For us as feminists, inequality, injustice, economic interests not serving the needs of the people are interlinked and root causes of war - which WILPF analyses since more than 100 years. „Growing disparity in wealth diminishes our possibilities and the free market with the neoliberal agenda will not solve any of the problems. Our institutions, politicians, parties are all contaminated by money“, I quote Sonia Lokar who recommends as only way out: “issue based cross-cutting coalitions”. That’s what we women have to push for!
Our leading experts, politicians and media are blind when they just talk about crisis, “crisis of globalisation”, of “economy”, of “refugees”, of “democracy” while they mean modernisation, patriotism, new nationalism and exclusion.
We feel united with all of you when we raise our voices against continuous neglecting of the root causes of war. We stigmatise for example Germany arm’s export to Saudi Arabia because they cause massive disaster for Yemeni women, to Peshmerga who sell their weapons on black markets, but we blame also the US who modernise their nuclear arsenal on our territory.
We request to move the money from war to peace! There is a need for our common peace projects, education and training, health and social security, trust building measures and human security in a comprehensive sense. We need considerable investments in economic possibilities for women also through the re-evaluation of care-work.
We women cannot accept shrinking space for civil society because this reduces drastically and primarily our space as agents of change. We request women in peace negotiations on all levels of decision-making, local women’s expertise for early warning and prevention in cross- border and cross-dimensional activities.
Only together we can build the necessary coalitions for real transformative politics.
Your film festival will make a big contribution to this! I wish you success!
Heidi Meinzolt is member of the International board of Women’s international league for peace and freedom/WILPF for Europe. In Germany, she is a founding member of the “Women’s security Council” promoting the implementation of UNSCR1325, and coordinates since 2016 the Working group on women/gender issues in the Civic Solidarity Platform/CSP of the OSCE. Her main focus is on Human security, the respect of women’s rights and peace through prevention, non-violent conflict solutions with specific attention to the role of women in peace processes and political developments.