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Kinesis Sep 1, 1996

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 ^  SEPTEMBER 1996   Fringe Fest in preview...pg 19 CMPA $2.25 Inside  KINESIS  #301-1720 Grant Street  Vancouver, BC V5L 2Y6  Tel: (604)255-5499  Fax:(604)255-5511  Kinesis welcomes volunteers to work  on all aspects of the paper. Our next  Writers' Meeting is Tues, Sep 3 and  Tues Oct 1, at 7 pm at Kinesis. All  women welcome even if you don't  have experience.  Kinesis is published ten times a year  by the Vancouver Status of  Women.Its objectives are to be a non-  sectarian feminist voice for women  and to work actively for social change,  specifically combatting sexism,  racism.classism, homophobia,  ableism, and imperialism. Views  expressed in Kinesis are those of the  writer and do not necessarily reflect  VSW policy. All unsigned material is  the responsibility of the Kinesis  Editorial Board.  EDITORIAL BOARD  Fatima Jaffer, Lissa Geller, wendy lee  kenward, Agnes Huang  PRODUCTION THIS ISSUE  Lisa Valencia-Svensson, Centime  Zeleke, Agnes Huang, Alex Hennig,  Judy Miller, wendy lee kenward,  Shannon e. Ash, Michelle Silliboy,  Janet Winter, Winnifred Tovey, Fatima  Jaffer, Jehn Starr, Sook C. Kong,  Faith Jones, Elaine Vieira  Advertising: Sur Mehat  Circulation: Cat L'Hirondelle, Chrystal  Fowler, Audrey Johnson  Distribution: Fatima Jaffer  Typesetter: Sur Mehat  FRONT COVER  XI International AIDS Conference: Left  to right back: Karen Lyons (US), Sonia  Lawless (Australia), Susan Chang  (Malaysia); left to right front: Sandra  Falkner (US) and Nancy Pang  (Canada). Photo by Fatima Jaffer.  PRESS DATE  August 29, 1996  SUBSCRIPTIONS  Individual: $20 per year (+$1.40 GST)  or what you can afford  Institutions/Groups:  $45 per year (+$3.15 GST)  VSW Membership (includes 1 year  Kinesis subscription):  $30 per year (+$1.40 GST)  SUBMISSIONS  Women and girls are welcome to  make submissions. We reserve the  right to edit and submission does not  guarantee publication. If possible,  submissions should be typed, double  spaced and must be signed and  include an address, telephone number  and SASE. Kinesis does not accept  poetry or fiction. Editorial guidelines  are available upon request.  DEADLINES  All submissions must be received in  the month preceding publication.  Note: Jul/Aug and Dec/Jan are double  issues.  Features and reviews: 10th  News: 15th  Letters and Bulletin Board: 18th  Display advertising  (camera ready): 18th  (design required): 16th  Kinesis is produced on a Warner  Doppler PC using Wordperfect 5.1,  PageMaker 4.0 and an NEC laser  printer. Camera work by OK Graphics.  Printing by Horizon Publications.  Ki'      ^ is indexed in the Canadian  Women's Periodicals Index,  the Alternative Press Index, and is a  member of the Canadian Magazine  Publishers Association.  ISSN 0317-9095  Publications mail registration #6426  News  Report from the XI International AIDS Conference 3  by Fatima Jaffer  AIDS Conference: focus on violence against women 4  by E. Centime Zeleke  Ontario Women teachers forge a new federation 5  by Andrea Maenza  US government dismantles social safety net 5  by Smita Patil  Features  Interview with Bangladeshi feminist activist Farida Akhter 8  as told to Agnes Huang  Mental health legislation pitfalls 10  by Irit Shimrat  Mandatory HIV test for pregnant women 11  by Diana Gubiseh-Ayala  HIV/AIDS and human rights. Interview with Kagendo Murungi 12  as told to E. Centime Zeleke  Centrespread  Socio-economic realities for women living with HIV/AIDS: interview  with Karen Lyons 12  as told to Fatima Jaffer  Arts  Book reviews: women and the internet 16  by Penny Goldsmith  Interview with playwright Addena Sumter-Freitag 17  as told to April Sumter-Freitag  Guerilla Girls: Feminist Artists and activists 18  by Leanne Johnson  Women at the Vancouver Fringe Festival 19  compiled by Shannon e. Ash  Regulars  As Kinesis Goes to Press 2  Inside Kinesis 2  What's News 6  compiled by Andrea Maenza  Movement Matters 7  compiled by Joanne Namsoo  Letters 20  Bulletin Board 21  compiled by Andrea Imada and Joanne Namsoo  Passionate about women's issues?  Want to see those issues in these pages?  Come to one of our next Story Meetings  Tues September 3rd and October 1st  at #301-1720 Grant Street, Vancouver.  