Category Archives : Convocations in English 2017

CONVOCATION 26 March 2017: Security and safety of women


It is socially accepted that human security, and especially the security of women, is a matter for the Fuerzas y Cuerpos de Seguridad del Estado (State Security Force) and the military. We believe, however, that human security goes beyond military or police intervention. When speaking of security, one must also speak of food security, environmental, community, economic, etc. In both the spheres of family and of work, the life of women is conditioned by the violence exercised on them. A woman is killed or mistreated for not meeting the desired expectations. While governments consider that this violence is a private matter, it will always be present in our societies. Security is absence of violence against women and equality of access to political, social and economic power. The struggle against violence toward women must be incorporated into the security strategies for each country, locality, community and in all social groups.

Military expenditures do not give security to women, are an economic waste and militarize society. Such expenditures are useless and we believe that this money should be invested for useful social expenses. While the military expenditures of Spain, distributed throughout various items, was 42,000 million Euros in 2016, the budget to struggle against gender violence is 25.2 million Euros, and the lack of appropriation for dependents has resulted in their being almost 400.000 dependents receiving no assistance. And now we are hearing requests for countries to increase their contribution to NATO, while at the same time the solution overlooks doing away with these sorts of criminal organizations that are in favor of war, and it has been demonstrated that one of the major enemies of women is war.

Madrid Women in Black Against War demand:

That the State consider the violence exercised against women as a problem of national security and that the government legislate to the end that one day women can live in security.

That there be economic provisions to the Ley Organica 1/2004 de Medidas de Proteccion Integral contra la Violencia de Genero (law to protect against gender violence) in order to advance towards a society that is more just and egalitarian.

That expenditures for the military be destined instead to social, educational, health, culture, cooperation and the security of women.

A change in educational policies with an expansive and long term vision which will approach inequality of gender from the root of the problem.

That national organizations like the UN see war as a threat to women and urge the governments to demilitarize their respective countries.

That we realize that every person has a responsibility to stop violence against women.

Translation: Trisha Novak, USA – Yolanda Rouiller, WiB Spain

CONVOCATION 26 February 2017: Stop making war!


Women in Black continue denouncing in 2017 all militarism and wars because they do not guarantee just and sustainable human development. We do not believe in armed struggle because it perpetuates the law of the most powerful.

We are living through a process of collective failure at the moment of resolving conflicts: new threats and emergencies -- a worldwide refugee crisis, increase of social militarization, the barbarity of terrorism and its policy of instilling fear, all of which extend and provoke polarization and very dangerous demagogic politics.

There is war in Syria, a situation that seems to have no end after 6 years of combat that has produced thousands of deaths, millions of persons displaced, and thousands of children disappeared. The recent attacks in Turkey seem to be a prelude to more violence in the future. Afghanistan is experiencing continual armed confrontations of sectarian violence. South Sudan is experiencing ethnic violence. The war in Yemen is a humanitarian crisis with millions of people on the verge of famine. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is experiencing generalized violence, endemic corruption and extensive areas devastated by war.

With the tensions between the United States and Mexico over the promises to build a wall on the border and the deportation of persons from the host country, the most powerful actor on the world stage is creating destabilizing uncertainty.

Europe is adrift owing to the disintegration of the European project, social dismantling, lack of a political policy other than to just close the borders, and the resurgence of nationalisms and xenophobia. It is a Europe in which the civil society has no voice, cannot undertake any actions, can do nothing, and in which lack of transparency in government is brutal with respect to persons fleeing from armed conflict.

Spain is a significant exporter of weapons, 7th in the world. In March, Madrid will be the meeting spot for arms merchants and agents who benefit from the business of war. HOMSEC (Homeland Security and Defense) is sponsoring a trade show for the process of securitization on the national and international agendas, a professional platform focused on national security of a geostrategic nation in relation to Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. This type of event foments the culture of conflict and war, and models of repressive security measures centered on military threats to the territorial and political integrity of the States. These initiatives only contribute to the reduction of rights and liberties in pursuit of a false idea of security.

