DAWN @ the Women's March in Rio on June 18th
On 18th June, the DAWN team at Rio joined the Women's March in the middle of Rio de Janeiro City. Despite very hot weather and hectic coverage of the Peoples Forum and Rio Centro, women from all over the world attending the Rio+20 conference, joined by local and international groups came out in huge numbers to celebrate their solidarity and reaffirm their commitment to women's human rights. There was a very strong feminist presence and an overall focus on integrating women's rights with sustainable development concerns. Among the colourful marchers there were drummers, dancers, posters, music and singing...
Nicole Bidegain stood on top of a huge multi-coloured bus pasted with messages of gender, economic and ecological justice and said, "We are here with DAWN just as we were here 20 years ago to bring into the debate alternatives to achieve gender, economic, ecological and erotic justice while resisting the financialization of nature and the cooption of the UN by corporate power".
We are a group of South feminists from Asia, Africa, Pacific and Latin America who are joining the Brazilian feminist movements in this struggle.
Monica Novillo from Bolivia pointed out that, "Women are watching governments commitments. We hope to move forward in order to achieve a truly sustainable development".
Anita Nayar of India commented that, “the women’s march was a fantastic contrast from the cold and clinical atmosphere of the Rio+20 negotiations. Full of fun feminist energy and creative political chants including ‘Machos watch out, Latin America will be all feminists!’”
Hibist Kassa said, "Women in different social movements are angry about the ongoing economic and climate crisis and how corporations are being strengthened by the green economy framework that does nothing except placing profits before people and the survival of the planet itself. In Africa, we are faced with droughts and a food crisis and we are demanding an alternative to the current system. "
Noelene Nabulivou from Fiji said, “We are not here to ask for rights, we are here as women from across the economic South to demand our gender, economic and ecological rights for all. Without it, a sustainable future is not possible for this planet."
After the march, Sophea Chrek spoke about her work and the importance of solidarity from other women's groups, "The case of the human rights, women rights' violation in Cambodia specifically the 15 Cambodian land rights defenders (14 of them are women) who are jailed up to two years is an example of the failure of the current development model. I call for immediate action from all related governments and the United Nations to take serious action on this serious women’s rights violation! The sustainable development policy must put the human rights, women’s rights in it central of it policy! I urge and call to our friends, feminist and activists around the world to join us act in support to the children and the husbands of all Boeung Kak Lake women who peacefully demand the release of the 15."
As Romyen Kosaikanont stessed, “the rights for development are the rights for women and people should be at the centre of sustainable development.”
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