|Posted: April 13 2005,17:21
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PROGRESS: Has your organization seen
progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of
action and in your constituency during the first half of the Decade?
See actions below.
OBSTACLES: What are the most important obstacles that have prevented progress?
Identification of Obstacles preventing progress with actions undertaken by AFUW:
The current Australian Government is reluctant to take action on many areas where AFUW feels it should:
* Not signing or taking action on UN protocols
* A reluctance to surrender any portion of national sovereignty on law-making and judicial procedures
* A reluctance to be judged and lacking in international standards on human rights
* A refusal to sign CEDAW
* Its attitude to international comments on conditions for Indigenous Australians
* Its attitude to refugees
* A political exploitation of ideas of integrity of national boundaries in relation to asylum seekers
A political exploitation of the fear of terrorism since September 2001
and attempting to justify a reduction of human rights and freedom of
* A reluctance to spend 'serious money' on 'women's
issues' as a residue of patriarchal attitudes. These attitudes
are also seen to apply to issues of violence against women - blaming
the victim of rape or domestic violence.
ACTIONS: What actions have been
undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and
nonviolence during the first half of the Decade?
* At the 31st AFUW Triennial Conference reaffirmed their commitment to:
Support Peace Studies in educational curricula and recommended that
AFUW conduct an audit of Peace and Conflict Resolution courses offered
in tertiary institutions and
[ii] Urge State and Federal
Ministers and Vice Chancellors to provide financial and academic
support for the continuation and extension of such courses.
The Convener of the AFUW Peace Standing Committee has been awarded a
life membership of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the
University of Sydney for her work and commitment to peace and social
* Proposed a resolution at the 28th IFUW Triennial
Conference in 2004 calling on all National Federations and Associations
(NFAs) to support the UN Universal Declaration of Cultural Diversity
and a Culture of Peace by advocating for programmes for primary and
secondary students that countered racism and intolerance and promoted
understanding and harmony within school communities and multi-cultural
* During 2004 the AFUW Council wrote to the
Australian Government protesting the treatment of citizens in Iraq, a
matter that is still being pursued.
* Have recommended that
their state associations develop activities related to conflict
resolution and the promotion of peace at their general meetings.
AFUW conducted Conflict Resolution workshops at the AFUW 2003
Triennial Conference using the IFUW Manual for Conflict Resolution
* Sent a message of support for the World Conference Against Racism (2001)
Provided support for Australian Muslim women following the events of
9/11 along with women from the UN Association of Australia, the Women's
International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and the Victorian
Immigrant and Refugee Women's Coalition.
* Have followed up with
actions on bullying in schools the resolution moved by AFUW on Conflict
Resolution for Young Children proposed by AFUW at the 2001 IFUW
* AFUW South Australia has been working
with the Women's legal Services preparing a submission on the treatment
of indigenous women in prison
* Have been involved in the
national enquiry into Children in Immigration Detention Centres.
Although progress has been made on this issue the AFUW is
following it up with "Where to from now?"
* Is focusing on
education as a contribution to "Reconciliation" as a means of
addressing the tensions and conflict regarding indigenous Australians.
AFUW has undertaken a Research and Advocacy Project on
i. The support available within the school system to indigenous secondary school students;
ii. The extent to which indigenous studies are part of the school curriculum;
The extent to which teacher training prepared teachers to teach
indigenous studies and be aware of the special needs of indigenous
Also an extensive survey of financial support available to indigenous students in South Australia has been completed.
* AFUW has undertaken national and international advocacy expressing
- opposition to military resolution of conflict with the potential to increase reliance
- on military force as a means of ensuring security in relation to:
- US Missile Shield programme
- Heavy bombardment of Afghanistan following 9/11
Opposing the Australian government's support for the 'pre-emptive
strike' against Iraq (2003) and endorsing the European Women's League's
Declaration Against War.
- Resolution on Control of Small Arms for 2004 IFUW Triennial Conference.
Worked with the Canadian Federation of University Women to move a
resolution at the 28th IFUW Conference (2004) calling on all NFAs to
urge their governments to support the implementation of Resolution 1325
and has followed this up by being involved in the establishment of a
website www.1325australia.org.au which highlights the work of NGOs on this Security Council resolution.
* Has undertaken international action regarding:
- Gender equity in the reconstruction of East Timor;
- A decision by the Minister of Immigration that East Timorese residing in
under temporary refugee protection must return to East Timor asking
that this not be enforced. The government proposal was abandoned.
- The replacement
of textbooks and school materials for Fiji schools following the
political crisis in Fiji in 2001.
- The presence of women at the Negotiation Table in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
- Support for invited non-military peace-keeping operations in the Solomon Islands
- Full representation of Iraqi Women in re-building post-war Iraq, citing Resolution 1325.
The detention, and possible beating and torture of Iranian teachers
following their participation in non-violent political demonstrations.
Has undertaken national advocacy and actions re rights of women and
girls enjoy their human rights in peace and security by urging:
The ratification of outstanding protocols to the Convention on the
Rights of the Child. When the Protocol on Child Prostitution and
Sexual Exploitation of Children and the ILO Convention on Child Labour
and the Protocol on Children in Armed Conflict were signed letters of
congratulation were sent to the relevant ministers.
* The Australian Government to sign the Optional Protocol to CEDAW.
The Australian Government. to pursue and enforce the Protocol to
Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and
Children which supplements the UN Convention Against Transnational
Organized Crime. AFUW has been pleased to see a package of
measures that included treating women detected as being in Australia as
a result of trafficking primarily as victims rather than illegal
immigrants. There is still some dissatisfaction with the level of
protection offered and AFUW continues to call on the govt for more
* Action and support for programmes to ensure that teen parents complete their education (Western Australia and Victoria).
The development of a workable definition of 'workplace bullying' to use
in enacting legislation for people who are subjected to such behaviour
* The Australian Government and opposition
members to end mandatory detention of asylum seekers, protesting the
harshness of conditions imposed on them, at the denial of education of
children in detention and the harshness of the terms of 'temporary
protection' visas granted to those accorded refugee status.
ADVICE: What advice would you like to
give to the Secretary-General and the General Assembly to promote a
culture of peace and nonviolence during the second half of the Decade?
believes that it is necessary to continue to push the Australian govt.
on the issues that they are working on to promote a culture of peace
and non-violence in the second half of the decade.
PARTNERSHIPS: What partnerships and
networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the
global movement for a culture of peace?
AFUW Partnerships and Networks
has worked in partnership with other IFUW NFAs, namely the Canadian
Federation of University Women, the New Zealand Federation of Graduate
Women. In addition they have worked with the United Nations
Association of Australia, the Women's International League for Peace
and Freedom (WILPF), the Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women's
Coalition, the Alola Foundation, the Australian Volunteers Abroad
programme, Rotary International.
PLANS: What new engagements are
planned by your organization to promote a culture of peace and
nonviolence in the second half of the Decade (2005-2010)?
AFUW Future plans:
The on-going work on Indigenous Education along with on-going work on the human rights of refugees.
Postal address of organization
LPO Box 8334
Australian National University
CANBERRA ACT 2601
E-mail address of organization
Website address of organization
Highest priority action domain of a culture of peace
International Peace and Security and the promotion of Conflict Resolution
Second priority action domain of a culture of peace
Education for a Culture of Peace and Human Rights
Highest priority country of action (or international)
Second priority country of action (or international)
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