Women in Black of Madrid against war declare that:

We support the objectives of the campaign “Opening Borders” and demand that the governments and parliaments of Spain and Europe comply with the international instruments with regard to human rights and the statutes related to refugees and thus cover all the needs of the persons who ask for assistance and protection.

Management of borders of the countries that are promoting repressive migrant policies that lead to death, stigmatization and marginalization of collectives of victims of foreign policies exercised by the very countries of destination are measures that we consider racist and xenophobic and one more step towards fascism.

Urgent measures should be taken to end commerce in weapons that feed the violence and the conflicts that are devastating humanity. We consider it a positive note that the City Council of Madrid is not supporting the HOMSEC 6th International Exhibition of Security and Defense Technologies.

It is urgent and necessary to give political cover to the activists, agents for peace, and the values that guide their approach of tolerance, understanding, solidarity and empathy.

We join with the actions that are to be developed against the HOMSEC event.

Translation: Trisha Novak, USA – Yolanda Rouiller, WiB Spain

Pictures here


School Day of Nonviolence

Ever since 1964, the 30th of January has commemorated the School Day of Nonviolence in memory of Ghandi and the values he represents.

Women in Black, in accordance with our feminist, anti-militarist and nonviolent ideology, express that we are convinced that it is imperative to seek alternatives to learn how to bring about the result that conflicts not lead to more violence, rather to greater equity and justice for the civil society. The need for nonviolence becomes more urgent with each passing day. The number of warlike conflicts that exist today is alarming. Some of these conflicts are forgotten and others, such as the war in Syria, are better known because of their consequences: the refugees who arrive at our doors.

It is not enough to be against violence and war. One must analyze the causes that lead to war in order to avoid it. The tendency of our governments to maintain the privileges of the most favored with walls and fences; the illegal deportations of those without papers; the refusal of asylum, violating signed international laws; the refusal to provide universal health care; stigmatization of the emigrant based on the belief that they take our jobs or consume our resources; and the movement backwards in women’s rights are a way of promoting values that correspond to a social model of violence, creating fear, social control, machismo, blind obedience, power/submission relationships, resolution of conflicts through violence and force and disdain for people considered weaker and different.

We denounce the militarism of our societies that inculcate the idea of armed defense, in which war and violence are the only solutions.

Likewise, we declare our concern over the resurgence of macho values in the classrooms, the use of violence to resolve conflicts, the increase in power/submission relationships among the students and the continuing cuts in the education budget designated for public education, while that for private education increases. We are also worried that we continue without questioning the defense budget, which is greatly increasing.

Women in Black want schools that collaborate in the building of a society that struggles for peace and to that end we think that:

It is urgent and necessary to strengthen Education for Peace with a gender perspective that has as its goal the formation of “nonviolent” persons and that there be a budget and support to make this possible.

Nonviolence is a path, a process, continuous learning for the individual as well as human relationships; it is an ethical tool for social transformation, which strengthens those who practice it and takes power away from the violent.

It is necessary to work in school and in the society for an equality that will not repeat violence or the power of the patriarchy. All and each one of us are responsible for there being increasing violence in the world or that it be disappearing.

On this anniversary of the celebration of Peace, we join the campaign of the women of the United Sates against the xenophobic and macho policies of Donald Trump. Like them, we believe that the program of this president assumes a reversal on the road to peace and achievements in human rights, one more indication of the resurgence of fascism in the world.

"A country is not stronger based on the number of soldiers it has, rather based on its rate of literacy."
"It’s true that the pen is stronger than the sword; education frightens those who employ terror."
"The best way to fight against terrorism is very simple: educate the next generation."

Malala Yousafzai
(Pakistani teenager awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014)

Translation: Trisha Novak, USA – Yolanda Rouiller, WiB Spain