« Workshops and Committee Meetings | Main | Presentation of the Idea of Creating a WILPF Manifesto »

July 24, 2007

Candidates Forum

A group spoke who would like us to deal with the "buzz" in the room.
Martha Jean Baker spoke re the International Criminal Court - help get new members for the three vacant judge seats
The Resolutions Committee gave their first report back on resolutions: several were referred back for clarification, some were referred to committees.

Open Forum: Presentation of Candidates for Election

Presidential Candidates
Note: two candidates are only standing for the president position. Prior to the forum, 2 were standing for both President and Vice President. At the forum, one candidate announced she was only standing for the Vice President position.
Regina Birchem Fantastic community of women and men. Why I'm a member of ILPF: after being attacked on the street, a professor suggested that I join a women's organization and the best one he knew was WILPF. Please read my President's Report. We want to be organic and start forward with confidence. Without a formal blueprint, but to move forward in an organic way.
Annelise Ebbe I have been thinking since yesterday, since the tensions that were here, how I should introduce myself. I am a very priviledged person. I have met women from around the world: I have not been there as a tourist, I have learned about racism, sexism, extreme humiliation and extreme abuse. I started on this work before I became a member of WILPF. When I joined WILPF, I found a combination of pacifism and feminism that I have been looking for.
Kirsten Greback The first time I came to WILPF Congress was in 1989 in Australia. My grandmother was a WILPFer. I've been working a lot in the union and anti-Vietnam War movement. I really became a feminist in Nairobi in 1985 - when I went to the first Women's Conference and saw how women are struggling all over the world. I have 5 kids and 17 grandchildren. My motto has always been: think globally, act locally. I became the Secretary General of WILPF Sweden and started working a lot on the Middle East. Now what I want to do, now that I was nominated for the Presidency of WILPF, I would like to share the position. We should continue our great projects and start another one on Economic Justice and increase our fact-finding missions to Africa.
Felicity Hill I would very much like to stand for Vice President, and will withdraw nomination as President. I have been part of different aspects of WILPF: as an intern, as a staff member, and now working on a book with Edith Ballantyne. The WILPF officers backed me when I said I think we can get this Security Council Resolution passed and they said to drop everything. And its really because of that support from WILPF that we got SCR 1325. I think we should focus on projects and that officers should be focused on Get Published, Get Members, and Get Cash. Our major WILPF day should be our birthday, so that we have a culture of doing that before our 100th anniversary.

Vice President
Kozue Akibayashi Joined WILPF in 2001, I identify myself as a researcher / activist. It is impossible to make a living as an activist in Japan, so I decided to be a researcher and now after years of struggle, I have a full-time teaching position at a university in Japan. I have been working with Okinawa women on de-militarization issues. I would like to see WILPF work on this issue and I would like to work to support the work of the President. I am 39 and would like to work
Martha Jean Baker When I was first nominated by the young women of UK WILPF to be a nominee for Vice President and I would like to work with the young women if elected. I grew up in WILPF - my mother was a life member and my father continued his membership after my mother passed away. Its been about 30 years since the UK was represented on the international officer's team. I would like to see 3 M's: More Missions, More Money, More Members. If I do something that offends you, I hope you will tell me immediately so that I can grow from the experience.
Marta BenavidesI need a commitment from you, more than I need a commitment from me. We need to create an organization that speaks to the world. I believe that we should be working on climate-change. I need WILPF to be our instrument for peace in the world. I just don't want us to make statements. A new and different and best world is possible. I call on all of us to make a commitment to be about this in the world. If we are in WILPF we should not be doing "doggy paddle" - we should not just be surviving. It is our responsiblity to stop the process if it is a bad process. North and South, South and North being as one. We must own and learn the Constitution.
Amparo Guerrero I come from the Colombian section. My reflection is that I personally do not want to reproduce patriarchal system that is about power. Manipulative actions diminishes the roles of others and they can't express themselves. Patriarchal systems are inconsistent with feminism. It is not enough to say I work for peace if you continue to collaborate with systems of oppression that oppress women. i do not think it is important to have personal accomplishments. I do not want to have WILPF lose more individual members because it diminishes the ability of the organization to work against the war powers.
Samira Khoury I am a Lebanese of Palestinian origin. I am an activist for peace for many long years. I am a teacher by profession and I write stories for children about human rights and gender rights. I am involved in a project in South Lebanon for remedial kids who are on the edge of dropping out. I think part of the different paradigm for WILPF should be promoting women's handicrafts as a part of a women's budget.

Tamara James I've been more nervous listening to all these fabulous women speaking than I was in the Standing Finance Committee talking about Section fees. I've been involved in the US Section board for the last 7 years. When I became the Co-President of WILPF US, I became a member of the International Finance Committee. For the past 9 months, I have been living in Geneva. I've gotten to know Susi, Marie, and the interns very well. I've been excited about the opportunity to continue living in Geneva and working with the Geneva staff. I've been inspired by the words that these Officer Candidates have said, I'm excited about working to make this organization not just more sustainable, but more dynamic.

The election committee will interview the candidates and formulate a slate that the delegates can either accept or decline.

Questions from the floor:
1. Amparo, how do you consider yourself a representative of Colombia when you live in the US?
2. How many hours a week can you devote to the Intl office you are nominated for?
Kirsten: I just went into pension, so I can give all my time to WILPF.
Annelise: I am not a pensioner, but I am a freelancer. For now, I choose to work for WILPF. I have withdrawn from all of the things that I did to work for the Danish.
Samira: 5 hours each week generally, and 10-15 hours each week during international crises.
Martha Jean: I am lawyer and I devote most of my working time to doing work for women's organizations.
Felicity: I am working full time on the book with Edith until after
Regina: I turned down all teaching positions to work for WILPF. I work for WILPF everyday. Sometimes 3, sometimes 10 or 12 a day.
Tamara: I've been working full time as a volunteer for WILPF for the last 8 months, and would be
Amparo: I would expect to work several hours a week.
Kozue: Several hours a week, unless I'm not teaching and then I can work

It is late at night and I have a stomach ache. I just want to remind readers that I am human and can only keep up with things for so long. So, below are the questions that were asked of the candidates without their responses.

3. Responsibility to the President as a candidate for a position other than Presidency.
4. Kirsten: leadership and international experience
5. Regina: Do in 2nd term what you didn't do in 1st term?
6. Annelise and Kirsten: What would you like to do as Co-Presidents and how would you deal with the added cost to Intl of 2 Presidents?
7. Marta: how will you continue working on water and oxygen issues as a part of the Officer's Team?
8. Samira: how will you be able to focus on international issues when you are dealing with life in a conflict area?
9. Do you think that WILPF is Euro-centric and how should WILPF deal with the racism within WILPF?
10. Specifically, what would you do as an officer?
11. Presidential candidates: increase sections in Latin America and engage with women in Africa.

Posted by cj at July 24, 2007 6:50 PM


Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Remember me?