Subject: TP: Int'l Women's Day


March 12, 2001

To commemorate International Women's Day in East Timor, women's organisations such as Et-Wave Fokupers, OMT, OPMT and youth organisations joined in a long procession.

More than 500 people from East Timor and overseas attended including the wife of Xanana Gusmao -- Kirsty Sword Gusmao -- her son Alexandre Sword Gusmao, Olandina Cairo, who is co-ordinator of ET-Wave and co-ordinator general of Women's Networking in East Timor.

The march on March 8 started at 4pm (local time) and marchers carried banners such as "No violence against women", "Men and Women have the same rights", "Unique Youth against violence", and "Election okay, Violence no".

Finn Resk-Niel, the representative from UNDP, said that around 75% or women in East Timor remained illiterate.

The representative of Sergio Viera de Mello, Jean Christy Cady, said that to have a fully independence East Timor, women must wake up to the contribution they could make.

And the co-ordinator of Women's Networking, Aurora Ximenes, said that the aim of the long march was to show the contribution women could make towards the peace of the fledgling nation and the world.

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