Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
East Bay and San Francisco Branches
Work to Advance Peace, Justice and Human Rights
NGO CSW67 AND THE PRACTICUM WITH YOUNG WOMEN
Report Back by Barbara Nielsen
Barbara gave us a short history of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). She was one of the WILPF-US delegates this year and spent time at the United Nations building itself (General Assembly building) as well as the United Methodist building across the street from the UN, where many activities also took place. She said there were many public meetings and panels on various topics day and night: Priority CSW67 theme this year was “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.”
Other WILPF-International sections represented also, including a delegation from Ukraine. Many NGOs aka civil society organizations (UN term for them) in attendance, like Red Cross, LWV,… There were four students in the WILPF delegation as part of the yearly Practicum in Advocacy (3 from Boston Univ. and 1 from a FL univ.). Barbara attended a number of sessions with them. She said students were particularly interested in trans-gender people and how they are treated around the world. Barbara said it was an awesome experience for her and she will send us a package of information on the CSW67, including list of NGOs in attendance.
Our branches are hoping to invite one or more of the students involved in the Practicum in Advocacy to share their experiences in New York, and talk about their plans for the future. There is an excellent summary of NGO CSW67, including an interactive handbook and Event recordings.
EARTH DAY 2023, INVEST IN OUR PLANET
Saturday, April 22
from an article by Nancy Price
Co-chair, Earth Democracy Committee
This year’s Earth Day theme “Invest in Our Planet” focuses on engaging governments, institutions, businesses, and the more than one billion citizens who participate annually in Earth Day to do their part – “everyone accounted for, everyone accountable.”
This may be the first Earth Day when so much attention is focused on climate. After the most recent IPCC Synthesized Report for the Sixth Assessment Report was released on March 23, 2023, UN Secretary General António Guterres exclaimed: “The climate time bomb is ticking.”
This IPCC Report issued the warning that we need to keep global warming from exceeding 1.5 degree Celsius and cut GHG emissions by nearly half by 2030. The report emphasized that effective and equitable climate action now could reduce losses and damages for nature and people and create a safer, sustainable world. Should global warming pass 1.5 degrees Celsius, it would be devastating for the Earth’s people and ecosystems. Can we slow down catastrophic global warming, and reduce devastating weather events, rising seas, floods, droughts, food and water insecurity and hunger?
The 2023 campaigns are described at www.earthday.org/earth-day-2023/
BEFORE ENLISTING TABLING AT EAST BAY HIGH SCHOOLS
Our Before Enlisting group, which includes veterans and allies, has had a very successful year talking with students about the realities of the military and military service, and about exciting alternatives for them to consider for their future after high school. We have gone into dozens of classrooms in Oakland and other East Bay schools this school year. We show a documentary, Before You Enlist, which includes interviews with veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, who talk about some of the issues they confronted during and after their military service, including racism, sexism and sexual assault, homophobia, moral injuries, and PTSD. Our vets then talk about their own experiences in the military and answer questions. We also hand out brochures and talk about non-military career and educational opportunities.
Recently, we have also done tabling at Career Days at two high schools, which is an excellent way to engage students one-on-one. We use the Penny Poll, which helps students to think about their priorities before they make decisions that will have a major impact on their lives.
Around the country, we are confronting a lot of pressure by the Pentagon to increase their recruitment numbers. The Georgia National Guard will use phone location tracking to recruit high school children. Federal contract materials outline plans to geofence 67 different public high schools throughout the state and to target phones with recruitment ads. Read the article here.
ENDING THE PRESIDENT’S SOLE AUTHORITY TO START A NUCLEAR WAR
The Union of Concerned Scientists invites you to a virtual discussion next week on how to change US policy to end presidential sole authority and include additional people in any decision to use nuclear weapons—there’s still time to register. How did this system get created? What risks does it create? And how can we change the system to reduce the risk of nuclear war?
Date: Tuesday, April 25
Time: 9:00-10:00 AM
EXPLORE WILPF TODAY
WILPF East Bay, P. O. Box 13083, Oakland, CA 94661
WILPF-SF, P. O. Box 590253, San Francisco, CA 94159
National WILPF www.wilpfus.org
International WILPF: www.wilpf.org