Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Women meet to stop global militarism

By Amritha Alladi • Pacific Daily News • September 16, 2009

On the second day of the 7th Meeting of the International Network of Women Against Militarism Conference, delegates presented reports on the steps taken by organizations in their areas to promote peace and human rights.

During yesterday's meeting, Vivian Dames, associate professor of social work and women and gender studies at the University of Guam, said one delegate from Hawaii, Terry Keko'olani of Aloha'Aina, highlighted that several organizations rallied in protest against the government to retain health coverage for migrant workers.

Additionally, Dames said Keko'olani reported that domestic violence cases have occurred as a result of soldiers being affected by post-traumatic stress disorder. Dames said militarism brings violence not only through war, but also through those soldiers who bring difficulties back to their families.

"The global phenomenon of militarism is impacting all of us," Dames said.

Regarding Guam specifically, Dames said one of the things that hasn't happened is a memorandum of agreement with the military in terms of resource sharing, data sharing and coordinated agreements related to violence against women, both on and off the base.

A panel presentation in the evening included a discussion on genuine security versus national security, and the United Nations' concept of human security, Dames said.

"Genuine security means you can't have security when human rights are being compromised, and there's violence against women," Dames said. "Any discussion on national security must take into account these other issues."

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