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Index August 2007

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Natalya Berezhnaya – Russian Federation

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She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “A world without women’s participation in decision-making processes at all levels has no future”.

She says also: “I have particularly fond memories of a conference of the Hague Appeal for Peace (HAP), which took place in May 1999. This big meeting of civil society organizations advocated the rejection of war as a tool of solving international and national conflicts. What was so special about this event?

Firstly, it celebrated the 100th anniversary of the First Hague Peace Conference, which was held in 1899 on the initiative of the Russian Tsar Nikolay II. And all of us – the members of the Russian delegation of about 150 people from different NGOs and regions of Russia – were proud of having such a vivid tradition of peace in the history of our country.

Secondly, we met with the HAP president and well-known peace activist Cora Weiss. We had already met this fascinating and charismatic woman-leader at previous peace meetings in Moscow, New-York, and Copenhagen. Her enthusiasm and hope that we can change the world and make it a better place always proves contagious”.

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Natalya Berezhnaya – Russian Federation

She works for Ravenstvo i mir–ARM (Equality and Peace),
for Zhenschiny Moskvy (Women of Moscow),
and for the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom WILPF.

Dr. Natalya Berezhnaya was just twelve years old when she and her family were evacuated from Stalingrad to the small town of Krasny Kut during World II. Everyone was suffering from hunger. One day, her mother, whom she describes as a very kind and gentle person, gave a captured German soldier a piece of bread. Some women, who were witnessing this, exclaimed angrily: “They kill our husbands and sons!” Yet they were silenced and shamed when her mother replied calmly: “But they are also somebody’s husbands and children”.

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Meihua Jin – China

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She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “Women should have the same rights as men. I teach the Koran to illiterate women, and I hope they will keep an open mind, and learn to think”.

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Meihua Jin – China

She works for ther Wunan Mosque, Wuzhong city, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

Jin Meihua was born in 1964. She was able to complete only her primary school education. Her family was too poor to support her to go to high school, even though she got a good result. She was very disappointed at this injustice and kept asking why it was so. This power of questioning became the driving force behind her desire to be a learner and a teacher.

Jin got married when she was only eighteen. She has two daughters and one son. Jin worked very hard to be a responsible wife and mother. She did farm work, took care of the children, cooked meals and washed clothes. Yet, she found that women and men were not equal in reality, although women’s rights were laid down in the Chinese Constitution. The traditional patriarchal concepts still operated in daily life. For example, her husband required her to stay at home and to give up any plan for further studies, but Jin firmly made up her mind: “I want to learn and women should have the same rights as men.”

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Lesley Ann Foster – South Africa

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Linked with The Masimanyane Women’s Support Centre.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

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Lesley Ann Foster – South Africa

She works for the Masimanyane Women’s Support Centre.
Anu Pillay, Ashoka Representative, says about her: “I admire her for her perseverance and her capacity to keep this issue in the mainstream, in a society where too often women fall through the cracks”.

Lesley Ann Foster was born and raised in East London, in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. She attended state-operated schools which, under the apartheid structure, were under-funded and academically inferior to those attended by privileged white students. Lesley began her career as a salesperson and design consultant for a firm in Cape Town. While doing marketing in another commercial firm, she pioneered the tele-sales concept, for which she received an award of excellence in 1990. She also earned national recognition as “Most Improved Sales Person of the Year” in 1991.

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Keith McHenry – USA

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Linked with C.T. Butler – USA, with THE FOOD NOT BOMBS MOVEMENT, and with Helping the Homeless – The Right To Food.

He is currently focusing his attention on building the Food Not Bombs movement, resisting domestic surveillance and political repression in the United States while working with his partner Jill Rounds on their organic garden and working on local community projects. He enjoys swimming, riding his mountain bike, hiking, camping and cross country skiing. His main passion is painting, drawing, graphic design and illustration. He has been showing his art in galleries. He lives with his partner Jill Rounds and three happy dogs in their ger (yurt) in the mountains outside Taos, New Mexico. Keith is attending Prescott College majoring in art and social justice. His is studing nonviolent social change, social movements, democracy, globalization, painting and drawing. You can see his art and learn more about Keith on the website below. He also works with Jill helping her make handmade tiles and soapdishes in Ojala Studios. Jill is also an artist and has worked with textiles, natural dyes, clay and she paints in watercolor and mixed media. Keith and Jill also help their friends pay down their mortgages in as little as half the time so they can be free to do the things they enjoy. (Full text).

Watch these videos: in Nigeria, 12 min, on liveleak.com Aug. 19; and on YouTube Aug. 17, 2007.
Listen to different audios with Keith on KRZAnews. (Homepage).

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Keith McHenry – USA

He works for THE FOOD NOT BOMBS MOVEMENT.

The book: Food Not Bombs (Paperback): by Keith McHenry (Author), C. T. Butler (Author) “Taking personal responsibility and doing something about the problems of our society can be both empowering and intimidating …”.

He says in an interview:

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C.T. Lawrence Butler – USA

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Linked with Keith McHenry – USA, with THE FOOD NOT BOMBS MOVEMENT, and with Helping the Homeless – The Right To Food.

