Bruna Nota - Voice of Women 
143 DeForest Road - Toronto - ON - M6S 1J7
Tel/Fax (416) 760-8200 - E-mail: bruna@web.apc.org

Dear Peace Friends, 

RE: PLATFORM FOR ACTION CANADIAN PEACE CHAPTER

The 4th UN World Conference on Women (WCW) held in Beijing in 
September 1995 produced a Platform For Action (PFA) and a final 
declaration which commit the participating governments to a number 
of actions to advance and improve the lot of women in the world. 

A popularized, priorized and operationalized summary of the Platform 
for Action will be published in time for the 1996 International Women 
Day (8 March). The purpose of this publication is to provide a simple, 
accessible document for individuals and groups to use for their own 
education and for lobbying and advocacy. It will be an instrument to 
help us all keep our governments accountable to honour the moral 
commitments they have deckared, and to implement concrete actions so 
that the work started in Beijing will bear fruit.

For your information, and maybe diffusion or publication, I attach the 
PEACE preliminary chapter. It was compiled with the input of a 
number of groups and individuals from across Canada collected and 
collated by Voice of Women as the lead group for Peace. You may 
find your  organization featured as one of the resources in the area of 
PEACE, I hope correctly.


Thank you, in Peace


Bruna Nota

PRIORITIES FOR ACTION IN THE AREA OF PEACE 

Peace was one of the overarching themes of the Beijing conference. 
Without peace, there can be no equality or development. Canada is not 
at war, but we experience the effects of militarism with patriarchal 
structures, spending cuts to social programmes while military 
expenditures continue, the health and environmental effects of nuclear 
testing and power; and with the violence pervading our society. The 
war industry and the war establishment are among the most 
prosperous segments of our society. This section links some of these 
issues locally and internationally, and invites you to get involved. Five 
area are central to developing a more wholesome Canada and to 
responding to the needs of Canadian women.

1.	WORK TOWARDS COMPLETE AND GENERAL 
DISARMAMENT
2.	ADVANCE MILITARY CONVERSION AND REDUCE  
MILITARY SPENDING
3.	ASSIST REFUGEE WOMEN.
4.	FOSTER A CULTURE OF PEACE
5.	INCREASE THE PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN 

The Platform for Action (PFA) does not set a time table nor clear 
mechanisms to implement and monitor the achievement of the desired 
goals. We must get our government to work with Canadian NGOs to 
fill this gap and to develop a concrete action plan.

1.	WORK TOWARDS COMPLETE AND GENERAL 
DISARMAMENT

The PFA commits governments to   "...work actively towards general 
and complete  disarmament under strict and effective international 
control..." art28., (143(f)i); "...support negotiations on the conclusion, 
without delay, of a universal and multilateral and effectively verifiable 
comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty... nuclear disarmament and the 
prevention of the proliferation of nuclear weapons in all its aspects;"
art 
28.,(143 (f)ii) "...adopt a moratorium on the export of anti-personnel 
land mines..."(143(e)v)

Threats related to the arms race and to the possibility of a nuclear war 
remain high. Vast arsenals of all types of weapons remain. We must 
provide our government with the political motivation to work towards 
disarmament by taking firm positions on its policies and actions in 
regard to disarmament.
Canada is the seventh largest arms exporter in the world and the largest 
exporter of uranium to countries which have nuclear weapons. About 
half of the 45 governments that receive Canadian military equipment 
are either at war or use extreme forms of repression. Moreover, with no 
parliamentary scrutiny of any kind, sixty-eight percent of our military 
exports go to the United States where they have been used in US 
covert actions, overt wars and invasions worldwide, and from where  
they are exported all over the world.
Land mines continue to be a major cause of injury and death of 
civilians, with 100 million land mines scattered in 64 countries; 2-5 
million more are laid each year. Landmines have killed over one and a 
half million children and permanently disabled over four million 
people. Canada has not signed the UN initiated moratorium on land 
mines.
Canada is the testing ground for other countries' weapons. 
The Canadian taxpayers directly subsidize military industries, 
and maintain a large military establishment.
The military is the single largest polluter and waster of resources in the 
world.  Worldwide, the military contributes greatly to acid rain, ozone 
depletion, climate change, forest destruction, desertification and 
increased radiation exposure.