Telephone: (604) 255-5499  Farida Akhter..  Mandatory HIV testing on pregnant women 11  Addena Sumter-Freitag at the Fringe 17 As Kinesis goes to press, summer is  winding down, but a lot more is winding  up...Take, for instance, all the discussion  and debate around women's reproductive  rights. Lately, the dailies have been filled  with stories of frozen embryos, selective  abortions, women carrying eight foetuses,  courts ordering pregnant women into drug  treatment centres, and "lesbians giving  birth to quadruplets." [No, this wasn't on  the cover of some supermarket tabloid.]  In days past, the main issue concerning reproductive rights was abortion.  Nowadays, the right to choose is more complex and involves things such as, in vitro  fertilization, surogacy, and genetic testing.  Given all this, it is particularly critical  for feminists to clarify our analysis of NRTs  and related issues. In upcoming issues, Kinesis will publish feminist debate on some  of these issues.  Back on the issue of abortion...it appears that women who've had abortions are  no longer welcome in the Roman Catholic  Church (surprise, surprise.) Archbishop  Adam Exner, the highest church official in  BC, lashed out that such women should be  excommunicated.  Ironically (or is that, hypocritically,)  just a week later, after one of his bishops,  Hubert O'Connor, was convicted of the  sexual and indecent assault of two Aboriginal women, Exner pleaded that O'Connor  should be forgiven because "he had suffered enough." Excommunication certainly  was not on the tip of Exner's tongue, nor  was any apology on O'Connor's.  More hypocrisy to report...last month,  David Dingwall told women at the Canada  -US Women's Health Conference in Ottawa  that women's organizations should work  with business to figure out strategies (i.e.  raise money) for ending violence against  women. Why? Because women can't expect the federal government to carry the  financial "burden"of violence against  women.  Dingwall also suggested the government may not renew the $120 million (over  five years) family violence initiative.  Dingwall did agree to look into legislation that would require drug companies  to use women as research subjects when  testing their drugs. The US also recently  brought in similiar legislation. Women have  been excluded from drug trials because of  ncouv/er       Status       of    \A/ o  mi  e n  Our appreciation to the following supporters who became members, renewed their  memberships or donated to the Vancouver Status of Women in July and August.  Susan Adams * Barbara Bell * Liz Bennett * The Blue Ewe * Susan Boyd * Jennifer  Bradley * Debra Browning * Betty-Ann Buss * Donna Clark * Karen Clark * Gail  Oyer * Ellen Dixon * Diane Ellis * Gloria Filax * S.L. Fletcher * Terry Fletcher *  Joanne Fox * Janet Fraser * Maureen Fraser * Catherine Fretwell * Stan Gabriel *  Helen Garry * Noga Gayle * Carole Gerson * Kylie Goeldner * Penny Goldsmith *  J.K. Gordon * Miriam Gropper * Judith Harper * Telka Henderson * Kathy Hill *  Alison Hopwood * Margaret Jackson * Tracey Jackson * Faune Johnson * Naomi  Katz * Barbara Kearney * Else Kennedy * W. Krayenhoff * Barbara Kuhne * Heather  Leighton * Abby Lippman * J. Lydiard * Leanne MacDonnell * Glenda MacPherson  * Catherine Malone * Alyson Martin * Arlene McLaren * Deborah McDougal * Florence McDowell * Monica McGovern * Vera Mclntyre * Rhea McKenzie * Kathleen  McRae * Diane Mercy * Kerry Moore * Cheryl Nash * Lorna Nelson * Karen  Nordlinger * Susan Olsen * M.V. Ostrowski * Ruth Patrick * Susan Penfold * Carol  Pettigrew * Ruth Roach Pierson * Janet S. Kellough Pollock * Geraldine Pratt * Judith  Quinlan * Arvilla Read * Janet Riehm * Catherine Revell * Hulda Roddan * Robin  Ronnie * Adrianne Ross * Janet Routledge * Sandra Sharp * Helen Shore * Sandy  Shreve * Shannon Steele * Ginny Stikeman * Susan Stout * Suzanne Strutt * Skye  Stuart * Johanna Teboekhorst * Penelope Tilby * Lisa Turner * Sherry Ty * Joanne  Tyler * Linda Van Den Blink * W.E.L.L. Society * Sue Watson * Christine Waymark *  Phyllis Wilson * Susan Wendell * Jin-Sun Yoon * Maggie Ziegler  A special thank you to our donors who give a gift every month. Monthly donations  assist VSW in establishing a reliable funding base to carry out our