Currently, C.T. lives in Takoma Park, Maryland with his friends who are creating a Green intentional community. He is a father, an author, a political activist, a pro-feminist, a nonviolence trainer, and a vegetarian chef. He is active in the National Organization of Men Against Sexism, The Greens (USA), the War Resisters League, the New England Nonviolence Trainers Network, ACT UP/Maine, the Casco Bay Greens, and the Maine War Tax Resistance Resource Center. He was co-editor of The Dove, a newsletter on war tax resistance in Maine. He is writing his third book, A Food Not Bombs Cookbook. (See on foot not bombs.net).

Read the book: ‘Food not Bombs‘, ISBN: 1884365213.

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C.T. Lawrence Butler – USA

He works for THE FOOD NOT BOMBS MOVEMENT.

C.T. Butler moved to Boston in 1976 with a theatre troupe he had helped form in his hometown of Newark, Delaware. Their first production was a children’s play called Tales of Old Mother Goose. Over the next three years, C.T. managed and produced seven additional productions, most notably Sylvia Plath and The Marlowe Show.

In 1979, he joined an affinity group at the urging of an actor friend and participated in two major occupation attempts of Seabrook Nuclear Power Station organized by the Coalition for Direct Action at Seabrook, a spin-off of the Clamshell Alliance. These actions introduced C.T. to two concepts – nonviolent direct action and consensus decision making – which changed his life. Over the past decade, C.T. has pursued his exploration of these two disciplines by becoming a war tax resister and participating in numerous social change/political action groups.

In 1980, C.T. and a group of friends formed the Food Not Bombs collective in Cambridge. This collective spent the first few years engaged in political action, food recovery, feeding the hungry, and experiments in community. In 1984, the food recovery and distribution part of Food Not Bombs became an official agency of the City of Cambridge. Later, C.T. was acknowledged for his work in Cambridge by being appointed to the Commission on Peace Education and Nuclear Disarmament of the City.

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Montserrat Sampere Martín – Spain

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She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “I dream of a world where we do not have plans for equality, because equality already exists, a world where each individual has rights, just for the sake of being born. I dream of a world where one is not judged by his or her sexual orientation, race or nationality”.

She says also: “You notice this reality that envelops you and one day you get up angry, seeing that, as a woman, you do not get same access to resources, your salary is smaller and you are relegated to the traditional role of housewife. At school nobody mentions women, there are no role models for women, and those that exist are usually transformed into stepmothers, fairies or witches, or we are saved by men, the so-called ‘real’ heroes”.

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Montserrat Sampere Martín – Spain

She works for the San Fermín Project Association.

And she says: “For a woman who is mistreated or for an unemployed immigrant the best kind of help comes from someone nearby, having a coffee with them and discussing calmly, rather than meeting with them in an office in front of a computer”.

In the global village there are thousands of examples of quiet work, like that accomplished by Montserrat Sampere. In the marginal neighborhood of San Fermín, she carries out her work in an effort romote equality and change her local environment.

In the slums of Madrid, there are strikes, a lack of public services, drugs and domestic violence.

The social friction is palpable and the members of the community are often marginalized and sent off into institutional oblivion.

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Svetlana Slapsak – Slovenia

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Linked with The Institutum Studiorum Humanitatis ISH.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “The death penalty is a precondition for war in any country”.

She writes: “I came to stay as Fellow-in-Residence at NIAS for five months, and was then granted another semester in January. This made it possible for me to complete more work than originally planned and presented in my application. As one of the editors on the project of rewriting comparative histories of literary cultures in Central and Eastern Europe (section Figural Nodes), I was able to commission and edit a total of 22 studies and to write my own contributions to this and to the other three sections. During the first five months, I edited a collection of articles in the Anthropology of the Ancient Worlds, translated from French. On the initiative of the Dean of ISH (Ljubljana), the initially planned introduction grew into a book on the impact of historical anthropology on Ancient studies, its problems, history and reception in the region. The book was published in April 2000 … (full text).

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Svetlana Slapsak – Slovenia

She works for the Ljubljana Graduate School of Humanities: in english, and in slovenscina.
and for the ‘Balkan Women Against War’ (not found on the net).

Born in Belgrade on 18 January 1948, Svetlana Slapsak received her MA and PhD degrees in historical linguistics and classical studies at the University of Belgrade. Her political activism began during the 1968 student movement and she was subjected to beatings, police harassment. Her passport was confiscated for eight years.

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Fatmire Feka – Serbia

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She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.She says: “The children of Kosovo need to move away from the constant violence. We will do what it takes to bring peace to our communities. We are the future, and the future is in our hands”.

She says also: “I wanted peace because…I never had peace in my life. That’s why I said I wanted something, and most of the children there also wanted something, but they didn’t know what they wanted because they didn’t know what peace, tolerance, reconciliation, children’s rights were. You know, they didn’t know what that means for them”. (full text).

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Fatmire Feka – Serbia

She works for ‘Kids for Peace’. In the internet you may find: Kids for Peace.com; KidsForPeace.org; KidsPeace.org; peace for kids.org; peace corps kids world; peace4kids; PeaceKids.com; teach kids peace; kids for peace camp; … etc.

Fatmire Feka (17) is a Muslim Albanian girl from an ethnically divided town. In 1999, she lost a brother and a sister in the war in Kosovo and her family’s house was set on fire. She is a member of her town’s Council for Peace and Tolerance.

