Repression over Women Human Rights Defenders

Over 100 Women in Black from 22 countries met in Leuven, Belgium, 1-3 May

2014 and discussed many challenges to our peace and human security in Europe, and of people around the world suffering the impacts of European economic and military policies.  We listened to our hearts, our heads and our bellies. Deeply concerned at the levels of militarism and nationalistic and sexual violence in our countries, we call for the full engagement of women at all levels of negotiations to promote nonviolent solutions that address the causes of conflict and build peace and justice.

Women in Black was forged out of opposition to militarism and ethnic cleansing in Israel-Palestine and the Balkans.  From our experiences, we raise concerns about Ukraine’s recent crises, Israel’s continuing occupation of Palestine, and European arms sales and military interventions in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, DR Congo and Mali….  We oppose these complex problems being used to justify human rights violations, military build-ups, and increased weaponisation by NATO and Russia, among others.  We reject the patriarchal structures of oppression and inequality that create and sustain economic, military, political and sexual violence, from which women and children are particularly threatened and disadvantaged.  Economic policies that cut health, education and social needs are a war on women and the vulnerable and disadvantaged in our societies.

This is a critical moment for Europe’s future and democracies.


No more wars and military interventions in our names.

Yes to nonviolent solutions and fully involving women in preventing conflicts and building peace.

No more racism and persecution of migrants in our names.

Yes to human rights, diversity, mutual respect, and freedom of movement and expression.

No more oppression in our names.

Yes to sexual rights, equal opportunities, solidarity and inclusion.

No more arms sales and military expenditure in our names.

Yes to increased resources for our health, education, human security and social needs. 

No more nuclear weapons and nuclear-armed alliances in our names.

Yes to a global treaty to ban and eliminate all nuclear weapons. 

No more economic and social wars against the poor in our names.

Yes to labour rights, human dignity and social justice.

No more repression of social movements, peace activists and women human rights defenders in our names.

Yes to our feminist, nonviolent right to be disobedient.



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