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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

June-12-00

Feminist Majority Foundation Participates in Beijing +5

The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF)
joined hundreds of NGOs and women's rights
leaders from around the world at the United
Nations Special Session of the General
Assembly entitled Women 2000: Gender
Equality, Development and Peace for the
Twenty-First Century (Beijing +5) in New
York last week.

FMF International Campaign Organizer,
Ossai Miazad, and Afghan Refugee Giti
Shams kicked off the Beijing +5 Conference
during the opening Welcome Rally at the
United Nations Plaza by addressing the crisis
facing Afghan women and girls. Thousands of
swatches, distributed by FMF, were worn by
speakers and participants to raise awareness
of the Feminist Majority Foundation's
Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in
Afghanistan throughout the special session
events.

The Feminist Majority Foundation organized
several cutting-edge sessions for NGOs
during Beijing +5. Cherreka Montgomery,
Director of Global Outreach, spoke at the
Tuesday, June 6th session entitled Faces of
Extremism: Countering Right Wing
Attacks on the Human Rights of Women
Worldwide to encourage women's rights
activists to be aware of the many forms of
extremism and to know that not all extremists
carry guns or are found in Islamic countries.

On Wednesday, June 7th, just a day after
news broke on the FDA's proposal to restrict
mifepristone, the Feminist Majority
Foundation held the only session about
mifepristone entitled The Fight for
Mifepristone (RU486): Making a Medical
Breakthrough Available to Women
Worldwide. FMF President Eleanor Smeal
stressed the importance of making
mifepristone available to women in the United
States without encumbering restrictions that
would limit access.

A concurrent session titled Oil, Drugs and
Corruption: Measuring Their Impact on
the Lives of Women and Foreign Policy,
took place on Wednesday afternoon and
focused on Afghanistan, Burma and Sierra
Leone. A link was established between oil
pipelines, diamond mining, drug trade and
human rights violations against women and
girls. The panelists encouraged activists at all
levels to be well informed, and insist that
corporations maintain a level of human rights
sensibility as they invest abroad.

The National Council for Research on
Women's closing plenary in their four-day
conference "Women and Globalization"
featured FMF President Eleanor Smeal who
shared her ideas in Carrying the Movement
Forward. She spoke on key issues such as
mifepristone, the Campaign to Stop Gender
Apartheid in Afghanistan, and other emerging
issues affecting the mobilization of women's
rights worldwide.

FMF's final session represented the only
Beijing +5 meeting held to solely discuss the
ongoing crisis for women and girls in
Afghanistan. A special screening of Shroud of
Silence set the tone for a very provocative
discussion on humanitarian aid and foreign
policy matters. The discussion featured
Feminist Majority Foundation strategies to
restore women and girls' basic human rights,
access to healthcare, education and
employment.

For action kits to help Stop Gender
Apartheid in Afghanistan, visit FMF's
Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in
Afghanistan. And to learn more about
mifepristone, visit our Reproductive Rights
website.

Media Resources: Feminist Majority Foundation- June 12, 2000


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

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