 - Get involved in the Campaign to Ban Land Mines! The Mines Action 
Canada Coalition (MAC) is demanding that Canada ban the 
production, export or use of mines. Contact MAC c/o PGS, 170A Booth 
St., Ottawa, ON, K1R 7W1; Tel (613) 233-1982; Fax 233-9028; e-mail 
cppccli@web.apc.org; or Project Ploughshares, Institute of Peace and 
Conflict Studies, Conrad Grebel College, Waterloo, Ont. N2L 3G6 
(519) 888-6541, Fax 888-6541.
 - Protest all Testing related to nuclear weapons. Lobby the government 
to stop the mining and export of uranium and to sign the 
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty ! Write to your MP, the Prime 
Minister, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs at: House of  Commons, 
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A6. Contact: Voice of Women (VOW) 736 
Bathurst St., Toronto M5S 2R4 Tel: (416) 537-9343 Fax: 
531-6214; or Campaign for Nuclear Phase-Out, 1 Nicholas St., Suite 
620, Ottawa ON K1N 1B7 Tel. (613) 789-3634 Fax 241-2292.
-  Protest militarism and all violence!  Organize your own group. 
Women in Black is a movement that has inspired groups of women 
opposed to war all over the world to stand in silent vigil for an hour in 
a public area once a week, wearing black to visibly protest the violence 
of war, and all forms of violence and all actions contributing to war 
and oppression in society.
-  Protest military trade fairs! Here are two examples of the promotion 
of war tools, promoted and subsidized by our tax money and addresses 
of groups opposing them: 
-	The Canadian Defence Preparedness Association (CDPA) 
is the corporate voice of Canada military industrial complex and holds 
regular conferences and trade shows in Ottawa. Contact: Coalition to 
Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT) 489 Metcalfe St. Ottawa, ON, K1S 
3N7, Tel: (613) 231-3076, Fax 231-2614;
-	The annual Abbotsford International Air show, is the 
largest in North America. This three day aerial display of deadly 
warfare presents war as entertainment and is coupled with a military 
trade show. Contact: David Thiessen, 31-3120 Tretheweye St., 
Abbotsford BC V2T 4H2 tel. (604) 850-1462

2.	ADVANCE MILITARY CONVERSION AND REDUCE  
MILITARY SPENDING

"Increase and hasten...the conversion of military  resources and related 
industries to development and peaceful purposes..." (143a) "Undertake 
to explore new ways of generating new public and private financial 
resources... through the appropriate reduction of excessive military 
expenditures..." (143b)  "...Governments should reduce...excessive 
military expenditures and investments for arms production and 
acquisition..." (349); 

Militarism and the arms trade contributes to misery abroad,and has 
adverse effects in Canada, as money is spent on the military and related 
industries. The military budget grew by 35% in real terms between 
1980-81 and 1993-94 to reach $ 12.3 billion annually (over 1.4 million 
per hour in Canada). This is at a time when valued social programmes 
are being cut and many Canadians are living in poverty. 
According to a 1993 Gallup poll, 54% of Canadians want Canada to 
cut its military spending by at least 10% and 23% want a 50% cut.

-  propose alternatives to Canada's military spending! Cutting back on 
military spending will benefit the economy. Women know how 
government money could be better spent - on social programmes, job 
creation, environmentally sound development and campaigns to 
end violence in our communities. Women have created "Women's 
Budgets" which reallocate government military spending.  These 
budgets are a useful educational and lobbying tool and show a realistic 
alternative.  A Canadian Women's Budget has been produced by the 
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) 
P.O. Box 4781 Stn E, Ottawa K1S 5H9. Tel: (613) 253-6395.

- work for conversion in your community!. The Department of National 
Defence owns 33 000 buildings. Are there some in your community 
which could be put to better use?  A coalition of groups on Vancouver 
Island is working to convert the naval base at Nanoose Bay to 
civilian use. For ideas, contact the Nanoose Conversion Campaign, #2 -
185 Commercial St. Nanaimo, BC V9R 5G3.

- join the Campaign for the Innu and the Earth! Stop the low-level 
flights for which there is no clear military rationale and hasten the 
conversion of the base at Goose Bay. Contact: Innu Nation, P.O. Box 
119, Sheshatshit, Nitassinan, Labrador, NF A0P 1M0  or International 
Campaign for the Innu and the Earth, 602 Markham St., Toronto, ON 
M6G 2L8.

-  refuse to pay for Canada's military! - Be a fiscal Conscientious 
Objector, withhold 7% of your income tax bill (the percentage of 
present Canadian military spending) and deposit it in a Peace Tax 
Trust Fund.  Contact: Conscience Canada, Box 8601, Victoria Central 
Post Office, Victoria, BC, V8W 3S2, Tel (604) 384-5532, Fax 
(604) 383-9155 (Attn: CC), e-mail: wd028@freenet.victoria.bc.ca 

-  invest your savings in ethical funds! Enquire at your local bank or 
credit union about investments which do not support military 
industries.

