2017 Meeting: “Challenge Militarism & Create a Sustainable Future,” Okinawa

June 22-26, 2017

Context for the 9th meeting in Okinawa

Women from S. Korea, Japan, Guahan (Guam), the Philippines, Hawai’i, Puerto Rico, and the United States came to Okinawa to remember the historical creation of this Network. Twenty years of local and international organizing continues to survive and grow through their relationships. The meeting allowed participants to listen and learn about each countries histories and current problems caused by U.S. militarism. Knowledge on military sexual violence, environmental destruction and colonialism was shared. Strategies toward the demilitarization of countries, and the decolonization of the definition of security from a gender perspective, were exchanged.

This meeting was hosted by the Okinawan Women Act Against Military Violence (OWAAMV), in partnership with women leaders and organizers from the community, university and government sectors.

Meeting Highlights

– Welcome Ceremony and Celebration hosted by OWAAMV
– International Solidarity Action at Irei No Hi, Mabuni Hill (site of Battle of Okinawa)
– Paying Respect to Rina Shimabukuro’s Memorial & Shrine
– Solidarity action against the expansion of U.S. Marines Camp Schwab into Oura Bay, Henoko
– Multi-lingual dialogue and public discussion on military and sexual violence, decolonization and economic autonomy, strategies to challenge militarism, military bases and environmental destruction, redefining security laws and agreements

“We call for an end to all wars and armed conflicts, which signifies or is presented to the public as failed “diplomacy.” We insist that, instead of the current practices of state-centered “diplomacy” that relies on conventional notions of winners and losers and often the use of coercive power, countries and warring parties base conflict mediation and peace negotiations on women-centered and life-affirming principles and visions of justice, genuine security, and sustainability of all life on this planet.”
— Excerpt from the Final Statement of the 9th IWNAM Gathering, “Challenge Militarism and Create a Sustainable Future.”

More Resources

Final Statement from Okinawa Gathering, June 2017