Her family was temporarily relocated to a transit shelter for internally displaced people (IDPs), managed by the non-governmental organization (NGO) World Vision International, in the city of Mitrovica, where they lived for seven months.

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Praful Bidwai – India

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Linked with Inter Press Services IPS, with BB’s make-or-break choice, with Deal becoming a hot potato, with Political Fallout of Indo-US Nuclear Deal Turns Severe, and with ‘At democracy’s crossroads‘.

Praful Bidwai is a New Delhi-based political analyst and peace activist, a columnist with twenty-five Indian newspapers and co-author (with Achin Vanaik) of New Nukes: India, Pakistan and Global Nuclear Disarmament. He shared the International Peace Bureau’s Sean MacBride International Peace Prize for 2000 with Vanaik.

Read: No Nukes For Peace, August 13, 2007.

He writes: The United States-India nuclear cooperation agreement, tabled in India’s Parliament on Monday, has precipitated the worst-ever political crisis for the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government since it was formed a little over three years ago. Although the existence of the ‘left-of-centre’ UPA government is not immediately threatened, it has clearly lost the support of the communist parties on this defining foreign and security policy issu … (full text, August 21, 2007).

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Praful Bidwai – India

He writes also: … The NDA’s main charge against Patil was that she would be a mere “rubber-stamp” for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The underlying assumption is that Shekhawat would act as a counterfoil to Singh. This betrays a profound misunderstanding of the role of the Indian president under the constitution, the president is not an alternative power-centre, supervisory authority, or last court of appeal. S/he enjoys only two prerogatives: appointment of the prime minister, and dissolution of parliament. Even these have to be exercised according to well-established norms. Otherwise, his/her role is largely ceremonial. (full text).

NEW DELHI, Aug 9 (IPS) – Cancer patients in India have reason to be relieved at a high court ruling this week which dismissed a petition by Swiss pharmaceuticals multinational corporation (MNC) Novartis challenging an Indian law which denies patents for minor or trivial improvements to known drugs … (full text).

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Ronald Inglehart -USA

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Linked with Globalization and Postmodern Values, and with World Values Survey.

Ronald F. Inglehart (born September 5, 1934 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is a political scientist at the University of Michigan. He is director of the World Values Survey, a global network of social scientists who have carried out representative national surveys of the publics of over 80 societies on all six inhabited continents, containing 85 percent of the world’s population … (full long text).

He says: ” … industrialization caused the movement of traditional values towards more rational and non-religious values, whereas in the present post-industrialization era there is a movement of the values of survival toward those of self-expression, the expression of one’s own identity”. (full text).

The surveys conducted in December 2004 and April 2006 were supported by grants from the National Science Foundation to U-M political scientists Ronald Inglehart and Mark Tessler. Moaddel collaborated on those surveys, then added some of the same questions to an October 2006 survey of 7,730 Iraqis supervised by the Multinational Forces Assessment Effects Group. In March 2007, Moaddel collaborated with Iraqi social scientist Munqith Daghir, adding the same questions to another survey of 7,411 Iraqis. The surveys were conducted by a private Iraqi research group headed by Daghir, the Independent Institute for Administration and Civil Society Studies. (full text, August 2, 2007).

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Ronald Inglehart -USA

As University of Michigan political scientist Ronald Inglehart has shown, drawing on the massive World Values Survey, people in societies around the globe become increasingly focused on the meaningfulness of work and consumption, and less preoccupied with basic material security as wealth becomes ever more assured.
This tends to breed a sense of open exploration and tolerance that are corrosive to traditional social norms, but also a distrust of established authorities, including government. Widespread wealth creates both a sense of psychological safety and an expectation that we should get what we want, creating a demand for personalized gospels heavier on salvation than self-denial, and a willingness to buck convention when it chafes. (full text, July 30, 2007).

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Hilda Djulaida Rolobessy – Indonesia

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Linked with Development and Improvement Society Association, with COUNCIL OF EUROPE.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “I strongly believe that peace lives in the mind of every human being”.

She says also: “It was February 22, I struggled to save my family. I knew it was no longer secure to stay behind. A huge angry mob was marching toward our village. So I hurriedly took my mother and my younger siblings and fled to the mountain to find a safe hiding place along with our neighbors”.

And she says: “Many people are still traumatized, they still have not regained their trust in each other, they can easily be provoked by rumors, thus they have not been able to live side by side peacefully like they used to.”

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Hilda Djulaida Rolobessy – Indonesia

She works for Yayasan Pengembangan dan Pemberdayaan Masyarakat YPPM.

Since the violence in Maluku erupted in 1998, Hilda Rolobessy (born 1972) has been actively involved in providing assistance to Internally Displaced Persons (DPs.

In 1999, she founded Yayasan Pengembangan dan Pemberdayaan Masyarakat YPPM, the Development and Improvement for Society Association, which provides comprehensive support for IDPs, especially women, and promotes peace and reconciliation among parties involved in conflict.

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Zanaa Jurmed – Mongolia

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Linked with CEDAW.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “How do we cope with poverty? Political insanity leads to all sorts of economical diversions that affect the social environment and people’s attitudes. There is only one way out of this: democracy”.

She says also: “It is useless to speak of freedom and emancipation while education lags behind”.

Her motto, often expressed in the press, is: “Women’s Participation in Politics at the decision-making level”.

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Zanaa Jurmed – Mongolia

She works for the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women CEDAW (named on UN.org).