programs, sevices and  Kinesis throughout the year. Thanks to:  Barbara Curran * T.D. Gibson * Erin Graham * Jody Gordon * Barbara Lebrasseur  * Lolani Moreau * Eha Onno * Sheilah Thompson * Elizabeth Whynot  Also thanks to the following casino volunteers:  Rain Daniels * Jennifer Johnstone * Tori Johnstone * Joanne Namsoo * Terri  Netsena  Finally, thanks to the women who helped mail out the annual report:  Heather Commodore * Andrea Imada  Corrections  Last issue, as Kinesis was going to press...we incorrectly identified BC's Minister of  Social Services, Dennis Streifel. As well, we misspelled Arlene Mantle's last name in two  places: page 3 and 14. Mantle performed "For Bread and Roses" at the National Women's  March rally in Ottawa. And speaking of the March, the Women's March tape is not available through Festival Records as suggested last issue, but can be obtained from NAC by  calling 1-800-665-5124.    the variability of our bodies; i.e. that we  menstruate, get pregnant and go through  menopause. This has often meant that  women have had unexpected adverse reactions to drugs because they've never been  tested on us.  On another note, there's good news on  the women's health front: a new women's  health newsletter has hit the scene. The bimonthly Canadian Women's Health Network  is available in English and French and on  the internet. CWHN will fill a gap left after Healthsharing, the Toronto-based women's health magazine, stopped publishing  in 1994. For more information ,call the  Women's Health Clinic in Winnipeg at (204)  947-2422, ext 134.  On a sad note, BC's only magazine  dealing with labour, politics and culture,  Pacific Current, has ceased publication. The  left-wing rag was two-years old and had  already established a small, but strong,  readership base in BC and nationally. But  financial and other logistical issues became  too much for the board, so it decided to fold  until such time as someone was in a position to revive the magazine. We look for  ward to that time; BC certainly needs all  the left publications it can get.  South of the border, the Republicans  and Democrats are gearing up for a November election. Apart from all the boring,  contrived coverage that's already barrag-  ing our TV sets, there will be some important things happening that women in  Canada need to keep their eyes on.  The recently passed welfare bill has  brought in draconian measures that far  outdo any poor-bashing efforts that right-  wing elements have been able to initiate in  Canada [see page 5.] But when we see how  far Mike Harris has gone in destroying social programs and the non-profit sector in  Ontario, we should stay vigilant.  The "social policy reform" here is following the same direction, though not at  the lengths as in the US. We stand in solidarity with our sisters in the US.  Meanwhile in BC, women are still  waiting for the NDP to complete its review  of its "BC Benefits"welfare program, that  brought in massive changes that adversely  affect those in need of social assistance.  We'll have more next month.  Summer at Kinesis ended in early August when we returned to work on producing our September issue. Still, we did have  the sun streaming into the icy cold production room as we pored over newsprint with  X-acto knife and/or mouse, one ear to the  phone, the other supporting that ubiquitous blue pencil...  The sun was especially welcome when  life got rocky in Kinesis world. Most traumatic were the departures of a couple of  core Kinesis people. Alex Hennig left the  Editorial Board for OC (over committed,)  reasons, but then promptly volunteered for  production shifts to help get the issue out.  Alex sat on the Editorial Board for over  a year, bringing a fresh perspective on ad  design and other elements of production.  We'll miss you, Alex...and hope you continue to join us on the Kinesis-go-round for  many more years to come.  Also last month, we mourned the loss  of our production coordinator, Laiwan.  Laiwan left for other work commitments,  general busy-ness and health reasons after  being on contract with Kinesis for over a  year. Laiwan brought Kinesis her technical  expertise and a strong sense of design. As  well, she introduced Kinesis to the wacky  trial-and-error world of scanning images.  