|Subject: NTT X W Timor Women activists:
UN Sec. Council resolution must be implemented
NTT Ekspres 4 November 2000
NTT X "Women activists: UN Sec. Council resolution must be implemented"
KUPANG Women activists in Kupang hope that competent parties in their efforts at peace and reconciliation, whether in the case of Ambon, Aceh, or E. Timor, will socialize and implement the UN Sec. Council resolution so that it places women as decision makers at each stage of discussion and development towards peace. They put forward their remarks in relation to what was implied in a Kompas article on Thursday (2/11) which said the UN Sec. Council last Tuesday (31/10) passed its first resolution that places women in decision making positions at every level of discussion and development of peace. The Security Council also urges that perpetrators of violence against women be tried, protections for women be increased during war, and that more women be appointed to UN peace keeping missions.
According to Sofia Malelak de Haan of the Alfa Omega Foundation, especially for E. Timor "refugees", women have not yet been involved in various reconciliation efforts when in fact in the camps the ones suffering the most are women. "Till now various parties haven't been sensitive to involving women. Therefore, we hope in decision-making regarding registration, repatriation, resettlement, and relocation, women will be involved. Rika Tadu Hunggu, a graduate of the UKAW Theology Faculty, said she was happy about this step forward by the UN Sec. Council. Women and children in areas of armed conflict suffer the most, and women are the most vulnerable to violence. Several policies and efforts at reconciliation, or decisions about repatriation, resettlement, and registration, never involve women to talk about their fate when in fact their voices need to be heard about whether or not they want to repatriate or resettle in Indonesia. Lintje Pellu, a graduate of Salatiga University, said in the context of E. Timor "refugees" in W. Timor it was time to be involved in policies regarding resettlement, repatriation and relocation policies if all sides long for peace. Prof. Mia Patty Noach said she had just returned from Surabaya where in a seminar the problem of E. Timor reconciliation was discussed. She said what has been a problem is that decision makers and leaders of organizations for the struggle are all men. This means that decisions made don't pay attention to the needs and problem's of women. Hopefully this resolution will be a tool of legitimation for women's struggle so that Portugal, Indonesia, UNTAET, UNTAS or whomever else is working for peace among E. Timorese will involve women. Sarah Lery Mboeik, director of the People's Information and Advocacy Center said the same thing that women should be involved in all kinds of political decisions such as those regarding repatriation, resettlement, relocation, and registration. On Sunday (29/10), Minister for Settlement and Regional Development, Erna Witoelar, said, "I agree if women are involved in reconciliation efforts. I am certain that women are more neutral and don't have vested political interests."
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