Zanaa Jurmed, born 1950, an eminent political leader and civil society advocate, was a key activist of the pro-democracy movement and her name is synonymous with its success in the 1990s. She is a spokesperson on women’s and human rights issues in the country and abroad. Her commitment to democratic ideals and her peacemaking skills won her the first headship of the capital city organisation of the Mongolian Democratic Party.

Since 1992 Zanaa has played a leadership role in many NGOs. An extremely confident woman, Zanaa inspires confidence in others. She looks you straight in the eye when she talks to you and makes you feel that she has already sensed your truth and understood your problems.

Such features might be characteristic of charismatic leaders, but in Zanaa’s case people say this may have something to do with her being a member of the national archery team for many years!

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Candelaria Hernández Gabriel – Guatemala

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Linked with TRANSGÉNICOS, .

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “As long as I have the support of my people, I shall never surrender”.

She says also: “They do not respect our point of view. They ignore the Mayan people. One person was killed and 17 wounded. The government blamed us and tried to stop our protests. They wanted to scare us, but we continued. The ones who signed this treaty do not think about the people. Human beings are not a commodity. The life of a human being cannot be paid for”.

And she says: “We lived through a war that lasted 36 years. Now, with the Treaty for Free Trade (TLC) which they want to impose on us, things are turning worse. Peasants are becoming even poorer. Only a few are doing well out of this. Cultures are lost. The environment is spoiled”.

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Sorry, I can not find any photo of Candelaria Hernández Gabriel, Guatemala (see also my comment ‘Brave women without photos‘).

She works for the Asociación para la Promoción y el Desarrollo de la Comunidad (Ceiba), and for the Asociación de Mujeres Mam para el Desarrollo (Asomamd).

And she asks: “Please, do me this favour and say to the people and the countries that support our people, that we need them to work together in a joint struggle. They have to put pressure on our governments so they hear what we are saying, so that they stop killing innocent people”.

A Guatemalan woman, of Maya-Mam origins, Candelaria is a displaced person (internal and external refugees, mostly indigenous, who had to flee their homes and communities due to the indiscriminate bombardments carried out by the Armed Forces), a community leader and mother of five children.

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Martin Scheinin – Finland

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Linked with ‘UN Special Rapporteur Martin Scheinin says … ‘, with E.U. NETWORK OF INDEPENDENT EXPERTS ON FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS, and with the Institute for Human Rights, ABO Academi University.

Martin Scheinin is Dr. iuris, Professor of Constitutional and International Law, Director of the Institute for Human Rights, ABO Academi University.

He says: ”It is quite clear that in very many countries the notion of terrorism is being used for political purposes to stigmatize political opponents and this takes many forms; one form is that there are isolated individual acts of terrorism by some groups or some individuals, but the government uses it then to dub broad groupings, broad political movements, broad ethnic groups as terrorists without any foundations. That is one form, and the other is when a government is simply trying to get away with the persecution of its opponents by calling them terrorists, even though never there was any single act of terrorism. Those two cases refer to the overly broad use of the notion of terrorism”. (full long interview).

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Martin Scheinin – Finland

listen to a 4.28 min BBC radio-interview on Craig Murray’s blog.

Watch the following videos:

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism (E/CN.4/2006/98) – Geneva’, 11.37 min., Sept. 25, 2006.

Answers by the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism – Geneva, 7.47 min., Sept. 26, 2006;

Press Conference – Mr. Martin Scheinin, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism, 36.36 min., Oct. 25, 2006;

Human Rights Council, fourth session, Geneva, 9.02 min., 12- 30 March 2007.

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Aleta Ba’un – Indonesia

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Linked with A re-compilation of texts and blogs for indigenous peoples.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “I believe that one day women’s leadership among our indigenous elders will be recognized. We just need to work very hard to convince our elders and to raise our women’s awareness and education”.

She says also: “I have to admit that in the past few years we have had problems and differences working with our network. Some organizations claimed our groups and our land as their work only. Our hard work was challenged because of disputes between the organizations (local NGOs) in our network. We can’t be the object of some vague discourse. We want the people to get on their own feet”.

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Aleta Ba’un – Indonesia

She works for Lembaga Masyarakat Adat (named on hurights Osaka), and for the Women Voice Center Sanggar Suara Perempuan SSP (named on Population Council, and on Open Society Institute, Budapest).

Aleta Ba’un (born 1966) is a West Timorese community organizer who defends the rights of indigenous peoples. She has helped found many local NGOs, including the Women Voice Center Sanggar Suara Perempuan (SSP) and the Eastern Indonesia Women’s Health Network (JKPIT). Her leadership has been an inspiration to other activists, especially to other indigenous women.

“Indigenous people are always left behind. We have to struggle to maintain our way of life”, says Aleta Ba’un, referring to her identity as a West Timorese indigenous woman. Her kind gestures and motherly approach leave an imprint on anyone who meets her. Her modesty is typical of the culture of the Timorese people.

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Irina Dementieva – Russian Federation

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She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “We all share one common home. To burn down just one part of it is impossible: we will burn it all”.

