Celebrating Women Conscientious Objectors

War Resisters' International Appeal, April 2010

Dear friend and supporter of War Resisters' International,

The history of anti-war and peace movements is peppered with the names of women, and throughout the 20th century, feminist thinkers and activists were deepening the critique militarism. Since the 1970s, WRI has played a useful role in highlighting the connections between feminism and nonviolence, militarism and patriarchy, but there has always been one gap. Women have initiated movements against military service right up to the present time, but because they themselves have not usually been conscripted for combat duty, women conscientious objectors to military service have largely remained “hidden from history”.

WRI's next publication seeks to rectify this neglect. As a regular supporter of WRI, you might well have received reports about what happens to women refusing conscription in Eritrea and Israel. If you receive the Broken Rifle, you will be also aware that the theme of this year's International Conscientious Objection Day (15 May) is Gender and Militarism, with a focal event in Paraguay. Now, with this appeal, we also proudly announce the publication of our new book – Women Conscientious Objectors – An Anthology.

Women Conscientious Objectors - An Anthology,
edited by Ellen Elster & Majken Jul Sørensen, preface by Cynthia Enloe, ISBN 978-0-903517-22-5, £8.00 plus postage, Order online at /node/9873" data-align="right" data-caption="Women Conscientious Objectors - An Anthology,
edited by Ellen Elster & Majken Jul Sørensen, preface by Cynthia Enloe, ISBN 978-0-903517-22-5, £8.00 plus postage, Order online at /node/9873" data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="{"responsive_image_style":"body_inline_1_3","image_link":""}" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="bf2e5e60-df83-475e-a1d8-d71150482aa2" title="">
Cynthia Cockburn of London Women in Black writes: "This anthology is much, much more than a mere round-up of experience of women in the movement for men's conscientious objection to obligatory military service. It is more, even, than an account of women's struggle against their own conscription. For what we see here is women, at different moments, in one country after another, creating for themselves the concept, analysis and practice of a distinctive feminist antimilitarism. Starting from a focus on soldiering, they soon notice that militarisation is not just the existence of armies. It penetrates and deforms daily life in myriad ways. All of us are militarised, all of us can be conscientious objectors. As Ferda Ülker of Turkey puts it in her declaration, 'As much as militarism is determined to affect my life, I am determined to continue my struggle. I reject!'"

For War Resisters' International, the links between patriarchy and militarism are central to understanding and countering the sources of war. Thus, supporting women conscientious objectors, but also working towards changing masculinities and femininities, are an integral part of War Resisters' International's work against militarism and war.

To continue and further develop this work, we ask you kindly to support War Resisters' International and its continued work for a world without war. Please give generously, and/or buy the book.

Thank you!

Andreas Speck
Right to Refuse to Kill Programme Worker

PS: To subscribe to WRI's Broken Rifle e-newsletter, please go to http://lists.wri-irg.org/sympa/info/thebrokenrifle

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