Monday, October 19, 2009

Conference Statement

With the theme “Resistance, Resilience and Respect for Human Rights” [CHinemma', Nina'maolek, yan Inarespetu para Direchon Taotao], the International Women’s Network Against Militarism concluded its 7th International Women’s Conference held in Guam on September 14-19, 2009. Participants from Australia, Belau, Chuuk, Guahan, Hawai’i, Japan, Okinawa, Northern Marianas Islands, Palau, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, South Korea and mainland United States, took notice of the increasing militarization in their countries and its impact on the socio-cultural, political, economic and environmental aspects particularly on women and their communities. Country reports as well as panel presentations showed the pattern of militarization in said countries, as well as in other parts of the world. Some reports also emphasized the relationship between militarism and colonialism and called attention to the negative effects of such relationship.

The US military’s ‘global defense posture” means more military intervention by seeking more access to more territories through “visiting” agreements, basing agreements, expansion of bases and waging both conventional and unconventional wars, thus undermining the sovereignty of peoples, denying them of their right to self-determination and of their patrimony.

Amidst global financial and economic crises that has shaken the whole world and the global superpowers led by the US and aided by its allies in the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia and Japan, military build ups in the region continue. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have claimed thousands of lives especially from the civilian populations, are continuing. Apart from creating a culture of violence that especially affect women, youth and the elderly, environmental impacts have been noted by the participants, contributing significantly to the destruction of indigenous societies and global climate change. War exercises and trainings continue, in the name of the “anti-terrorism” campaigns in many parts of the world, particularly with former colonies in the Asia-Pacific region. We are aware that the legitimate actions against terrorist acts against the civilian populations are necessary, but must not be used as a pretext to justify military interventions that in the end terrorize civilian populations and create a culture of violence.

The US government in its realignment plan is expanding military power in Asia-Pacific, including the relocation plan of 8,000 Marines and their 9,000 dependents from Okinawa to Guahan that would go with building a new military facility in Okinawa. The meeting denounced this military expansion package plan in either place, and is firm in standing in solidarity with the Guahan people. The meeting forwards the following demands:

We ask women of “host” countries to push their governments to send foreign troops back to the US.

We urge the American people especially women to urge the US government for policies that respect the sovereignty of other countries and denounce the continuing wars of aggression and for demilitarization; instead the US government and its superpower allies to rechanneling a big portion of their military budgets towards health programs for its peoples especially women and children, for livelihood programs and secured jobs, and for the general welfare of their citizens.

Stop the expansion of bases in Guahan and other parts of the world!

End all military agreements that support US military hegemony!

Demand US responsibility to clean up the toxic wastes they left behind in the Philippines and Puerto Rico.

Pull out US troops from the Philippines and other countries!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Women's Group Tackles Human Trafficking Issues

Women's group tackles human trafficking issues
By Amritha Alladi
Pacific Daily News
September 15, 2009

Delegates from all over the Pacific discussed the realities of human trafficking yesterday at the 7th Meeting of the International Network of Women Against Militarism, a conference bringing together women from several island-nations -- all of whom have felt the impact of U.S. military bases in their homelands.

Figures released by the Department of Justice show that 14,500 to 17,000 identified human trafficking cases are transported internationally to the United States, and the global figures are estimated to be about 600,000 to 800,000, according to Annie Fukushima, trafficking programs coordinator for Standing Against Global Exploitation.
During yesterday's pre-conference session, Fukushima said those numbers reflect only the known cases, and the real figures are most likely much higher.

Alexis Silverio, executive director for the Guahan Project, added that people who fall into human trafficking are usually promised education or a better life at the new destination, but once they've entered the strange environment, their only option is to stick with the only life they know-- a life of abuse.

He said the number of people being trafficked to or from Guam is unknown because several cases are pending investigation, and those cases haven't entered the court system yet. Guam's cases surface primarily in the massage parlors, he said, and in the back rooms of restaurants and mom-and-pop shops, so it's harder to detect.

'Wake-up call'

One conference attendee, Sister Lou Pangelinan, said a presentation by Philippine representative Aida F. Santos-Maranan made her realize there already is a problem on Guam and that it could potentially worsen with the impending military buildup.
Santos-Maranan said an estimated 40,000 male laborers would be trafficked to Guam from the Philippines and Palau due to the military buildup, and there was "no doubt" the women would follow.

"We need to give a wake-up call to our island that this is happening right in our backyard," Pangelinan said. "We can't help the whole world, but we need to face the reality that it is here."

The conference continues through Saturday, with topics covering military violence against women and girls, the plight of mixed-race Amerasian children abandoned by U.S. military fathers, environmental contamination, cultural degradation and the distortion of local economies.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Letter of Solidarity from Okinawa

Dear Members of the International Women's Network Against Militarism:

The Citizens' Network for Biological Diversity in Okinawa (Okinawa BD) would like to congratulate the 7th International Meeting of the International Women's Network Against Militarism in Guam. We wish your meeting success and hope for future collaboration with your network.

The Okinawa BD is a grassroots organization, established in July 2009 in Okinawa, Japan in anticipation of the 10th Conference of Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP10) in Nagoya in 2010. The Okinawa BD consists of environmental, peace, and human rights NGOs/NPOs and concerned citizens. The main objective of the Okinawa BD is to conserve the biological diversity of Okinawa by emphasizing the importance of the interdependence between the environment, peace, and human rights, which we have learnt from past and present experiences of Okinawa. The experiences of Okinawa resonate with the concerns expressed at the meeting. We have witnessed how the environment of Okinawa has been contaminated and degraded, how human rights have been neglected and abused, and how peace has been disturbed and undermined by the existence of the military bases in Okinawa. In all of this, women and children are put in the most vulnerable positions.

In light of the US Military Realignment Plan, our shared concerns have become more complicated. The relocation plan of 8,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam accompanied by an unprecedented military build-up on Guam has put the people of Guam and Okinawa in extremely difficult positions. While the people of Okinawa welcome relocation of Marines and US military bases from Okinawa we do not want the people of Guam to bear the same burden.

The experiences of Okinawa also reverberate with the hopes raised at the meeting, however. Despite all the adversities, local groups and citizens in Okinawa have been able to withstand and sometimes overcome such adversities. And as your network clearly exemplifies, many of us in Okinawa have been empowered by collaboration with international organizations on the environmental, peace and human rights fronts. Thus, while the US Military Realignment Plan imposes a tremendous challenge for all of us, we together can take this challenge as an opportunity to make our concerns heard and to help create a truly secure natural and social environment.

To this end, dialogue at the grassroots level has to take place and continue with “resistance, resilience, and respects for human rights." We believe, this is exactly what is taking place at the 7th International Meeting of International Women's Network Against Militarism; people who have chosen non-violent paths to secure our life and our world are sharing information, knowledge, and experiences, and are providing understanding, encouragement, and inspiration for each other.

We would like to congratulate you on your meeting and we look forward to hearing about the accomplishments emerging from the meeting.

Sincerely yours,

Hideki Yoshikawa


Citizens' Network for Biological Diversity in Okinawa

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Women Activists Explore a Post-Military Economy

Activists explore post-military economy
Friday, 18 September 2009
Marianas Variety Guam Reporter

PEOPLE will have to work together if they want to sustain an economy after the military. This was emphasized during the fourth day of the 7th Meeting of the International Network of Women Against Militarism at the University of Guam in Mangilao.

The morning a panel focused on the topic “Beyond the Military Economy: Exploring Alternatives for Sustainability.”

Participating were Alma Bulawan of the Buklod Center Philippines, Dr. Hannah Middleton of the Australian Anti-Base Campaign, Dr. Miyume Tanji of Curtin University of Technology in Australia, and Isabella Sumang of Palau.

Each panelist gave a perspective of the impact the military has had on their respective regions.

Bulawan had indicated that when there were bases in the Philippines, businesses were set up to cater to the military as well as prostitution. It appears now that with those bases closed, businesses and the prostitution still remain.

She referred to the Subic Bay and Clark Freeport Zones, which formerly hosted the U.S. Naval Base and the Air Force Base and have each seen the creation and development of businesses.

Despite the conversion of the old bases, Bulawan said the Philippines continues to face economic challenges.

As for Australia, Middleton explained how millions of Australian dollars are spent on military defense and other armed forces programs. A recent poll showed that 70 percent of Australians do not want any more money spent on the military.

She added that the Australians believe the money should go on helping the environment, improving hospitals and even to create jobs.

“We expect one million Australians will be unemployed in 2010, money should be spent to help them find jobs,” she said.

