World Court of women on resistance to wars, wars of globalisation, and wars against women heard stories in poetic and visual presentations of testimonies of women from all over the world at the Polycentric World Social Forum (WSF) in Bamako.
The Women’s Courts of women are an articulation of the new imaginary and are an unfolding space, a horizon that invites women to think, feel, challenge, and connect and to dare to dream.
The courts interrogated the wars of globalisations, heard how imperative it was to conceptualise the historical matrix of the evolvement of this lifeless money self sequencing and propagating process, so as to come up with concrete measures and manoeuvres that guarantee life based, life responsive, all encompassing structures.
Wahu Kaara from Africa noted that for five centuries, from slavery to this day recolonisation masked as globalisation, what women have continued to is a life consuming ideology, masked and marketed as God given, nature oriented and undefeatable paradigm.
Corinne Kumar, addressing the courts observed that we live in violent times where collective memories are dying. She observed that dreams where turning into never ending nightmares and the future increasing fragmented.
The World Courts heard a testimony of Celine Suguna Vimocahana from India on the missing and the disappeared that made people listern and learn as she shared her story.
The court heard how women in India are forced into killing their new born babies because of being born girls. She explained that female infanticide is what they say when they say when infant daughters disappear particularly among the poor and marginalized communities who feed poison husk to a new born child to kill her silently a mother her death. This was because daughters are a said to be a burden and a liability for them in a time and world where women’s wisdom and knowledge’s have become obsolete and redundant.
The court also head with amazement how unborn babies are also among missing girls –those who are causing a dip in the sex ratios, particularly in the more prosperous pockets and communities in the country.
While gender bias against women and girl child was rooted in a complex set of religious, economical, social and cultural factors, modern technology through ultra modern reproduction technologies has exploited these biases and strengthened patriarchal attitudes and institution.
Based on the principles of selection and elimination sex selections techniques are used to determine the sex of the child and abort female foetus. In New Delhi, it has come down to 865 girls to 1000 boys. How 135 girl children go missing?
Science and technology , it is clear has transformed an occasional practice of female infanticide into a well rationalised and justified femicide in which girls are slipping into a statistical void only to emerge as missing populations.
Silence gripped the courts as it heard how dowery has been totally transformed from a cultural practice into an act of criminal extortion that frequently ends in death. Celine explained that girls are sold in the marriage market with Rs20 000, gold and clothes as dowery for her husband and in laws. Obviously her value depreciated so much that five years later she was brutally burnt to death by her husband.
One among 3-4 women or driven to commit suicide everyday in the city of Bangalore is what have come to be known as unnatural deaths of women in marriage or dowry murders.
Among other testimony was from Mercy Siame from Zambia who in a poetic way shared her story on trafficking and HIV/AIDS.
Mercy observed that trafficking affects all African countries and that it was a concern for many people. She said it is a business with a daring death sentence.
She explained that many girls from Africa have been taken to Europe, South Africa and other countries as maids, students etc but have found a different story. Many have failed to come back because of untold poverty at home and have since lost their rights and dignity because of wanting to please their masters.
She pointed out these girls cannot even insists on using a condom and have exposed themselves to HIV/AIDS. The court heard that such girls do not have alternatives but to be used.
Mercy called this the sexist type of slave trade and called for a change and asked everyone to be involved in the fight against trafficking and HIV/AIDS.