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A Time Line of Non-Violence: In our own Pacific region - in Bougainville and the Solomon Islands women have walked across the barriers of conflict to negotiate peace - to bring about disarmament and assist in enabling peace talks... adding to the her-story of women waging peace across the world:


Circa 1300 BCE, Egypt: two Hebrew midwives refuse Pharaoh's order to kill all newborn male Hebrew babies. The women hide a baby boy in reeds by a river bank, as recorded in the Bible (Exodus, chapters 1 and 2). They find an ally in an Egyptian princess, who adopts the baby and calls him Moses. It was the first documented case of civil disobedience


1920s-1947, India: Gandhi leads a successful nonviolent struggle to liberate India from British colonialism. Millions of ordinary Indians participate in tax resistance, boycotts, and building constructive alternatives to British rule. When Gandhi is jailed, women like Sarojini Naidu, who led the nonviolent raid on the Dharasana salt works, take over. Gandhi opposes men's domination of women. India's 1947 Constitution guarantees equality between women and men. 


1932, Switzerland: in an attempt to stop a war in Europe, pacifist women gather nine million signatures for peace and hold the International Women's Peace Conference in Geneva.


1950s, South Africa: women mobilize in mass numbers to stop pass laws (the obligatory carrying of identity documents) which severely restrict free movement by blacks. The Defiance Campaign Against Unjust Laws is organized: 400 domestic workers go on strike in Johannesburg; 4,000 women block city streets in Pretoria; 20,000 women join a silent vigil and try to deliver an anti-pass petition of over 100,000 women's signatures to the prime minister.


1977, Argentina: 14 women demonstrate illegally in the square of the presidential palace waving photographs of their children and demanding to know their fate. The dictatorship has kidnapped and killed over 10,000 people. More and more women return every week. When the leaders are killed, the women meet in secret in church pews and begin the weekly demonstrations again. Ridiculed as "the crazy mothers of the Plaza de Mayo" they persist in denouncing the tortures and disappearances, and help bring down the military dictatorship.


1986, Philippines: the nonviolent People Power revolution ousts the Marcos dictatorship. Millions of Filipinos take to the streets. Widespread workshops in active nonviolence lay the foundation for the resistance to Marcos's attempt to steal the 1985 election. Thirty computer operators tabulating the election results publicly denounce the fraudulent official count. Opposition leader Corazon Aquino calls for nonviolent rallies, vigils and civil disobedience. Clandestine radio broadcasts give instructions in nonviolent resistance. When some military troops join the movement, civilians surround their barracks to protect them. Fighter pilots ordered to bomb the rebel barracks refuse after seeing the civilian crowds. Marcos flees after four days of civil disobedience.


1988, Israel: Israeli women, dressed in black as a sign of mourning, line busy streets, holding signs protesting the Israeli occupation of Palestine. They call their network Women in Black. The idea spreads until there are Women in Black vigils and peace groups in over a dozen countries.


2001, Kashmir: Muslim, Hindu and Sikh women form the Athwaas Initiative, to travel throughout Kashmir villages and migrant camps listening to women whose lives have been shattered by the violence, collecting their testimonies and dreams for peace.


2002, Somalia: When male clan representatives at the Somali Peace and Reconciliation Conference in Djibouti refuse to allow women to enter negotiations because they do not represent a clan,  the women form Somali's 'sixth clan' - the clan of women. They are accepted as equal partners. In 2004 the chair of Save Somali Women and Children, Asha Hagi Elmi, becomes the first Somali woman to sign a Somali peace agreement.


"We know that not one step, not one seed, not one action that is carried out in the spirit of nonviolence is ever lost. It bears fruit in the history of nations and of the world."  Hildegard Goss-Mayr


Information on Non Violence sourced from material produced by the International Fellowship on Reconciliation.

Total: 7 topics
Subject Updated  
Promoting UNSCR1325 in the Pacific region   19 Feb 2010  
What is UN SCR 1325   24 Jun 2009  
Regional Links   11 Nov 2008  
NGO Working Group Releases Report on SCR 1325 and the Peaceb...   9 May 2007  
Speech   20 Apr 2007  
A Time Line of Non-Violence   20 Apr 2007  
About: The Use Non Violence to Make a Peaceful Change   20 Apr 2007  
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