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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 734 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

It is very important that people be aware that this is not becoming less of a problem; it is becoming more of a problem. That is as a result of a number of new very powerful forces. In particular, economic globalisation is having a strong impact on this division.

Apart from all the other things that have been spoken about today, which I support, I will focus on the role women are taking around the world on the question of peace and conflict. Because I am involved in alternative approaches to resolution of conflict, I am constantly inspired by the number of women's groups around the world that have members in Canberra. This is quite within our discussion of the role of women in our local community. The role of women's groups is to try to challenge the very violent and aggressive approach that is taken to conflict resolution by all nations.

A letter of November 2001 to the Minister for Foreign Affairs was written as a matter of urgency following the re-election of the federal government. It was on behalf of the combined membership of the organisations whose names I will read out because I think it is good to put them on the record. The letter is about military strikes against Afghanistan and says:

In the wake of the September 11 attacks against civilian targets in Washington and New York and while dispersal of anthrax spores continues to be used as a weapon of fear against civilians in the US, we wish to add the voices of hundreds of Australian women to community calls for an adequate and constructive means of addressing the problems of terrorism.

It goes on to talk about concern about answering the terrorist attack with the bombing of people in Afghanistan. The groups mentioned in this letter include the Australian National Council of Refugee Women, the Asian Women's Human Rights Council, the Association of Women Educators, the Australian Education Union (South Australia Branch), the Australian Federation of University Women, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, the Union of Australian Women, the United Nations Association of Australia (Status of Women Network), the Women's Electoral Lobby, the Women's Services Network, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, the Working Women's Centre South Australia, the Association of Non-English Speaking Background Women of Australia, Women into Politics, the Australian Women's Health Network, the National Council of Single Mothers and Their Children and the Young Women's Christian Association of Australia.

There has been a very strong movement of women, and members of these groups in Canberra are working behind the theme of the World March of Women, which occurred in 2000. That initiative and campaign was very successful in raising issues. That was an international community initiative by women's groups from around the world. This shows that women are prepared to take on the very big global issues. They work for peace and harmony in their own communities as well as being prepared to take on the global issues in a coordinated way. I am very proud to be part of many of those groups and would like to see this acknowledged in this Assembly on the day before International Women's Day.

MRS DUNNE (4.57): I rise on the eve of International Women's Day to pay testament to the women across Canberra and across the world for whom International Women's Day will pass unnoticed.

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