During the open forum, several concerns were brought up including a question on whether they felt that the threat of an invasion and war is real here in Micronesia.

Sumang responded that it could be the case especially when there is a military presence. “You have that threat hanging over your head,” she said.

Middleton offered another perspective saying that the threat is an excuse to keep military bases in the region.

“It’s not real,” she pointed out.

The women’s conference concludes today at the Carmel on the Hill Retreat Center in Malojloj or the former Carmelite Convent.

Participants are expected to discuss Human Trafficking and Prostitution and gather together in group meetings to develop short term and long term goals.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Women's Conference Against Militarism Held

Click Here to View the Conference Schedule


Women's conference against militarism held
By Heather Hauswirth
Published Sep 14, 2009

The 7th meeting of the International Network of Women Against Militarism began today. Women from all around the region are on island to attend the weeklong event with the theme of "Resistance, Resilience, and Respect for Human Rights."

"We are very much concerned that women are still seen as a commodity," said Philippine delegate Gorazon Requizo. As the island prepares for the impending military buildup, participants attending this week's conference say we can expect to see more human trafficking. Requizo, a native of the PI, provided insight as she grew up near the Olongapo Province that once hosted one of the largest United States military installations.

"We are advising since there will be a military expansion now here in Guam, we must challenge the women, especially the women and people of Guam to have a very strong resistance movement to this implementation," she said.

Concerns have been raised about the relocation of thousands of Marines from Okinawa to Guam, as there were concerns in Okinawa about the Marines behavior and sexual misconduct. Victims Advocates Reaching Out executive director Vangie Cabacar said, "It's a big concern for us, our numbers are high from sexual assault cases already, the lack of federal funding is another problem."

VARO is just one of many organizations in Guam involved in the dialogue about how to mitigate the impact, but Speaker Judi Won Pat says a full pronged approach is needed. Asked if she was planning on taking any preemptive measures to protect them, she said, "Yes, absolutely." The speaker warned that talk of a red light district by GVB and individuals at the Chamber of Commerce are of concern to her.

"A possible red light district, moving them out of Tumon and at that time to Harmon, but I think this is a bigger problem. We need to look at the whole picture. We need to look at our community and what it is we need to do to protect women and young girls," she said. Won Pat says she plans to create a blue ribbon committee to counter exploitation and to help create policies to ensure the safety of women and children.

Said Won Pat, "This is going to be a policy for Guam, I know we can't legislate or mandate anything for the military, but when their men come into the community, they would have to abide by the local law." Dr. Vivian Damas, UOG professor and committee member at the conference said that while a law that defines human trafficking has been passed, there is still more to be done. "Regulation of massage parlor, reporting of violence versus women and children both on the base and off the base, if we don't do that and we don't work out the coordinated agreements, we are going to have a huge problem on this island."

Friday, August 28, 2009

Conference Registration

If you'd like to attend the conference and participate in its proceedings, please download and complete the form in this packet:Conference Registration Packet.

The fee for attending the conference is $10 each day you attend. Lunch is included in this fee.

Completed forms can be faxed to Mrs. Ruth Barnes at 735-2255, or dropped off at the University of Guam's HSS Room 107A between the hours of 1-5 pm. Or they can be mailed to the University of Guam, Division of Social Work/CNAS, UOG Station, Humanities and Social Sciences Building, Mangilao, GUAM 96932. You can also submit registration electronically to Dr. LisaLinda Natividad at
If you have any questions, please call 671-735-2962, or email

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tentative Conference Schedule


CHinemma’, Nina’maolek, yan Inarespetu para Direchon Taotao


Location: University of Guam (Mangilao) & Carmel on the Hill Retreat Center (Malojloj), Guåhan

Dates: September 14-19, 2009

Sponsoring Organizations:Conscious Living; Famoksaiyan; Fuetsan Famalao’an; Guåhan Coalition for Peace and Justice; Guåhan Indigenous Collective; GUAHAN Project; Global Fund for Women; GFT Local Union; Office of Minority Health Resource Center; Sage Project, Incorporated; Women and Gender Studies Program, University of Guam


