PBI-Canada observes the International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament

Published by Brent Patterson on

Sunday May 24 is the International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament.

The day was established in 1982 by antimilitarist women in Europe who came together to protest against nuclear weapons and the arms race.

This was when the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp was in place to protest against American nuclear cruise missiles being deployed at the Royal Air Force base in Greenham Common, 80 kilometres west of London.

It is a day to celebrate the historic and current efforts by women working for a just and peaceful world and for disarmament. The day also commemorates the violence suffered by women in armed conflicts and post-conflict situations.

Peace Brigades International accompanies more than 700 women who are human rights defenders. In 2019, 70 per cent (324) of the PBI volunteers who accompany all the human rights defenders we support were women.

Between 2012 and 2016, at least 42 women environmental human rights defenders were killed in Mexico and Central America. There were also 609 aggressions recorded against WEHRDs in that same region in 2015-16 alone.

Women environmental human rights defenders face gender-differentiated violence directed against them which can be further exacerbated by the systemic oppression of Indigenous women defending the land and water from megaprojects.

Peace Brigades International was formed in 1981 within days of the establishment of the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp. Our principles are based in nonviolence, internationalism and a non-hierarchical model of organizing.

PBI-Canada strives to illuminate the intersectionality of feminism, social justice, human rights, the protection of land and water, and peace.

We are mindful of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom statement: “A feminist approach to peace and security is one that defines true human security not by stockpiling weapons or issuing threats, but by dismantling structures of oppression and injustice through negotiation, cooperation and redistribution of resources.”

As the International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament approaches, PBI-Canada reaffirms our solidarity with and would like to draw your attention to the work of our allies including: the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace (VOW Peace), the Nobel Women’s Initiative, the Raging Grannies, the Joint Chair in Women’s Studies, University of Ottawa and Carleton University, World Beyond War, CODEPINK: Women for Peace, and the Mesoamerican Initiative of Women Human Rights Defenders (IM-Defensoras).

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