The Nobel Women's Initiative was established in 2006 by sister Nobel Peace Prize laureates Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Betty Williams, and Jody Williams. These women—representing North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa-bring together their extraordinary experiences in a united effort for peace with justice and equality. Their goal is to meaningfully contribute to building peace by working together with women around the world. Please visit them online to learn more about their work: www.nobelwomensinitiative.org.
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This column is provided by The Nobel Women's Initiative
Nuclear weapons are not like other weapons - there is no other weapon that can kill hundreds of millions of people in a few hours and bring about the end of human civilization. Fifty of today’s nuclear weapons could kill 200 million people. The 27,000 nuclear weapons in existence are illegal, immoral and genocidal; they can destroy our cities, health, water catchments and our food chain, and they routinely deplete funds and attention from achieving human security. ~ International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)
ICAN is a new campaign that focuses on the roots of the nuclear weapons problem. ICAN's mission is to bring together health professionals, mayors, lawyers, parliamentarians and environmental and human rights advocates to work together to build a truly global, coordinated nuclear disarmament network with the aim of a treaty to ban the development, possession and use of these weapons.
Click here to sign ICAN’s petition for a nuclear free world and learn other ways to take action to ban nuclear weapons.
In February 2007 the Oslo Conference on Cluster Munitions achieved widespread support for establishing a historic process to develop, negotiate and conclude a new international treaty rejecting the use of cluster munitions and dealing with their devastating effects. Cluster munitions are unreliable and inaccurate weapons that have killed and injured civilians for 40 years. When cluster munitions are dropped they cover a wide area and many of the submunitions inside each cluster bomb fail to explode, remaining on the ground to function like a landmine. “The presence of such unexploded submunitions puts lives and livelihoods at risk for a long time after a conflict.”
~ Cluster Munition Campaign
A series of meetings to negotiate this new international treaty has begun, with the goal of concluding a treaty by the end of 2008. The Cluster Munition Campaign is leading an international movement urging states to commit to the treaty process.
To find out where your country stands or send your government a message urging them to support the new treaty, follow this link. If you live in Canada, sign the Mines Action Canada petition.
In 1997 the International Campaign to Ban Landmines dramatically achieved its goal of an international treaty banning antipersonnel landmines. However, landmines are still being planted today and minefields dating back decades continue to lie in wait of innocent victims. Vast stockpiles of landmines remain in warehouses around the world and a handful of countries still produce the weapon. Landmines are inhumane, kill indiscriminately, and have stolen lives, limbs, and livelihoods. ~ International Campaign to Ban Landmines
Find out ten things you can do to build a mine-free world!
"Thousands of people are killed, injured, raped, and forced to flee from their homes as a result of the unregulated global arms trade. The Control Arms campaign is calling for an international, legally-binding Arms Trade Treaty to ease the suffering caused by irresponsible weapons transfers."
~Control Arms, a joint initiative of Oxfam, IANSA, and Amnesty International
Join the Control Arms visual "Million Faces" petition by posting your image in support of a small arms treaty or find more information about events in your area by joining the global campaign.
Women Laureates press Ban Ki Moon for release of Aung San Suu Kyi, and pressure on China
Visit the Nobel Women's Initiative Action Alerts section
for more alerts and ways to take action.
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The Nobel Women's Initiative was established in 2006 by sister Nobel Peace Laureates Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan Maguire. We six women -- representing North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa -- have decided to bring together our extraordinary experiences in a united effort for peace with justice and equality.
Only 12 women in its more than 100 year history have been recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Peace Prize is a great honor, but it is also a great responsibility. It is this sense of responsibility that has compelled us to create the Nobel Women’s Initiative to help strengthen work being done in support of women's rights around the world - work often carried out in the shadows with little recognition.
We believe that peace is much more than the absence of armed conflict. Peace is the commitment to equality and justice; a democratic world free of physical, economic, cultural, political, religious, sexual and environmental violence and the constant threat of these forms of violence against women – indeed against all of humanity.
It is the heartfelt mission of the Nobel Women’s Initiative to address and work to prevent the root causes of violence by spotlighting and promoting the efforts of women’s rights activists, researchers and organizations working to advance peace, justice and equality. By sharing a platform with these women, the NWI will spotlight their tireless work to prevent violence against women. By helping to advance the cause of women, we believe we advance all of humanity.
United by our desire to combat all forms of violence against women in all circumstances, we also recognize that specific issues for women vary around the world. One element of our work will be to sponsor international meetings of women every two years -- in a different region of the world -- to highlight issues of concern to women there. The objective of these meetings is to underscore our commonalities and differences by providing inclusive and energizing forums that ensure meaningful dialogue and networking by women’s rights activists around the world -- but with a view to action.
It is our commitment to action that brings us together. Therefore, our meetings will be linked with concrete work in the target region leading up to the conference, along with post-conference plans of action to address the issues addressed at the conference. In this way, the Nobel Women’s Initiative will support meaningful work on the ground.
We believe profoundly in the sharing of information and ideas. By networking and working together rather than in competition, we enhance the work of all. The Nobel Women’s Initiative is committed to supplementing and enhancing existing work and is determined to avoid duplicating the work of others. We want to open new ground for discussion, debate and change.
We hope you share our excitement about the potential of the Nobel Women’s Initiative to meaningfully contribute to building peace with justice and equality by working together with women around the world.
For more information, visit www.nobelwomensinitiative.org