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Organization: Australian Federation of University Women
The following information may be cited or quoted as long as the source is accurately mentioned and the words are not taken out of context.
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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 Australians

* 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:

[i] 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 justice.

* 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 societies.

* 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 Workshops.

* 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 Triennial Conference.

* 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;

iii. The extent to which teacher training prepared teachers to teach indigenous studies and be aware of the special needs of indigenous students.

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
Australia 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.

* 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 (South Australia).

* 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?

AFUW 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
AFUW 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

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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Organization: Australian Federation of University Women

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