Deathscapes

Women Report Violence in a Time of War: The Silenced Voices of the ‘Race Election' – 8th November, 2001

Deathscapes

At the culmination of the Australian Federal ‘race election’ campaign, migrant, refugee and Indigenous women hosted an alternative ‘great debate’ to discuss issues of racial and sexual violence from their perspectives. The forum was held at the University of Technology, Sydney on November 8, 2001, two days before a bitterly-fought election returned a conservative government to power.

The election campaign was waged against a backdrop of security fears about terrorism, refugees and ‘ethnic crime.’ In this forum, women from Indigenous and non-English speaking and backgrounds discussed how the climate of escalating hostility and fear has impacted on their lives.

“The race election we had to have has effectively silenced the voices of women, in particular migrant and refugee women and Indigenous women on issues of sexual and racial violence,” said Ms April Pham, spokesperson for Women Reporting Violence Organising Committee.

“The half-day Forum was also anopportunity for a critique of the historical, systematic, and continuing violence waged against women of ‘difference’ and for discussions about the representation and misrepresentation of racial and sexual violence”.

The Forum commenced with Indigenous and Indigenous women leading a Remembrance ceremony to honour the many women, children and men who have died as they sought asylum and freedom.

This was followed by two panels:

I: Challenging The Media: where refugee, migrant and Indigenous women will address the issues about how women’s voices are silenced during times of war by media and political pressures.

II: Women speaking back to violence: in which women spoke of their own experiences, indigenous, immigrant and refugee, of repression and silencing and the weapons to fight back.

The Forum was organised by Immigrant Women’s Speakout Association of NSW; by We Who Believe in Freedom: End Racialised Punishment, by X-Text,  by UTS and by individual activists.

This Forum was organised to hear from the silenced voices of women, in particular Indigenous, refugee and migrant women in relation to issues of sexual and racial violence as well as to critique the historical, systematic, and continuing violence waged against women of ‘difference’ and to foreground  discussions about the representation and misrepresentation of racial and sexual violence.

Check the media release and the program of the forum.

Forum and media panel contributions: 

Mahboba Cina:  Afghan Women’s Group

Omeima Sukkarieh & Mia Zahra: Silence that Speaks and Dreams that Cry!

Jane-Corpuz-Brock: Migrante Australia

Wendy-Bacon: Independent Centre for Journalism

Transcripts:

Women reporting violence tape 1

Women reporting violence tape 2

Women reporting violence tape 3

Organizing Collective: April Pham, Christina Ho, Heather Goodall, Lena Nahlous, Paula Aboud, Suvendrini Perera

 

 


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All viewers are respectfully advised that the site contains images of and references to the deaths in custody of Indigenous peoples, Black people and refugees that may cause distress.

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