September 14 (Monday) Pre-Conference Session
*Registration Required*

Location : Conference Room, Catholic Social Services

8:30am – 4:30pm
“Human Trafficking 101: Identifying Victims, Examining Policy Frameworks, and Building a Transnational Movement”
This workshop will present a general discussion of human trafficking, explore diasporic trends from Asia to other parts of the world, examine policy frameworks to effectively combat human trafficking, and identify steps towards building a transnational movement in the Asia-Pacific region.
Facilitated by: SAGE, Inc. [San Francisco, California]
Facilitators: Annie Fukushima [California], Aida Santos-Maranan [Philippines], and a Representative from South Korea

September 15 (Tuesday) Public Forum - Free Event
*No registration required*

Location : University of Guam, CLASS Lecture Hall

6:30pm – 8:30pm
“International Strategies of Resistance Promoting Human Rights”
Moderator: Jamela Santos
Suzuyo Takazato [Okinawa]
Representative [South Korea]
Carmen Valencia [Vieques, Puerto Rico]
Terry Keko’olani : DMZ Hawai'i / Aloha 'Aina [Hawai'i]
Ana Maria Nemenzo [Philippines]

*Registration Required Unless Stated Otherwise*

Location: Leon Guerrero Building Lecture Hall, University of Guam

8:30am – 8:40am
Welcoming Remarks: Dr. LisaLinda Natividad : Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice

8:40am – 9:15am
“Rethinking Peace and Security: Genuine Security
as Rooted in the United Nation’s Concept of Human Security”
Speaker: Dr. Gwyn Kirk : Women for Genuine Security [San Francisco, California]

9:15am – 11:45pm
Panel Presentation:
“Beyond the Military Economy: Exploring Alternatives for Sustainability”
Moderator: Sabina Perez
Alma Bulawan [Buklod, Philippines]
Dr. Hannah Middleton : Australian Anti-Bases Campaign [Sydney, Australia]
Dr. Miyumi Tanji : Curtin University of Technology [Perth, Australia]
Isabella Sumang [Republic of Belau]

11:45am – 12:45pm

12:45pm – 2:45pm
Panel Presentation:
“Environmental Contamination and Toxicity:
Reclaiming Our Physical Environments Through Clean-Up, Health and Healing Practices”
Moderator: Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero
You Kyoung Ko [South Korea]
Abacca Anjain-Maddison [Republic of the Marshall Islands]
Maria Reinat [Puerto Rico]
Dolly Yanan : Metro Subic Network [Philippines]

2:45pm – 3:00pm

3:00pm – 4:30pm
Panel Presentation:
“Comparative Strategies to Promote Security for Women and Children”
Moderator: Nicole Santos
Suzuyo Takazato [Okinawa]
Representative : Fuetsan Famalao'an [Guåhan]
Corazon Lotlot Requirzo : Kaisa Ka [Philippines]

5:00pm Peace Walk (Free Event)
Location: Chief Kepuha Park, Hagåtña
Facilitator: Lisa Baza : Conscious Living [Guåhan]

*Registration Required Unless Stated Otherwise *

Location: Carmel on the Hill Retreat Center, Malojloj
Focus: “Where do we go from here?”

8:00am – 8:30am
Registration and Continental Breakfast
Country Representatives’ breakfast meeting

8:30am – 9:00am
Welcoming Remarks and Review of day’s tasks

9:00am – 11:00am Panel Presentation (Free Event)
Location: Carmel on the Hill Retreat Center
“Human Trafficking and Prostitution: Towards a Woman-Centered Policy Framework”
Moderator: Dr. Vivian Dames
Annie Fukushima : University of California at Berkeley [United States]
Bok Nim Yu : Director, Dasi Hamkke Center [South Korea]
Aida Santos : WeDpro, Inc. [Philippines]
Lauri Ogumoro, Karidat Esperanza House [Commonwealth of the North Mariana Islands]
Sue Gilbey [Adelaide, Australia]

11:00am – 12:00pm
Regional/Country working group meetings to develop specific short-term and long-term goals

12:00pm – 1:30pm

1:30pm – 4:30pm
Connecting Regional/Country working group short-term and long-term goals; Setting national and international initiatives. Discussion of future actions.

