As war is imminent, women across the world and the United States continue to raise their voices in defense of peace. In its hot-off-the-presses Spring 2003 issue, Ms. magazine publishes a statement– signed by 170 women’s organizations representing 7 million members– opposing any preemptive military action against Iraq and demanding that US foreign policy be driven by human rights, justice and equality. The National Council of Women’s Organizations Statement on War with Iraq has been signed by organizations representing women from all walks of life.
“The gender gap persists in recent polling on the war,” said Eleanor Smeal, a noted political scientist and president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, the publisher of Ms. “In a poll released March 14 by the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, women were far more likely than men to say that the US should not act against Iraq without the support of the United Nations Security Council while 54 percent of women compared to 34 percent of men said that the UN inspectors should be given more time to work.”
The spring issue of Ms. also includes an unprecedented rallying cry from feminist leaders Robin Morgan, Smeal and Gloria Steinem urging the women of the world not to give up in the fight for peace.
“While armies are marching, so are ordinary people. In this country and across the world, there are the largest peace demonstrations in history…. ,” Morgan, Smeal and Steinem wrote. “The difference? First, the power of Women’s Movements across the globe — strong, organized, networked women, going into action, leading; second, the radical tool that the Internet can be; and third the work we’ve all been doing for so long, which has changed consciousness.”
Ms. magazine will continue to provide online updates on women’s involvement in peace events and the impact of the war on women’s issues.