On graduating from Leningrad University, Irina Dementieva worked as a journalist with Russian publications. After the suppression of democracy in the Czech Republic (1968), the staff of the ‘Zhurnalist’ magazine, where she worked as an editor, was dismissed for their pro-democracy stance. Throughout her career as journalist, Irina has unceasingly promoted the ideals of a free press and free access of society to unbiased information. One of the focal points of her activism is humanitarian aid in Chechnya, where she has worked trying to bring home the truth about the war to the Russian people.

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Irina Dementieva – Russian Federation

Irina Dementieva graduated from Leningrad University the year that Stalin died (1953). This was a time when the country expected great change and hoped for an end to totalitarian rule. Irina began her journalistic career in the local newspaper of the city of Tomsk (regional center in Siberia).

Later, she got a position with the Moscow newspaper ‘Sovietskaya Rossiya’ (’Soviet Russia’), and afterwards worked as an editor in the Moscow magazine ‘Zhurnalist’ (’The Journalist’).

After the suppression of democracy in the Czech Republic by the Soviet troops in 1968, the magazine staff took a firm pro-democracy stand, which resulted in mass dismissals in the team (including Irina).

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Cristina Guseth – Romania

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Linked with Freedom House.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “To improve the world we live in, citizens need to be empowered through education and free access to information”.

Cristina Guseth is the director of Freedom House, Romania. In 2004, Freedom House joined the Coalition for a Clean Parliament to inform Romanian citizens and improve accountability of their representatives in Parliament.

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Cristina Guseth – Romania

She works for Freedom House.

Cristina Guseth has been working for human rights and the empowerment of civil society in Romania since 1991. From 1991 to 1997, she worked with the Soros Foundation in Romania in its pioneering work to develop a free press in the country. She helped establish the BBC Radio and TV Journalism School, the only vocational broadcast school in Romania.

Cristina Guseth’s family experienced the lack of personal freedom and civic liberties under the communist regime in Romania. Since the 1989 political change, she has taken the opportunity to work in the human rights’ field, promoting and sustaining democratic values. She has been working to empower Romanian citizens, to raise their awareness about their civic and political rights and to encourage them to stand up for those rights.

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Harsh Dobhal – India

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Linked with Left’s Volte-Face Will Stoke Public Wrath, with Southern Initiatives, and with Independent People’s Tribunal.

He is a journalist writing on concerns of Human Rights.

He writes: Mumbai wants to get rid of its poor as fast as possible. Demolish their homes, throw them out, intimidate them and if they demonstrate against state atrocities, beat them up, arrest them and put them in jail. On April 6, Maharashtra police, always precise and prompt when it comes to hitting the poor very hard, brutally lathicharged thousands of demonstrators protesting against recent slum demolition drive which has displaced about 3.5 lakh people in Mumbai. Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar, leading the protest, was once again humiliated, beaten, dragged and put in police station. About 22 others were arrested under non-bailable sections while over 50 were injured, including women and children, some of them seriously. (Combat Law).

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Harsh Dobhal – India

He works for Combat Law, the Human Rights Magazine.

He writes also: I was last week in an India-oriented Israeli festival called ‘Boomba-Mela.” The name derives from Kumbh-Mela+Boom-Bolay (Shiva). Some 30,000 people gathered on a Mediterranean beach away from the city for four-days, among them ganjeris, charasis, musicians, painters, writers, poets, other artists and people from all walks of life. Many of them kind of hippies of 60s –youngsters, their bodies tattooed, pierced and naked limbs painted in beautiful colors. Amid soft sounds of sea waves, heavy midnight music blurred out to the tune of ‘Om Namah Shivayah,’ ‘Om Jai Jagdish Hareh’ and ‘Krishna Krishna’… (full text).

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Alina Radu – Moldavia

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Linked with International Association for Women in Radio and Television IAWRT, and with Statement made by IAWRT.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “Human life and freedom are the most valuable things in the world”.

She says also: “Corruption, bad economic conditions, poverty are the main causes for the rise in trafficking in human beings and organs in the Republic of Moldova. I am just trying to find out and to tell what is happening to people who have become victims of human trafficking. They are young girls, babies, orphans and other poor people without possibilities for a secure life and without good opportunities” … and: “However, traffickers of kidneys have not been punished, so our attention is still on the topic”.

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Alina Radu – Moldavia

She works for the International Association for Women in Radio and Television IAWRT, for the Moldovan Association of Independent TV Journalists (named on IFEX), and for the Network of Investigative Reporters from South Eastern Europe.

Alina Radu is an award-winning investigative journalist and the director of the independent investigative newspaper Ziarul de Garda (The Guard newspaper). Through her research and reporting, she has been instrumental in bringing to light trafficking in human beings and organs, which is becoming a major problem in the Republic of Moldova.

She has also assisted women victims of trafficking and pays great attention to the rights of women and children in her reports. She has gathered documentation on trafficking for the Council of Europe.

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Mike Ghouse – USA

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Linked with Ziki.com, with World Muslim Congress, with The Foundation for Pluralism, and with Muslims demand an Apology from MIM.

Mike is a Home Builder and a real estate investment consultant … He is Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator … about Pluralism, Co-Existence, India, Islam, Buddhism, Democracy & Terrorism. (full text).

He says: ”Welcome to my world with an open heart and an open mind. You will be continually challenged to think and incessantly urged to see another possibility. If we can learn to accept and respect the God given uniqueness of each one of the 7 billion of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge”. (on Ziki.com).