3.	ASSIST REFUGEE WOMEN

Our government has committed to "ensure equal access and equal 
treatment of women and men in refugee determination procedures and 
the granting of asylum... and consider recognizing as refugees those 
women whose claim to refugee status is based upon the well-founded 
fear of persecution . . . through sexual violence or other gender-related 
persecution. . . " (147h) 

We need to ensure that Canada's world leading guidelines on women 
fleeing "gender-based" persecution (that is violence or discrimination 
faced by women simply because they are women) become binding on 
the refugee determination boards. Canada must encourage women 
refugees to make a claim here and ensure that they are treated equally 
with male refugee claimants. In 1992, two thirds of accepted claimants 
were male.
 lobby to change Canadian refugee policy! Canada should accept 
refugee women in proportion to their numbers; it should make its new 
guidelines enforceable in all hearings and in Canadian consulates. 
Often a refugee woman's status is tied to that of her husband, meaning 
she may be forced to stay in a violent relationship to avoid deportation.  
Contact your MP, or the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to 
share your concerns. 
 Help extend services to refugee women. Support organizations 
working with refugees and other newcomers to Canada. Encourage and 
assist agencies in your community which help women in violent 
situations to reach out to refugee and immigrant communities.  If you 
speak another language, you may want to assist these organizations by 
translating their material, or by interpreting for their clients.

Go to your public library, or contact your municipality to find 
which services are offered in your area and get involved!

4.	FOSTER A CULTURE OF PEACE

Our government  has committed to "promote peaceful conflict 
resolution and peace, reconciliation and tolerance through education, 
training, community actions and youth exchange programmes, in 
particular for young women" (143a)  and to: "consider establishing 
educational programmes for girls and boys to foster a culture of 
peace, focusing on conflict resolution by non-violent means and the 
promotion of tolerance." (143d)  and to "promote education . . . in  
human rights and international humanitarian law for members of the 
national security and armed forces, including those assigned to United 
National peacekeeping operations. . . " (233h)

The ill-effects of militarism extend beyond the military and arms 
traders to society at large, making violence an acceptable method of 
solving problems, whether internationally, in our communities, or in 
our homes. We need to develop ways to deal with stress, conflict and 
competition, and work towards equality, non-violent conflict resolution, 
cultural and racial understanding.  

-  Support Peace Education  in Schools. School boards should develop 
peace education curriculae. Peace education teaches conflict- resolution 
and anti-racism in schools.  One such programme is the Shelter Bay 
Public School in Meadowvale, ON. Get involved in starting one at your 
child's school!   Talk to your child's teacher, PTA, principal or trustees 
and check your local library for resources discussing conflict resolution 
for kids. We recommend  "Learning the Skills of Peacemaking" by 
Naomi Drew.

-  Support Peace Education for Adults! Look for programmes in your 
community  which help adults find alternatives to violence. The Society 
of Friends (Quakers) run the Alternatives to Violence Project which is a 
multi-cultural volunteer project dedicated to reducing interpersonal 
violence in our society and assisting people to resolve conflict 
creatively.  Contact: Alternatives to Violence Project Box 8601, 
Victoria Central Post Office, Victoria, BC V8W 3S2 Tel (604) 384-
5532 to find out more, or: The Network: Interaction For Conflict 
Resolution, 298, Frederick Street, Kitchener, ON N2H 2N5 Tel (519) 
744-6739 Fax 744-3960  

-  Start a campaign in your community against war toys! War toys teach 
that violence is a game and that war is fun. Write to companies which 
produce violent toys and boycott their products.  Distribute leaflets at 
toy stores and malls to educate other parents about the harmful effects 
of war toys.  Organize a fair of "alternative" toys modelling 
cooperation, creativity and non-violence.  Contact Voice of Women 
(address above).
 
- Work to end violence in the media! Call the TV Violence phone line 
1-900-451-3664 (it costs $3.00!) or contact the Canadian Radio 
Television and Telecommunications Commission Attention: Allan 
Darling, secretary-general, CRTC, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0N2 with specific 
complaints. Protest to TV stations, and to businesses that sponsor them, 
about violent shows. Contact: Canadians Concerned about Violence in 
Entertainment (C-Cave) c/o 308 Ash St., Whitby, ON, L1N 4B8, Tel: 
(905) 430-3815.	

