TORONTO, June 5, 2012 /CNW/ - KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives (KAIROS) is launching a national tour focused on women human rights defenders from Colombia, Palestine, and Canadian communities. Our partners will share their experiences of gender violence, conflict, militarization and colonization, as well as their roles in building peace in their communities and beyond. The Living Courage tour stresses Canada's accountability to United Nations resolutions on women and the crucial role of women in peace building.
The tour will focus on local and global experiences, building alliances between generations and across borders, as women share their calls to action and messages of hope for future generations. Indigenous women from Canada will share their work and draw parallels. The tour culminates in Saskatoon in response to calls from Indigenous communities in Canada for international witnesses to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings.
|WHO:||Claudia Castellanos Roncancio, a human rights lawyer and advocate from the Popular Feminist Organization (OFP) in Colombia, and|
|Lucy Talgieh, Women's Project Coordinator at Wi'am: Palestinian Conflict Resolution Center in Bethlehem, Occupied Palestinian Territories.|
|WHAT:||Forums between partners, Canadian women and the public.|
|| Halifax, NS - June 7-8
Antigonish, NS - June 9-10
Bridgewater, NS - June 12
Corner Brook, NL - June 13
South Brook, NL - June 14
St. John's, NL - June 15-17
Saskatoon, SK - June 20-24, Truth and Reconciliation Commission National Event
WHY: Globally, violence and conflict often have a hidden impact on women. In Colombia, decades of armed conflict and assassinations have killed over 200,000. The country has the world's highest rate of internal displacement; the majority of the displaced are women and children. Armed groups on all sides target women's groups, Indigenous communities, unions, and others who speak publicly against violence. Groups like the Popular Feminist Organization in Colombia are organizing international Women's Courts of Truth, Justice and Reparation to shed light on the impact of this conflict on women and to seek justice. Women's groups have called on Canada to make human rights a higher priority in the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, ratified last year despite significant opposition from civil society in Colombia and Canada.
In the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Bethlehem is almost surrounded by the separation wall and expanding Israeli settlements, and its economy is being choked off. Military and settler violence, mass arrests, control of movement, poverty, and domestic violence all have an enormous daily impact on the community and a particular impact on women. Yet women are also leading the non-violent resistance to the military occupation and land takeovers, and are crucial to ending the occupation and creating foundations for a just and lasting peace.
In Canada, Indigenous women and girls are five times more likely to face violence and disappearance than non-Indigenous women. There are more than 600 cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women, and in over 80% of these cases the perpetrators have never been brought to trial despite the continuous work of national and provincial Indigenous women's groups.
Women bear the often-hidden brunt of violence in any society facing conflict or colonization. The Government of Canada and Canadians have much to contribute to ending practices that fuel violence; we need only the knowledge and the will. By sharing their courageous stories and strategies for change, it is hoped the women participating in the Living Courage Tour will inspire concerned Canadians to call for action from the Canadian government.
KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives unites eleven churches and religious organizations in faithful action for ecological justice and human rights. Its Global Partnerships program works with 23 partners from around the world. The Women of Courage program conducts visits and research with women's organizations to promote human rights and end violence and impunity, especially in areas of conflict.
For more information on Women of Courage please visit: http://www.kairoscanada.org/dignity-rights/women-of-courage/kairos-2012-living-courage-tour/
For further information:
Media Contact: Julie Graham
Education and Campaigns Coordinator
KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
416.463.5312 x 233