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Mike Ghouse – USA

He is also president of the Foundation for Pluralism and is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. He is the founding president of the World Muslim Congress with a simple theme: “Good for Muslims and good for the world.”

His personal Website is MikeGhouse.Net, and his articles can be found on Mike Ghouse for America, and on Sulekha.com (Connecting Indians worldwide).

He says also: “If we can learn to accept and respect the God given uniqueness of each one of the 7 billion of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. I believe knowledge leads to understanding, and understanding to acceptance and appreciation of people with a different point of view”. (full text).

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Lyudmila Pavlichenko – Russian Federation

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Linked with Women of the Don Union.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “‘Forgive me for this war’. Lyudmila often said these words in Chechnya. Once she heard: ‘And you forgive us too’. Only then did she realize that she had done what she could”.

She says also: .

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Lyudmila Pavlichenko – Russian Federation

She works for the Kavkazsky Forum / Caucasian Forum, and for Soyuz Zhenshchin Dona / Union of Women of the Don …
in english: on this page of the Women’s Information Network.

Lyudmila Pavlichenko was born in 1949, in the Rostov Region. Since 1996, she has been actively involved in the activities of the NGO Union of Women of the Don (SZD). She also participated in the projects Women’s Rights, Public Social Reception Offices, Dagestan – the Peacekeeping Center, and others. Since 1998, she has been a coordinator of the international organization Kavkazsky Forum (Caucasian Forum), and she has organized a lot of humanitarian projects in Chechnya and the whole of the Caucasian region trying to promote peace and reconciliation.

Chechnya has been engulfed in a bitter war since 1994. Shocked by what she saw in Chechnya, Lyudmila Pavlichenko does what she can to stop the armed conflict.

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Gus Cairns – England

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Linked with aidsmap, information on hiv & aids, and with Asia by DU, Africa by AIDS.

Gus Cairns is a freelance journalist specialising in HIV, sexuality, healthcare, development and related matters and a group facilitator and trainer on these issues. He is also a qualified psychotherapist and counsellor (see separate site). Gus is former Editor in Chief of Positive Nation, the UK’s HIV/AIDS and sexual health magazine. These varied skills have been pulled together to make the focus of a business. Its core aim over this range of activities will be to help other people and organisations survive and thrive. (full text on his personal website).

See: his Kilimanjaro diary.

He writes: A study of gay men with HIV who catch hepatitis C revealed sky-high levels of party drug use, unprotected sex, fisting and group sex among the men who get the virus, considerably higher than among men who don’t. After eliminating other causes for hep C transmission, researchers in three clinics in the United Kingdom found that unprotected group (rather than one-to-one) sex, unprotected anal sex and fisting were overwhelmingly more common in the men who caught hep C than a matched group of HIV-positive men who didn’t. (full text).

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Gus Cairns – England

Read: What is psychotherapy?

In terms of group work, Gus has facilitated the Gay Men’s Support Group at London Lighthouse and the residential gay men’s weeks at Laurieston Hall in Scotland for the Edward Carpenter Community. In an individual capacity Gus has organised training on HIV/AIDS awareness, treatment information and counselling for various organisations including PACE; the Immune Development Trust; Coca Cola Africa; Boehringer Ingelheim; Roche, the Globe Centre, the Media Trust and the African HIV Policy Network. He has also worked for SHAG, a young people’s sexual health education group funded by City and East London Health Authority that provided safer-sex awareness workshops for East London schools and colleges … Last but by no means least, Gus has been living with HIV since 1985, and with an AIDS diagnosis since 1995. He sees himself as a long term survivor of HIV and says that one of his motivations in the work he does is to equip people both with the skills to avoid HIV and to thrive with it if they do become infected. (full text).

See also: his Zanzibar beach photos.

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Monika Gerstendörfer – Germany

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Linked with Lobby für Menschenrechte e.V., with TERRE DES FEMMES e.V., and with Computer as a place of violence.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “I believe in the flap of a butterfly’s wings: the flap of a single butterfly’s wings in China through a process of build-up can cause a hurricane in Texas” … and: “Some colleagues have long ago given up the fight as lost. I have not”.

She says also:

Ihr Buch: MONIKA GERSTENDÖRFER, ‘Der verlorene Kampf um die Wörter’, Opferfeindliche Sprache bei sexualisierter Gewalt, ein Plädoyer für eine angemessenere Sprachführung, (auf ihrer Homepage). Siehe auch ihr Kontaktformular.

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Monika Gerstendörfer – Germany

She works for Lobby für Menschenrechte e.V.

The human rights expert and psychologist Monika Gerstendörfer (47) does invaluable educational work on the dangers of sexual violence in Germany. The co-founder and director of Lobby für Menschenrechte (Lobby for Human Rights Association) has significantly changed attitudes towards violence against women and children.

She has done very useful networking among numerous associations, initiatives, criminal police, journalists, and parliamentarians. Born in Wittenberg, she now lives in Baden- Württemberg.

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Olga del Valle Márquez de Arédez – Argentina (19xx-2005)

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Linked with A re-compilation of texts and blogs for indigenous peoples;

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “I am the daughter of an indigenous native and a Spaniard. We, the indigenous people, have a mandate: to bury our dead so that they can rest in peace. And peace shall be with us”.

She says also: “Something can always be done. But we have to be united in order to be able to do a lot”.

