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Women Students Against War

Women Students Against War

Women students are calling on Helen Clark to take a stand against war on Iraq on International Women’s Day, 8 March.

“Women leaders have an opportunity and an obligation to call for peace,” said Camilla Belich, the National Women’s Rights Officer for the New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA). “Women students are participating in a growing anti-war movement, and we want to see more leadership on this issue from women Ministers, including the Prime Minister.”

“Women will be acutely affected by military action against Iraq, and have therefore played leading roles in the peace movement all over the wold,” said Belich. “War would only exacerbate the oppression of women in Iraq, by limiting their options for education, employment and childcare.”

Belich advocates on behalf of the Tertiary Women’s Focus Group (TWFG). TWFG has voiced its oppositin to a US attack on Iraq. They are campaigning for a stronger stance by New Zealand against the war. “We call on Helen Clark to start listening to New Zealanders. She should tell John Howard that war is not the answer on his upcoming visit.”

International Women’s Day has a rich history dating back to the beginning of the last century and is linked to most of the major women’s movements of the twentieth century. “It is a date when women can draw attention to the injustices against women in our world and also celebrate women’s lives. This year we are opposing the war so that women in Iraq can continue to be mothers, sisters, aunts, daughters and grandmothers in peace.”

“Before World War 1 Russian women protested against war and for peace on International Women’s Day. Today we stand on the brink of war and again, as women, stand unified against this threat,” said Belich.

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