-  Lobby the Canadian Government and the United Nations to provide 
extensive peace training to transform peacekeeping operations.   
Peacekeepers are members of the military, who are trained to kill, not 
to resolve conflicts in a non-violent manner.  Reports of UN 
Peacekeepers' misconduct are numerous and include blatant human 
rights abuses. Lobby for the:
 -	establishment of a special UN unit for third party conflict 
resolution non-military, non-violent and balanced between women and 
men; 
-	creation of an international institution for global peace 
training and alternatives to military peacekeeping. 

5.	INCREASE THE PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN

In the PFA, governments commit themselves to "work towards a gender 
balance in all government bodies and committees, in the judiciary and 
in public administration positions  at all decision-making levels" (190 
a) and to "strengthen the role of women and ensure equal 
representation of women at all decision-making levels in national and 
international institutions which may make or influence policy  . . . 
related to peace-keeping, preventative diplomacy and related activities 
and in all stages of peace mediation and negotiations. . " (144c)

The military has always been men's domain, but as civilian
casualties increase, and money is diverted from social programmes, 
women are bearing the brunt of militarism. It is vital that informed and 
progressive women are included in decision-making in all military 
matters, contributing women's values and perspectives. We need 30 to 
35% women to influence decision-making body to reflect women's 
perspective. Governments must consider the needs and concerns of 
women when drafting any new policies.
 Pressure government to actively recruit women!  Involvement of 
women in all levels of government is needed to ensure gender sensitive 
policies. Encourage women to run for office and ask political parties 
what they do to recruit and support women to get involved in 
decision-making positions.  There are lists of women experts in various 
fields. One such directory is "Femmes S'en Melent / Making a World of 
Difference: A Directory of Women in Canada Specializing in Global 
Issues".  Contact CRIAW at 151 Slater St., Ste 408, Ottawa Canada 
K1P 5H3; Tel: (613) 563-2550; Fax 563-8658. See "Women in Politics 
and Decision-Making in Late Twentieth Century" A UN Study, 
Martinus Nijhoff, pub. 1992
 Monitor government policies!  Are governments (local, provincial and 
national) keeping the needs of women in mind when drafting policies?  
Are women's needs and concerns on the agenda? If not, challenge them 
on it. Ask your elected government representatives what they are doing 
to address women's specific concerns on various issues in their policies.

FOR THE WHOLE PLATFORM:
Monitor the implementation of the PFA! The Canadian government 
should convene interested NGOs annually to determine and update 
strategies to implement the PFA in Canada and in the UN system.
Representatives from Lead Groups (at least) should be funded by the 
Canadian Government to attend meetings of C.S.W. for the purpose of 
monitoring national and global review of the PFA and other related 
work.

VOW- Lead Group for Peace	p. 7	18 Dec 1995
Bruna Nota 


PS 
We got over 1800 signatures to the petition initiated by Voice of 
Women. Thank you for your help on it. It will be presented to the 
House by Jean Augustin (MP) in February. We will try get some press 
coverage for it as soon as we know the date. In the mean time we 
wanted to let you know. You may want to feature this in your 
publication as well. Thanks again. The petition is reproduced here for 
your reference.

PETITION
TO THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, IN PARLIAMENT ASSEMBLED

We, the undersigned residents of Canada, draw the attention of the 
House to the following:

THAT   Voice of Women for Peace (VOW) since 1960, has expressed 
its opposition to war and violence and has worked for a world 
free of fear, a world in which peoples basic needs are met, in 
which peace, justice and a safe environment are attainable 
goals, 
THAT  Canada is the ninth largest military producer in the world and 
ranks twelfth in military exports,
THAT  we are concerned about Canadas continuing export of 
armaments and military equipment, 
THAT  the recent agreement for a possible sale of Candu reactors and 
the concomitant increased nuclear expertise and technology to 
China, Mexico and Lithuania will increase the possibility of 
nuclear war, in spite of statements to the contrary, and
THAT  these sales will certainly increase nuclear pollution and divert 
funds from needed education and health programs and add to 
the burden of nuclear contamination on the hearth.

THEREFORE, THE UNDERSIGNED, YOUR PETITIONERS, CALL 
UPON PARLIAMENT TO DISCONTINUE ALL NUCLEAR AND 
MILITARY TRADE AGREEMENTS AND REPLACE 
EMPLOYMENT IN DEFENCE PROJECTS WITH WORK WHICH 
WILL ADEQUATELY RESPOND TO CIVILIAN NEEDS


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