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Olga del Valle Márquez de Arédez – Argentina

She works for the Missing Persons of the Department of Ledesma.

Olga Márquez was born in Tucumán, a province of Northern Argentina. She married and lived with her husband in Jujuy, a neighboring province. Then, he ‘was disappeared’, by the repressive forces of the Argentinean military dictatorship (1976-1983).

Olga organized the resistance movement in Jujuy. Along with the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, she was in the vanguard of the fight for truth and justice, which was essential for bringing down the dictators.A handkerchief, a placard with a photo and great heart ache, those are lethal weapons used against the dictators of Argentina, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico .

They are used by the mothers. Nothing or nobody can stop them in their fight for justice, for dignity and the right to live in freedom. They make claims on behalf of their dear, departed ones. Olga Márquez de Arédez is one of the mothers.

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Wenqing Zhang – China

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She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “A drop of water easily evaporates, yet gains everlasting energy when embraced by the sea. I am willing to be a drop of water so as to make contributions to the peace and health of all human beings”.

She says also: “A drop of water can easily evaporate, although it gains everlasting energy once it is embraced by the sea. I am willing to be a drop of water in the vast sea to make contributions to the peace and health of all human beings”.

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Wenqing Zhang – China

She works in Taiyuan Central Hospital.

In 2003 Wenqing Zhang volunteered to work in the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) wards, staying there for two months. In April 2004 she was promoted to head nurse of the gastroenterology department. Her nursing service to over 3,000 people, spanning more than 17 years, has won her love and respect.

The kind, good-looking, good-humored head nurse is Zhang Wenqing, 35 years old. Since the day of graduation from medical school in Taiyuan, she has cared for patients tirelessly, day after day, for over 17 years. Her ideals of devotion to life, healing the wounded and saving the dying have made her determined to devote herself to the medical and nursing work that she loves.

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Luis Macas Ambuludí – Ecuador

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Linked with CONAIE, with Natif Web, with PACHAKUTIK, with Globalisation from Below, with Ecuador – Clash of old and new, with Correa’s War, and with A re-compilation of texts and blogs for indigenous peoples.

Born 1951, Luis Macas Ambuludí is a Kichwa politician and intellectual from Saraguro, Ecuador. Macas has university degrees in anthropology, linguistics and urisprudence. (full text).

In Ecuador, where indigenous people represent 45 percent of the population, Luis Macas, a Quichua Indian from the Andean highlands, has emerged as the leading champion of indigenous rights. (full text).

His personal Web-Blog.

He says: “Respect for diversity is the foundation for all social construction. If an individual, nationality or people impose their will on the rest, things will not work. We need to find links that bring us together in a space that fosters respect”. (full long interview text, July 25, 2005).

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Luis Macas Ambuludí – Ecuador

See this 12 photos on flickr.com, … and also these other flickr photos.

See the following YouTube-videos:

  • LUIS MACAS VISITA ESPAÑA, 10 minutes, July 9, 2007.
  • Luis Macas, 1 parte, 09 minutes, August 30, 2006.
  • Luis Macas, 2 parte, 8.30 minutes, August 30, 2006.
  • Luis Macas, 3 parte, 9.13 minutes, August 30, 2006.
  • Luis Macas, 4 parte, 8.45 minutes, August 30, 2006.
  • Luis Macas, 5 parte, 7.06 minutes, August 30, 2006.
  • Luis Macas, 6 parte, 9.08 minutes, September 01, 2006.
  • Luis Macas, 7 parte, 6.21 minutes, August 30, 2006.

He was one of the founders of the CONAIE, of the Pachakutik Movement, and was member of the National Congress of Ecuador.

Read: “Indigenous destiny in indigenous hands,” by Luis Macas, Linda Belote and Jim Belote, pages 216 – 241, 20003.

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Alzira Rufino – Brazil

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Linked with The Casa de Cultura da Mulher Negra CCMN, and with Violência doméstica, Mulher Negra.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “Afro-Brazilian women, they produce the show and take credit for the direction”.

She says also: “In 1990, when we created the House of Culture of the Afro-Brazilian Woman, there was resistance regarding the name. The oppositionists asked: Why Afro-Brazilian women”.

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Alzira Rufino – BrazilShe works for the Casa de Cultura da Mulher Negra CCMN, (the House of Culture of the Afro-Brazilian Woman).

Alzira Rufino (1950) is the founder and director of the House of Culture of the Afro-Brazilian Woman CCMN, which has its headquarters in the city of Santos, in the State of São Paulo.

Her life and her social work are references for the feminists and for the Afro-Brazilian female organizations.

In 1992, she received the title of ‘Honorable Citizen of the city of Santos’.

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Loreta Navarro-Castro – Philippines

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Linked with The Center for Peace Education, and with The Miriam College.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Loreta Navarro-Castro (born 1948) is one of the pioneers of peace education research in the Philippines and founded the Center for Peace Education, based at Miriam College in Manila. Aside from being coordinator of the PEN, Loreta is the secretary of the Philippine Council for Peace and Global Education, a member of the Executive Committee of Pax Christi International and the International Advisory Committee of the Global Campaign for Peace Education based in New York City. She is also an active member of several Asian and international associations involved with peace studies and research.

She says: “We may not see the results in our lifetime, but we must go on believing that someday that critical mass will be reached and more meaningful change will happen”.

