Serbia and Montenegro: Everything for peace, health, and education - nothing for armament

Women in Black
Events to mark the international day of women's action for peace and disarmament and May 28th - international day of action for women's health and reproductive rights.
We are organizing this conference on the occasion of two very important dates for the women's peace movement of feministic-antimilitaristic orientation.
May 24th - International day of women's action for peace and disarmament.
May 28th - International day of action for women's health and reproductive rights.

Belgrade: May 27, 28, and 29th 2005
Center for Cultural Decontamination and Hotel Balkan

For close to ten years now we have been marking the above-mentioned dates with various activities (campaigns, street actions, conferences, seminars, etc.). We have kept the same conference title for its familiarity as well as because of the importance of the problems the conference addresses.

We are beginning from the following:
  • Peace is not just the absence of war - peace is the absence of fear, hatred, misery, injustice;
  • Health is not only the absence of illness - health is a balance of the physical, psychological, spiritual states and social conditions in which women live;
  • The huge resources that are invested on the regional, national, as well as global planes for militaristic purposes - the living standard of citizens directly depends on the funds which are set aside for military and police aims;
  • Peace and health are directly connected and interdependent, and therefore we are linking and uniting the aforementioned dates and activities in connection with them.
In addition, this year's program is also filled with new concepts and contents about security: from the traditional-militaristic to the feministic-antimilitaristic concept of security. The traditional security system that implies a huge expenditure of budget resources (taxpayer funds), the militarization of every sphere of life, and the marginalization of women, leads to ever-greater insecurity, and ever more drastic violations and limitations of human rights, freedom, and democracy. With this conference we are continuing our efforts towards the creation of the concept and contents of security not only as the absence of armed conflict and open terror, but as the absence of fear, violence, repression, and misery; about security that implies an investment in peace, health, culture, and education.

Through interactive lectures and workshops, various models, suggestions, and alternatives to traditional security will be presented, on the institutional as well as non-institutional planes. We are devoting particular attention to UN Security Council Resolution 1325 "Women, peace, and security". With this historical Resolution, for the first time the highest UN body officially affirmed the significance of civil society, in particular women's groups, in building peace, and the significance of women's participation in peace processes and agreements.

Unfortunately, the state in which we are living, along with numerous other states characterized by undeveloped democracy, hasn't even ratified the above-mentioned Resolution.

With coordinated activities, we will continue not only with actions for informing and sensitizing the public, but also with pressure on the institutions for ratification and the strict application of the Resolution.

Since 1991, Women in Black have been members of the Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) and one of the supporting groups of their five-year campaign organized on the occasion of May 28th. The slogan of this year's campaign is Violence against women - an urgent problem of world health: the interconnection of violence against women and health, as a question of the public health system.

For more information, contact Women in Black Belgrade - stasazen@EUnet.yu