The following statement for International Women's Day was issued by Women in Black in Belgrade.
March 8th is the international day of women's action of solidarity against all kinds of discrimination against women.
Women's solidarity is a fact in our lives. Ever since the wars started in our countries women's solidarity helped us to create and spread the threads of sisterhood with women from ex-Yugoslavia and all around the world. Thanks to women's solidarity we have been able to support the women who survived the war, to find various ways of support they needed, but we also discovered a new strength in ourselves.
Women in Black are still present on the streets of Belgrade. Of course, we haven't stopped the war but with our resistance we are trying to value individual acts of disobedience. In the meantime women have organised in many towns and have created groups of Women in Black who support us and oppose their governments' involvement in wars across the world.
Our persistent protest is an act of taking individual responsibility for daily politics. We haven't decided about the war, but daily in our lives we are deciding in acts of peace. This time again, we would like to repeat that we do not want to stay silent about the violence that we witness.
The Serbian regime is permanently applying repressive politics:
- War and hate are still perpetuated by all political and military means.
- Police terror on Albanian people in Kosovo, arrests, trials, raids, are continuing. Over 2700 Albanians were arrested only last year.
- People with refugee status are kept in misery in order to make them leave this area.
- The independent media and freedom of expression are being suppressed.
- Various human rights groups give evidence of the oppression of people of non-Serbian ethnic origin.
- The regime is attempting to pass a law in the Serbian parliament which would abolish present possibilities of abortion.
For March 8, we want to greet all our sisters from the geographical area of former Yugoslavia. We haven't forgotten that they lived in war for three or four long years. We are thinking about you and longing to meet you and we wish you more courage and joy (if possible at all in these terrible times) for Women's Day, symbolising our struggle for our rights!