The Sixth International Meeting of the International Women’s Network takes place in the San Francisco Bay Area, September 10-16, 2007.
Entitled “Women Working for Human Rights, Sustainability, and Everyday Security,” the meeting is co-hosted by Women for Genuine Security and the PANA Institute for Leadership Development and Study of Pacific Asian North American Religion at the Pacific School for Religion.
The meeting expects to have 50-60 participants from South Korea, Okinawa, mainland Japan, the Philippines,
Guam, Hawai’i, and Puerto Rico, with others from the west coast of the United States.
The picturesque Fort Mason overlooking San Francisco Bay is the meeting site.
The meeting consists of public discussions and closed door meetings for the Network members.
On September 11, the Philippine delegation is hosted by several Bay area organizations in a public discussion
called “Voices from the Philippines – Connecting Resistance Between Diaspora and Homeland”
to be held in San Francisco Community Center at 7:00 pm.
The Fil-Am community as well as meeting participants are expected to attend the presentation. It is open to the
The Philippine delegation consists of members of the Philippine Women’s Network on Peace & Security, which is a member of the International Women’s Network for Peace & Security (formerly called East Asia-US-Puerto Rico
Women’s Network Against Militarism). The network was formed in 1997 when 40 women activists, policy-makers,
teachers, and students from South Korea, Okinawa, mainland Japan, the Philippines and the United States
gathered in Okinawa to strategize together about the negative effects of the U.S. Military in each of these countries.
In 2000, Puerto Rican women who opposed the U.S. Navy bombing training on the island of Vieques also joined.
The Network is not a membership organization, but collaboration among women active in their own communities.
In 2004, the Philippines hosted the 5th International Meeting of the international network, with the theme of
Human Security and Development (“Women and Men: Creating a Culture of Peace”).
WEDPRO (Women’s Education, Development, and Productivity & Research Organization) served as the meeting Secretariat and organized the Philippine Working Group, composed of Amnesty International (AI)-Pilipinas, BUKLOD Center, IMA Foundation, KaisaKa, Philippine Task Force Bases Clean Up (PTFBC), and WomanHealth Philippines.
Metro Subic articulated its interest to join the PWG during the 2004 meeting.
During the 5th International Meeting, network participants from Hawai’i, London, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United States attended the 5th International Meeting. Network participants from Okinawa and Japan were not able to come. The Philippine delegation came from Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.
The International Network envisions a world of genuine security based on justice, respect for others across
national boundaries, and economic planning based on local people’s needs, especially the needs of women and children.
Genuine security arises from the following principles:
1. The environment in which we live is able to sustain human and natural life;
2. People’s basic needs for food, clothing, shelter, health care, and education are met;
3. People’s fundamental human dignity and respect for cultural identities are honored;
4. People and the natural environment are protected from avoidable harm.
Composed of individuals and organizations, the International Network would like to contribute to the creation of a
society free of militarism, violence, and all forms of sexual exploitation, in order to guarantee the rights
of marginalized people, particularly women and children, and to ensure the safety, well-being, and long term
sustainability of our communities.
To promote, model, and protect genuine security by creating an international women’s network of solidarity
against militarism. To strengthen our common consciousness and voice by sharing our experiences and making critical connections among militarism, imperialism, and systems of oppression and exploitation based on gender, class, and nation.
During the September 2007 meeting, the Philippine delegation is expected to present a country report that covers socio-economic and political updates with highlights on the human rights situation and women’s situation. Of particular interest to the expected audience during the Philippine presentation would be the controversies surrounding the reported involvement of the US military in the ongoing “anti-terror” war launched
by the Arroyo administration against armed groups in Mindanao, specifically in Basilan and Jolo. WEDPRO serves as the coordinator for the 2007 Philippine presentation.
The schedule of the meeting is packed, with various activities that include:
Community Conversations — We are doing the country reports in the form of community conversations
that will also include presentations from solidarity groups active in the Bay area.
Site Visit/Procession — We will visit 3 sites in the Bay Area affected by US militarism,
starting with the invasion of the Americas by Spanish and other European settlers, and including the African American community living alongside the former Hunter’s Point Navy shipyard.
We will make connections between militarism in the US and internationally.
Small Groups — the topics to be covered are:
1. Military violence against women, migration, and trafficking
2. Women’s health, military toxics, and environmental clean-up
3. Military expansion and restructuring
4. Resisting & healing impacts of militarism (economic, social, cultural)
A central discussion theme would be on Creating Sustainability: Keeping well and keeping going–
our health, art, money, organizing.
There is a special event on Saturday evening (September 15) that will include a performance including
international participants and others from the Bay Area.
The meeting expects delegates from South Korea, Puerto Rico, Okinawa/Japan, Hawaii and from other parts of
mainland US. There is a strong team of interpreters for Japanese-English and Korean-English
A wonderful group is working on planning this meeting including women from:
Agape Foundation, American Friends Service Committee, babae, Bay Area Boricuas, Center for Biological Diversity, FACES, Famouksaiyan, GABnet, KAWAN, PANA,