Women, Militarism, and Environment

An excerpt from the Women's Agenda

Knowing that military expenditures, the international arms trade, and armed conflict deprive billions of human beings of basic security and well-being;

Realizing the disastrous environmental impact of all military activity, including research, development, production and weaponry testing, manoeuvres, presence of military bases, disposal of toxic materials, transport, and resource use;

Aware that research on and use of military weaponry, including nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, contribute significantly to environmental degradation, genetic mutation, illness and death;

Recognizing that militarism often leads to the occupation of lands and the denial of human and environ-mental rights;

We call on UNCED to include in its Agenda '21 and final documents statements on the impact of militarism on the ecology, development, and humanity and support measures to transform the world's vast military resources to positive, life-enforcing programs.

We demand that nuclear weapons be dismantled, that nuclear testing cease immediately, and a global nuclear test ban treaty be negotiated, signed, and enforced.

We demand the cessation of space activities and supersonic flights that threaten the ozone layer or release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

We demand that more decisive actions be taken to ban international traffic in nuclear, chemical, biological, and poison gas weapons or constituents of such weapons. Mechanisms should be developed for enforcement of this ban, whether against governments, businesses, or individuals.

We urge an immediate 50% reduction in military spending, with the money saved reallocated to socially useful and environmentally friendly purposes.

We demand creation of gender-balanced national civilian commissions that would open to public scrutiny all military activities, expenditures, and research and development.

We support a U.N. Commission report that recommended assigning military-related satellites and other information-gathering systems to monitor and share global environ-mental data.

We demand that armies be used as environmental protection corps to monitor and repair damage to natural systems, including clean-up of war zones, military bases and surrounding areas, and to be available to assist citizens in times of natural and man-made disaster.

We condemn governments that turn their armies against their citizens, leading millions of individuals to become refugees and displaced persons.

We will educate our daughters and sons to shun military service if it is in the service of governments that use military power to exploit the re-sources and people of other nations.

Peace Magazine Mar-Apr 1992

Peace Magazine Mar-Apr 1992, page 9. Some rights reserved.

Search for other articles by PMag staff here

Peace Magazine homepage