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2003-03-07

If Women Ruled the World, Would There Be War? a Roundtable Discussion a Day Before Thousands of Women March On Washington

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Thousands of women from throughout the United States will say no to war tomorrow, at a rally and march for International Women’s Day in Washington DC.

"This could be the week that determines whether there will be war or peace" said Medea Benjamin, co- founder of CodePink for Peace, a women’s anti-war group and one of the organizers of the rally, "…war will be devastating for Iraqi women and children and will make our families less safe here at home. That’s why we’re determined to stop this war." CodePink and has held a daily vigil in front of the White House since November 2002.

NOW, CodePink and several other women’s groups held weeklong actions in D.C. including delivering "pink slips" to Bush, Cheney, Powell and Condolezza Rice and sending "Thank You" flowers to the embassies of Chile, France, Germany and Russia. Pink slips were also sent to the offices of Senators Hillary Clinton and Dianne Feinstein and to members of Congress who have ignored their anti-war constituents. Pink badges of courage were sent to Congress members who have shown bravery in supporting peace.

Well, today, we will have a special round table discussion on war and its impact on women’s lives. Last night we spoke with four women who have written and taught about the devastating effects of war. We asked: If women ruled the world, would there be war?

  • Susan Griffin is a writer and social thinker. Her most recent book, The Book of the Courtesans: A Catalogue of their Virtues, (Fall 2001) was a best seller. She also wrote A Chorus of Stones which was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Griffin was nominated for a MacArthur "Genius" grant as well as an Emmy for her play "Voices." She will be addressing the anti-war rally in celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8th.
  • Maxine Hong Kingston is an author and professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts for which she won the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her latest novel is The Fifth Book of Peace, a book she is calling "A peace book for our times." She will address the anti-war rally in celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8th.
  • Sunera Thobani is a professor of Women’s Studies at the University of British Columbia in Canada. Thobani is an outspoken critic of US foreign policy. Speaking at a women’s conference soon after the Sept 11th attacks, Thobani said: "Today in the world, the United States is the most dangerous and the most powerful global force unleashing horrific levels of violence . . . From Chile to El Salvador to Nicaragua to Iraq, the path of U.S. foreign policy is soaked in blood."
  • Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is a historian and professor of Ethnic Studies and Women’s Studies at California State University, Hayward. She is the author of Outlaw Woman: A Memoir of the War Years 1960-1975 and Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie. Other books include The Great Sioux Nation, Roots of Resistance and Indians of the Americas. She is writing a third memoir, Norther: Re-Covering Nicaragua, about the Reagan years, and a historical novel based on the life of Belle Starr, the Oklahoma bandit queen.

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