4:30pm – 5:00pm
Conference Wrap Up & announcement of Art Celebration

6:30pm – 10:00pm Art Celebration (Free Event)
“Fuetsan I Lina’la’ : Famalao’an I Tano’ // Strength of Life : Women of the Land”
Women’s Exhibit, Music and Poetry, Sale of international women-made goods, film screening of Along the Fenceline: Women’s Voices on Peace and Security, Demilitarizing Fashion Show.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

WGS Fundraiser

Please come out to support a 6-women delegation to Guam for the 7TH MEETING OF THE INTERNATIONAL NETWORK OF WOMEN AGAINST MILITARISM.

The meeting is entitled "Resistance, Resilience, and Respect for Human Rights". More info about the meeting is included below.

Women's Resistance, Resilience and Respect for Human Rights
Fundraiser House Party
1607 Sonoma Ave. Albany (home of Debbie Lee and family)
Sunday August 30th 2-5pm. Short program at 3pm

Events include:

*Deserts by Jonas Low, Pastry Chef at Gary Danko

*Lindsey Kerr trio
*Preview clips of WGS film, "Along the Fenceline: Women's Voices for Peace and Security" by Lina Hoshino
*Silent auction
*Activities for children

Driving directions:

From Highway 80, take Buchanan Street/Albany exit. Turn right and continue east on Buchanan/Marin Street. Turn right on Peralta. Left on Sonoma. Enter through pathway to the backyard garden.

Need a ride from North Berkeley BART? Call: 415 312-5583

Tax-deductible donations should be made payable to the Agape Foundation and earmarked “WGS.” For online donations, visit our website. We can also accept donations payable to WGS. Please mail checks to WGS, 965 62nd Street, Oakland CA 94608

About Women for Genuine Security: We envision a world of genuine security based on justice, respect for others across national boundaries, and economic planning based on local people’s needs. Our shared mission is to build and sustain a network of women to promote, model, and protect genuine security in the face of militarism. We are part of the International Women's Network for Peace. The International Women's Network started in 1997 and links women activists, policy-makers, teachers and students from Guam, Hawai'i, Korea, Okinawa, mainland Japan, the Philippines, Puerto Rico,and the United States to share information and strategize about the negative effects of military operations in all our countries.

For more information, visit:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Meeting Press Release


Resistance, Resilience, and Respect for Human Rights
CHinemma’, Nina’maolek, yan Inarespetu para Direchon Taotao

Location: University of Guam, Mangilao, Guåhan
Dates: September 14-19, 2009

Women across the globe have endured tremendous struggles to protect their families and survive during times of war and unrest. It is from these struggles that women have gained the strength to fight for peace. This September, they will gather on the island of Guam for the 7th Meeting of the International Network of Women Against Militarism themed, “Resistance, Resilience and Respect for Human Rights”.

The five-day conference will bring together women from Japan, Okinawa, South Korea, Hawaii, Philippines, Australia, Republic of Belau, Marshall Islands, Guam, United States, Puerto Rico and Saipan – all of whom have felt the tremendous impacts of US military bases in their homelands.

The International Network of Women Against Militarism has been meeting since 1997 to share information and strategize about the negative effects of US military operations. These effects include military violence against women and girls, the plight of mixed-race Amerasian children abandoned by US military fathers, environmental contamination, cultural degradation and the distortion of local economies. They focus on how military institutions, values, policies and operations impact communities, especially women.

The United States has had a strong military presence on Guam for more than a century, and occupies nearly one-third of the island. Guam, which has been dubbed “the tip of the spear” by the US Department of Defense, is in the midst of an unprecedented military build-up as the US plans to move 17,000 Marines and their dependents from Okinawa to the island. The conference comes at a critical time in Guam’s history, and aims to bring international attention to the concerns being raised about the proposed build-up.

The conference will feature workshops and public forums on human trafficking and prostitution; political arrangements with the United States; rethinking peace and security; exploring alternatives for economic sustainability; environmental contamination and toxicity; and much more.

There will also be a historical tour of the island; a community vigil to honor the past and heal for the future; a public art event featuring local and international artists; and many opportunities to network and establish goals for the future.

For more information please contact: Dr. LisaLinda Natividad at or (671) 735-2962.

Sponsoring Organizations: Conscious Living; Famoksaiyan; Fuetsan Famalao’an; Guåhan Coalition for Peace and Justice; Guåhan Indigenous Collective; GUAHAN Project; Global Fund for Women; Office of Minority Health Resource Center; Sage Project, Incorporated; Women and Gender Studies Program, University of Guam.

Tes Ha' Este