Two peace protests this week highlight some of the creativity behind the antiwar movement. Yesterday, more than 1,000 readings of the Greek pacifist play Lysistrata were held worldwide in an effort to raise funds for antiwar efforts and humanitarian aid for Iraqi citizens. Tomorrow, at least 300 colleges and high schools in the United States and abroad will take part in a student strike against the war, participating in a massive walkout, according to the New York Times.
Actors Kathryn Blume and Sharron Bowers founded the Lysistrata Project, billing it as a “theatrical act of dissent.” The play, a comedy written by Aristophanes around 400 BC, is a story of a group of women from opposing sides of the Peloponnesian War who unite to bring about peace by withholding sex from their husbands. The readings raised money for a variety of peace and humanitarian groups, and the readings were often held in conjunction with petition signings, candlelight vigils, and other events to support the antiwar movement. Readings in New York and Los Angeles included celebrities such as Christine Lahti, Kevin Bacon, and Kyra Sedgwick.
The student strike scheduled for tomorrow was organized by the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition (NYSPC). With the slogan “Books not Bombs! Stop the War Against Iraq!”, the group “demands something positive, instead of just saying ‘no,’ to war. This allows students to connect their concerns with the rest of the world,” journalist Liza Featherstone told students at Winona State University, according to the Winona Daily News. Students at colleges around the nation have also been rallying support through student council resolutions opposing an attack on Iraq. The NYSPC hopes to generate at least 50 student council resolutions and letters before the government precedes any further with military measures. According to Cities for Peace, 28 schools have already passed resolutions and almost 20 more have campaigns underway.
Media Resources: New York Times 3/1/03, 3/4/03; Washington Post 3/4/03; Los Angeles Times 3/4/03; National Youth and Student Peace Coalition; Cities for Peace website; Winona Daily News 2/24/03; Lysistrata Project
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .