women in different
societies. Violence that has been increasing and escalating; a
violence that has become brutal.  

The Courts of Women challenging the dominant ways to knowledge,
seek to weave together the objective reality (through analyses
of the issue) with the subjective testimonies of the women;
the personal with the political; the logical with the lyrical
(through video testimonies, artistic images and poetry) urging
to discern fresh insights, to find a new political imagination.

The Courts of Women attempt to write counter hegemonic
histories by creating a space where we can listen with care to
the voices speaking in their own centre. And in re-writing
history the Courts of Women not only hear of the need to
extend the dominant human rights discourse from the experience
and perspective of women; they speak too of a new generation
of women's human rights.  

We invite you or a representative of your organization to
participate in the Court, its roundtables and events around it.
Knowing of your concerns and involvement in these issues, we
invite you very specially to support the World Court of Women
Against War, For Peace. To enable us to include you among the
friends of the Court, please send to us a letter of acceptance
and solidarity. We would request you to send the original
letter to our secretariat in South Africa and fax a copy to us
at the secretariats in Tunis or India. The details related to
the International Co-ordination Committee and the regional
focal points are: Sylvanna Dantu of El Taller South Africa,
telephone: 27-21-689 9290, fax: 27-21-686 1274, email:, Nelia Sancho, Coordinator of AWHRC-Manila
Office, telephone: (632) (02) 913-3337, fax: (632) (02)
439-4153, 912-5258, email:,, Corinne Kumar of
El Taller in Tunisia, telephone: 216-1-752 457/752 057,
facsimile: 216-1-751 570, email: If you
would wish for more information to enable your participation,
please do contact us.  

We look forward to receiving your statement of support and

With kind wishes, 

Corinne Kumar      Nelia Sancho
International Coordinator
AWHRC Manila Office Coordinator
Courts of Women 

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