WILPF Occupy Involvement
As the Occupy movement enters its third month, WILPF women continue to be involved with the movement at protest sites around the country. (Read updates from WILPF branches on their latest Occupy activities.)
With so many organizations participating in the movement, it’s important to remember the unique strengths that WILPF involvement brings.
WILPF provides a rich supply of research and analysis of corporations and politics. Thanks to the work of the Corporations v Democracy issue committee, WILPF has plenty of information on the Citizens United decision, the history of corporate involvement in the political process, and the concept of “corporate personhood.” Want to make a difference? Make sure a copy of WILPF’s Abolish Corporate Personhood Organizing Packet is in the library of every Occupy site!
WILPF offers a deepened understanding of the relationship between military spending and human needs. With the failure of the congressional supercommittee to reach an agreement on reducing the national debt, the Pentagon’s budget is once again part of the political conversation. WILPF women know that every dollar spent on the military is a dollar that could have been spent more effectively on human needs and human rights – in other words, You Get What You Pay For. Need additional resources? Former WILPF president Jane Midgely has written a book about the federal budget’s impact on women. And Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND) offers some suggestions for people who want to know where we can start cutting the military budget.
WILPF provides a lens to focus not only on women’s issues, but on women’s involvement in Occupy. Lucinda Marshall, WILPF member and founder of the Feminist Peace Network, has launched a new website, Occupy Patriarchy, where she draws attention to and advances the discussion of the role women and women’s issues are playing within the Occupy movement. Despite the movement’s progressive nature, Marshall says, “those who seek to address these topics and insist that they be part of the Occupy agenda are finding themselves confronting many of the same obstacles that women often face outside of the Occupy movement—such issues as safety, sexism, misogynist power structures and a lack of gendered analysis. Women report being harassed and labeled divisive for speaking out and pointing to issues that affect women’s lives.”
While there have been many Occupy successes already, it is clearly a movement that still has room for improvement on many fronts. We look forward to hearing from WILPF members who are continuing to work for peace and make sure women’s voices are heard all around the country!