BY ANGELA LUVERA
SYDNEY — "There is no excuse to postpone action against the war", Nurcan Kiyak told the Women Against War and Racism forum held in Parramatta on November 1.
Kiyak spoke about the different forms of violence used against women and children during war situation: chemical, psychological and rape. "This war [against Afghanistan] will bring misery, poverty and death", said Kiyak. She condemned the US-British-Australian war against Afghanistan as an unjust war.
Galavesh, a member of the Iranian and Iraqi Independent Women's Group, addressed the question of women, culture and religion. According to Galavesh, women are taught through religion that their role in life is to be a good and obedient wife and mother.
"Racism is central to the war" argued Lisa Macdonald, the Socialist Alliance candidate for the federal seat of Reid. One of the aims of the war is to break solidarity between First and Third World people, Macdonald explained.
Refugee rights activist Paula Abhood from Immigrant Women's Speakout spoke of her despair at recent events: "People felt sympathy and empathy for the people [killed in New York and Washington on September 11] but not the refugees who drowned when their boat sank."
Abhood said this was because the media dehumanised refugees to convince the Australian population that the government's treatment of refugees is correct.
The forum was organised by the International Women's Day Collective to launch preparations for the 2002 Sydney IWD march and rally for women's rights. The first collective meeting will be held at the Ashfield Migrant Resource Centre, Level 3, 6 Holden Street, on November 12, 6.30pm. For more information contact Kim on 0407 114 762.
From Green Left Weekly, November 7, 2001.
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