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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 28 June 2005 2005) . . Page.. 2401 ..


What the ACT division asked the council to do on the weekend was to reinforce a resolution they made two years ago and adopt a similar approach to that of the Italians to victims of sexual servitude. The ACT division asked the federal council to continue to provide protection to people who are victims of sexual servitude. We reinforce the great strides that have been made by the Liberal government in dealing with women who are victims of sexual servitude. The Liberal Party convention, to my great pride, offered unconditional protection along the lines offered to those in Italy.

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Children, Youth and Family Support, Minister for Women and Minister for Industrial Relations) (6.06): I want to rise and talk about the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom which turned 90 in April this year, an outstanding achievement for any organisation. This organisation is a strong advocate for peace and freedom, existing as the oldest and largest women’s peace organisation in the world.

From 28 April to 1 May 1915, some 1,300 women from 23 different countries, some at war against each other and some neutral ones, gathered at The Hague to protest the killing and destruction of the war then raging in Europe. The congress was the beginnings of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. In 2005, thanks to the tireless efforts of dedicated women over 90 years, WILPF is an international, non-government organisation with national sections in 40 countries covering all continents. Its international Secretariat is based in Geneva, with a UN office in New York.

In Australia, the Sisterhood for International Peace was formed on 25 March 1915. Following its first meeting, the sisterhood learned of a women’s international congress. Their president attended the second congress, in May 1919, and in 1920 the sisterhood changed its name to the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Australian Section. With headquarters in Melbourne, branches were soon established in Hobart, Perth, Newcastle and Rockhampton. The ACT branch was formed in early 1982, shortly before hosting the national tri-annual conference.

Two thousand and five will be both a celebratory and reflective year for WILPF. As they celebrate being 90, we are reminded of those brave women who in 1915 crossed borders and boundaries to form their organisation, and we honour the women who for 90 years have carried their vision. WILPF’s aim is to find ways to bring women together to create a peace-loving and just society in Australia that can influence world events.

On Monday this week, it gave me great pleasure to receive the women’s global charter for humanity and solidarity on behalf of Australian women. The Australian part of its journey was organised by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. This charter is a proposal to build a world where exploitation, oppression, intolerance and exclusion no longer exist and where integrity, diversity and the rights and freedoms of all are respected. It contains 31 affirmations describing the principles essential to the construction of such a world. Those affirmations are based on the five values of equality, freedom, solidarity, justice and peace.


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