Mar 282008
 

“International Women’s Day, 8 March 2008, marks the launch of PSI’s ‘Water, Women and Workers’ campaign. This two-week campaign will emphasise the vital importance of access to safe, publicly funded water supplies to sustainable development, gender equality and a decent life for all – especially women. The days of action will continue until 22 March, International Water Day.

The ‘Water, Women and Workers’ campaign highlights the importance of access to water as essential to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In many developing countries, women and girls walk on average six kilometres each day to fetch water. They carry around 20 kilograms of water a day. Apart from the sheer physical toll, this is time they do not spend on other activities, such as school and paid work.

Peter Waldorff, General Secretary of PSI says, “If women only have time to focus on daily survival, they cannot build the necessary skills or engage in productive activity to help move themselves and their families out of poverty. They cannot enjoy a decent standard of life. This is why, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, public sector unions around the world are calling on governments to reaffirm their commitment to the Millennium Development Goals and to reduce by half the number of people without access to water by the year 2015”.

It is unethical that persons or institutions get rich from the sale of water while 1.8 million children die each year because they do not have access to safe water and sanitation”, continues Waldorff.

The facts look grim. In 2007 around 1.1 billion people, or 17% of the world population, lacked access to safe water. Over 2.6 billion people lacked access to basic sanitation. An estimated 3 million people, most of them children, died from preventable diseases associated with contaminated water. Millions more suffered from waterborne diseases. And changes to weather patterns caused by global warming are making a dire situation worse. As the environment deteriorates, women become increasingly vulnerable.

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Mar 282008
 

Note:  the following report about the IWD event in Berlin, Germany is from Feminist Peace Network member Ruth Luschnat.  I have done some editing in order to make it more readable in English, but have strived to retain the original language as much as possible.  Click here to see more photos from the event.
Because so many women  and activists are concerned about the water question, on IWD 2008 in Berlin about 100 people gathered in an art action in front of the Art House Bethanien in Kreuzberg to demand the stopping of destructive privatisations and war for the human right to water in connection with the international campaign “Public water – our right!” from 8.-22. March 2008 by the World Union PSI which wants to bring to consciousness that the UN had declared in 2002 a human right to sane, reasonably priced and democratically organised water supply. In consequence of this UN declaration the Netherlands have already put into their constitution that water supply cannot be privatised because of the essential value it has for all.

The core idea of the art action is the concept “FLUXUS REFLOATED – SHARE ABOUT WATER”. This is the idea that people come together in a circle with a water basin in the center to celebrate (the sanctity of) water which is the source of life on the planet and in the end take water out of the center and clink glasses to the global human right to water that is to come about by our sharing the will towards this end and tgereby gently postulate global democracy as power from the grassroots.

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Mar 282008
 

From the Santa Rosa, CA Press-Democrat:

“A former U.S. Marine accusedof having sex with applicants at the Ukiah recruiting office has been ordered to pay $61,000 to a young woman he’s alleged to have victimized.

The judgment follows a Marine Corps agreement last year to pay $200,000 to two women who claimed the Corps violated their constitutional rights by ignoring sexual assaults on female recruits.

The sexual encounters alleged in the lawsuit also were a part of the 2005 courts-martial of Fukushima and Staff Sgt. Joseph Dunzweiler, both Santa Rosa-based recruiters.

Both men have since left the Marine Corps, which did not renew their contracts when they expired, according to court documents.

Most of the alleged incidents involved activities at the Ukiah recruiting center.

Witnesses at the courts-martial described a “frat house” atmosphere at the Ukiah recruiting center.

The case against Dunzweiler is pending, said the plaintiff’s Ukiah attorney, Barry Vogel.”

Kudos to the civilian court for taking action, but why is a  2005 courts-martial still pending?  I’m sure it couldn’t be yet another example of the military dragging its feet on sexual assault cases.

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Mar 272008
 

So let me see if I have this straight–a pilot discharges a gun in the cockpit of a plane, no worries, nipple rings on the other hand are a threat to national security??

“A Texas woman who said she was forced to remove a nipple ring with pliers in order to board an airplane called Thursday for an apology by federal security agents and a civil rights investigation.”

Yuppers, can’t wait to hear the testimony on this one.

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