Women Creating Art for Peace and Gender Justice

Celebrating 100 Years of WILPF, 93 Years of Minnesota Metro WILPF, 20 Years since the 4th UN World Conference on Women Beijing

WHEN: April 22-29, 2015
Noon to 8 p.m. 

WHERE: Carondelet Center 1890 Randolph, St Paul, MN

Over the past 20 years we, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Arts Committee, a small group of WILPF artists, activists, and scholars, have shared the stories of global women and the United Nations documents on women through the arts in collaboration with other peace and women’s organizations*.  We believe in the power of the arts to effect social change and to illuminate public policies.

This retrospect exhibition documents our art making with images,photos, videos, posters, story boards, information handouts, books, costumes, quilts, scripts, paintings, posters, and sandwich boards.  The stories told raise awareness that “Women’s Rights are Human Rights as illuminated the United Nations 1995 Beijing Platform for Action – a document based on the earlier UN Call for Action and other UN documents regarding women & children.

Our exhibition, April 22-29 2015, coincides with the WILPF International Congress and 100 year anniversary to be held at the Hague and also celebrates the 93rd anniversary of our Minnesota WILPF chapter.

The exhibit includes daily artists talk, performances and speakers – weekdays at 6: PM and Saturday and Sundays at 2 – 4 – and 6: PM.  Multiple video stations will highlight related films.

At the Opening 100th Birthday Celebration, Jane Adams/ Luella Greene will tell the story of the founding of WILPF in 1915 and the Women’s Drum Heart will play. On April 23 composer Janika Vandervelde will speak about her musical collaborations and performances with WILPF, composers and dancers from the Perpich High School and community groups.  On Sunday April 26 Senator Sandy Pappas will speak her organization Forward Global Women and its peacemaking efforts. The April 29 Closing will feature Cheryl Thomas, Executive Director of Global Rights for Women speaking on the UN documents on Women. See www.wilfmn.org orwww.wisdomways.org for additional programs.

Wisdom Ways, the Sisters of St Joseph Peace and Justice organization at the Carondelet Center, is providing space and collaboration with the exhibition.  Metropolitan State U’s Peace Institute is adding support.

Come and See

  • Global Women at the 1995 United Nations Beijing Conference on Women celebrating and working together.
  • Art, performances and curriculum that bring UN Documents on Women to life.
  • Mary Yang with her living Hmong Story Quilt telling the story of her life.
  • A young mother holding her new born daughter and facing the dilemma of female genital mutilation in her culture.
  • Naima Richmond re-counting growing up African American in Atlanta and focusing on Reparation for African Americans..
  • Women in Black vigils witnessing against war and violence against women –
  • Annual Hiroshima Nagasaki events at the Minneapolis Peace Garden.
  • International artists, activists and scholars examining Women and Water Rights.

Press Release: Contact Terri Hawthorne 651-645-4427terrihawthorne@comcast.net
or Luella Greene 651-433-3773 luellagreene@frontiernet.net
www.wilfmn.org or www.wisdomwayscenter.org



Seventh Edition of the international Forum “Mediterranean Women”

Seventh Edition of the International Forum “Mediterranean Women”

May 29, 30, and 31, 2015
Fez, Palais des Congrès 

The seventh edition of the international forum “Mediterranean Women” will be organized by Isis Center for Women and Development and Konrad Adenauer – Rabat on May 29, 30 and 31, 2015 at the Palais des Congrès, Fez, Morocco. The theme of this edition is “The Escalation of Gender-Based Violence Against Women and Girls in the Middle East and North Africa – MENA Region.”

While the post-Arab Spring turmoil is affecting men, women, and children, specific types of violence systematically target women and girls. The post-Arab Spring initial backlash on women’s rights is not only gathering momentum everyday, but is developing into unprecedented new types of violence against women with the dangerously mounting tide of extremist Jihadism.

The new forms of violence range from the imposition of the niqab (total veiling), the ban of women from public unless they are accompanied by a male member of the family, a return of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) for women between the ages of 11 and 46, stoning to death of (supposedly) adulterous women, assassination of female activists, Jihad al-Nikah (brainwashed women offering sex in support of the Jihadists), honor crimes, and enslavement (buying/selling of women and girls).

These new forms of violence are indirectly “sanctioning” the already familiar types such as moralization incriminating women for any social crisis, domestic battering, increased sexual harassment, forced marriage, and (gang) rape that accompanied the post-uprising phases in the MENA region. The ambiguous barriers between moderate and extremist Islamists is intensifying the daily misery of women in most parts of the region and threatening the hard-won women’s rights, and systematic brainwashing is involving more and more women in the recruitment of female Jihadists. In parallel, extreme violence against women is heavily used in the Jihadists’ propaganda narratives and glorified by mainstream media.

The dire absence of statistics, let alone serious academic research, on this issue is adding fuel to an already hot problem whose short- and long- term social, economic, and political repercussions are far-reaching and call for a combination of reliable research and urgent policies.

The Forum aims at documenting the new forms of violence against women and suggesting preventive solutions.

Eminent researchers, experts and activists from over 20 countries will participate in the Forum which will address 7 main axes:

1. What does the escalation of violence against women mean?
2. Escalation of violence against women in the Middle East
3. Escalation of violence against women in North Africa
4. Patriarchy and the escalation of gender-based violence
5. Masculinities
6. Strategies to combat gender-based violence
-Education Reform
-Textbook Reform
7. Transnational Networking in the face of the escalation of transnational vioelnce against women

The languages of the Forum are: Arabic, French and English.