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Sorry, I can not find any photo of Loreta Navarro-Castro, Philippines (see also my comment ‘Brave women without photos‘).

She works for the Center for Peace Education CPE (named on pilipina peacenet.com), and for the Miriam College.

She says also: “Some of our students have not seen a tribal minority, or a Muslim. Through the twinning project, they exchange letters with the Muslim students at Rajah Muda and realize that they have so much in common with one another! When you put a face to a name, it will really break down the barriers”.

And she says: “You have to gather data as a basis for your actions. Research means getting the right information, gathering it, analyzing it and communicating it to others. You also have to be connected with those other groups doing this, so that you will not be educating in a vacuum. This is what makes peace education an important field of work”.

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George J. Borjas – USA

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Linked with the United Nations University UNU, and with Do No Evil.

George J. Borjas is the Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Professor Borjas received his Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University in 1975. Prior to moving to Harvard in 1995, he was a Professor of Economics at the University of California at San Diego. (full text).

He says: ”Any ‘reform’ that gives amnesty to 12 million illegal immigrants without taking care of the underlying illegal -immigration problem is a lemon. After all, what guarantees that the current batch of 12 million illegal immigrants will not be replaced by another 12 million in just a few years? What guarantees that guest workers will not stay illegally in the United States after their visa expires? What guarantees that border enforcement will be taken seriously by the Bush administration in the next two years or by the Democratic administration after that?” (full text, May 17, 2007).

Look at: The Borjas’ Blog, George Borjas’s thoughts on immigration, labor markets, and random stuff.

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George J. Borjas – USA

Contact information.

Listen to his Google video: George J. Borjas, Costs of Immigration, 54 min, 5 Jun 2006. Harvard economist George Borjas details the hidden costs of current American immigration policies.

His CV.

He writes: “It has been a year since Heaven’s Door was published. And it has been an interesting year, both in terms of the reactions to my book and in terms of how the debate over immigration policy has evolved”. (full text).

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Donna Fernandes – India

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Linked with Vimochana, with ‘Dowry deaths’ in Bangalore, and with Madhu Kishwar – India.

Ms. Donna Fernandes is a key figure in the Indian womens movement. She has worked on gender issues for over 20 years and is one of the founding members of Vimochana, THE most prominent womens organisation in Bangalore. Donna has covered issues ranging from violence against women, to problems of rural and urban women, to the girl child, female infanticide, trafficking, dowry deaths, domestic workers problems. She has travelled the length and breadth of India raising awareness on womens issues. She is also known in the international womens movement for her passionate and totally committed approach to fighting for womens rights. (full interview text).

She says: “If women are not emotionally independent, then they cannot be economically independent — and violence against women will continue”. (full text).

News headlines about the theme:
IT City plagued by dowry deaths, July 16, 2007.
Domestic Violence Act yet to be implemented, January 25, 2007.
India’s first domestic violence law takes effect, Oct 27, 2006.

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Donna Fernandes – India

She works for Vimochana (named on India together).

Donna Fernandes of Vimochana, a women’s organization in Bangalore, addressed the students of IIJNM on Friday, October 31, 2003. Fernandes touched upon a wide range of women’s issues in India, including female infanticide, female feticide, sexual abuse and the evils of dowry. This is Fernandes’s second visit to IIJNM. During her first visit, Donna spoke about the feminist movement in India on Wednesday March 19, 2003. She noted how the patriarchal system in India continues to exploit women in the form of dowry and female infanticide. She said that the problem of such social evils cannot be eradicated only by a few NGOs, but both men and women in general should come forward to solve the problem. She also believed that there are plenty of loopholes in the existing legal framework and that many of the laws need to be updated and amended. Quoting the example of the Mathura rape case, she mentioned how a women’s organization was successful in securing justice to a victim of rape, who otherwise was accused of being characterless and therefore did not deserve justice. (full text).

Lire: Meurtres en série pour cause de dot.

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Madhu Kishwar – India

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Linked with When Homes Are Torture Chambers, with Vimochana, and with Donna Fernandes – India.

Madhu Kishwar is the founder and editor of “Manushi: a journal on women and society”. Kishwar is one of India’s foremost thinkers in the arena of women’s rights, social justice, collective responsibility and perspectives on social change. As an activist scholar, Kishwar advocates the politics of engagement. She has made prolific editorial contributions to Manushi since its inception in 1979, and her work has appeared in several anthologies. Her writing is appreciated worldwide for its incisiveness and thought-provoking, challenging quality, and she is an invigorating speaker. Kishwar is currently a senior fellow at the Centre for Studies in Developing Societies in New Delhi, India. (full text).

Read: Feminism in India has no integrity. You can’t trust it, (full long interview).

She says: “For many feminists, getting along with a mother-in-law, or even having a happy marriage is a sign of mental slavery! I was repelled by this insistence on joyless, confrontational living”.

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Madhu Kishwar – India

She works for Vimochana (named on India together).

Destined to fail: The present day dowry system symbolizes the disinheritance of women and the resulting desperation of parents to push their daughters out of their homes after marrying them off. Madhu Purnima Kishwar points to inherent flaws in the anti-dowry legislation, and argues that equal inheritance is the way forward. (full text).

Books from Manushi.

Statements before Justice Nanavati Commission
.

Mishra Commission Affidavits.

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