Mobilization against poverty and violence

World March of Women: Mobilization against poverty and violence

Douglas, Carol Anne

Montreal, August 30, 2000-Launched on March 8, 2000, the World March of Women will hold mass rallies worldwide in October. Over 5000 groups in 157 countries and territories are participating in the March.

On Sunday, October 15, at the U.S. national rally in Washington, women will march past the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). On the same day, international representatives of the World March of Women will meet with IMF Managing Director Horst Kohler.

The World Rally for the March will be held in New York on October 17. The international delegation ofthe World March of Women, made up of about 200 women from all regions of the world, will meet with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. At the rally, the millions of signatures collected in support of the March demands will be delivered outside the UN building.

The women of the world demand that the UN and its member states take concrete measures to eliminate poverty and ensure an equitable distribution of the world’s wealth, and to do away with violence against women and ensure equality between women and men.

More than ever, the women of the world are determined to act in solidarity to put an end to poverty and violence against women. The solidarity of women worldwide mobilizing to put an end to poverty and violence expressed in the World March of Women in the Year 2000

With the fast approaching large– scale rallies of October, which will be the crowning point of the March, activities are multiplying everywhere.

Pan-African Women’s Day

On July 31, 5000 women marched in Kinshasa and in all provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Their national demands were delivered to the representative of the UN Secretary-General in the DRC, and to the Chief of Staff of the President of the Republic. Both of them undertook to deliver the demands to the UN Secretary-General and the President of the DRC, respectively.

On the same day, the World March of Women Steering Committee in Cameroon organized a march in which the Ministers for the Status of Women, for Social Affairs and for State Supervision, and the Secretary of State for National Education all took part. In Mali, thousands of women marched in the capital and the big cities on August 5.

Marcha das Margaridas

In Brasilia, capital of Brazil, 25,000 rural women workers marched in the Marcha das Margaridas on August 10. One of the main objectives was to present a model for sustainable rural development, in contrast with the current system that keeps women in a state of poverty, discrimination, exploitation and social exclusion. The demonstration, organized as part of the World March of Women,. was named in honor of Margarida Alves, a rural workers union leader murdered on August 12, 1983.

Activities in September

Hundreds of thousands-of women in rural and urban areas in many countries will meet in September. Taking part in the World March of Women, they will demand concrete measures to eliminate poverty and violence against women.

In September national marches will be held in Benin; in Togo; in Port-au– Prince, capital of Haiti; in Italy; and in Lebanon. Representatives of a number of Arab countries will join a march in Cairo, Egypt. In Honduras, women from various Central American countries will demonstrate outside the Central American Bank for Economic Integration. Meanwhile, Brazilian women will play an active part in the popular referendum on the country’s foreign debt, and the women of Nepal will hold a people’s trial about violence against women. A national conference on poverty and violence will be held in Portugal with the dual purpose of raising awareness and looking for solutions. In Mexico women are organizing national days to collect signatures to back the World March of Women demands. On September 17, a caravan of Mexican women marchers will begin their journey to New York and will arrive in time for the world rally on October 17. On September 22, women in Croatia will commemorate the massacre of three women in a courtroom. They will ask the Croatian government to declare that date as the official Day against Violence against Women.

For more information, contact:

Brigitte Verdiere, Communication World March of Women in the Year 2000

Tel.: 1 (514) 395-1196 (extension 21) Fax: I (514) 395-1224

email: communications@ffq.qc.ca www.ffq.qc.ca/marche2OOO

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