Within the framework of International Conscientious Objectors' Day, the antimilitarist women’s group from MOC-Paraguay presented the third group of women objectors. Around 25 women refused to participate in military service and, above all, rejected the armed forces as an institution representing the patriarchal culture. This act also seeks to demonstrate how the push for integration of women into the official institutional framework is actually being rejected by a significant sector of society. Please find below the protest as expressed by our colleagues.
“Because equality is not merely a question of space”
So as to mark International Conscientious Objectors' Day, the antimilitarist women of MOC, in our third presentation, declare ourselves as conscientious objectors to a system represented by a culture of economic, social and cultural oppression of men against men and women against women.
We object to occupying spaces which do not create positive alternatives for the promotion of female participation, given that the inclusion of women in the military is merely used as a justification for an increase in the budget of an institution whose only role in our country is to corrupt and steal.
We therefore state that militarism is not only a problem relating to gender. It is a social problem which implies the perpetuation of a whole set of values which are vertical and authoritarian in nature. This would therefore represent a setback in our struggle for a demilitarised and democratic society.
We do not believe in the armed forces as an institution, given that they are based on violence and a patriarchal culture, and we therefore refuse to be a part of this structure.
Conscientious objection is a universal right. We are objectors, not objects.
Antimilitarist Women from the Conscientious Objectors Movement of Paraguay (25 May 2002)
Thanks to Francesca Denley for translation from Spanish to English