She also contributed her writing, especially  on Asian women and the arts. We will treasure her scans of Jenny Shimizu gracing the  production room walls. We've been assured  that Laiwan will continue to support Kinesis by contributing reviews, her technical  wizadry (and perhaps fresh scans of  Jenny?!) Thanks, Laiwan.  The Kinesis Editorial Board has decided to hold off on hiring a replacement  for Laiwan until we complete restructuring efforts. We hope to post job descriptions  for production support staff by the end of  the year or early January. In the meantime,  long-time Kinesis volunteer and production wiz Winnifred Tovey, the ever helpful  Alex Hennig, and editor Agnes Huang coordinated the layout and paste-up this  month, with special support from Lisa Valencia-Svensson, Fatima Jaffer, Sook C.  Kong, Elaine Vieira, wendy kenward and  Faith Jones. Many thanks!   However, while we loved the fun of  collective design coordination, the Ed  Board has decided to tone down the hair-  raising elements that go along with collective creativity by hiring a contract desk-top  publisher for the next couple of issues.  All was not traumatic at Kinesis...In  fact, August held some delightful highlights. Lissa Geller, who's sat on Kinesis'  Editorial Board—pregnantly for the last  nine months-gave birth, after a very quick  labour, to a baby boy, Joseph James. Joey  will take the surname of his co-mother,  Tracey Osbourne. Many many many congratulations to Lissa, Tracey, and big brother  David!!!  Other news on the celebration front is  the upcoming, new and improved, Kinesis  Annual Benefit and Raffle. Raffle tickets are  already out there somewhere in Vancouver  and wherever Kinesis-ites travel to, with  some fabulous prizes including artwork,  weekend getaways, and other goodies! The  Benefit takes places on September 19th at  the WISE Club in Vancouver. It is a smoke-  free, alcohol-free, wheelchair accessible  event, with fabulous entertainment by the  newest all-woman band Onna Zoku Bang,  Penny Singh and band, and the fabulous  Sandy Scofield. Also lined up are good eats,  Kinesis treats, emcee madness, and many  door prizes!  Finally, we'd like to say a big thank you  and welcome to new voices in this issue:  Kagendo Murungi, Farida Akhtar, April  Sumter-Frietag, Karen Lyons and Diana  Gubiseh-Ayala.  And many many thanks to new production volunteers wielding blue pencil or  X-acto knife for the first time: Sook C. Kong,  Elaine Vieira, and Janet Winters.  If you want to join the ever-illustrious  line-up of old-time, new-time women hanging out our over-super air-conditioned production room, call Agnes at 255-5499. We  appreciate all kinds of help, anytime, so  don't hold back if you don't have the experience. We'd love to see you!!  Until next month, sit back, struggle,  hang on in there, support a friend or call  one up, grab a Kinesis, read, eat, fight back,  survive!!!  SEPTEMBER 1996 News  XI International AIDS Conference:  Which world? Whose hope?  by Fatima Jaffer  It is easy to ponder, play with, or pun  versions of the title, "One World, One  Hope," of the XI International AIDS Conference that brought almost 15,000 delegates from around the world to Vancouver in early July. One such play on the title  came from Act-Up's Paris members, who  carried a huge banner asking, "What  world? What hope?" at Act-Up's numerous demonstrations throughout the conference. [Act-Up is the acronym for the US-based  activist organization, AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, which has chapters in North and  Latin America and Europe.]  Perhaps the clearest, most repeated  message at the conference was that, despite  the common threads bringing together peo-  ple with HIV/AIDS, your chances of living with HTV depends very much on which  world you live in. Study after study, speech  after speech, told of the many, almost  unbridgeable differences between those in  "have" versus those in "have-not" communities—between those in the so-called  "first" and "third" worlds; and between  those in marginalized communities and in  mainstream communities in the north.  This message was repeated over and  over again, from the moment the AIDS  Conference opened with spectacular ceremonies and speeches at General Motors  Mace on July 7th, through four very long  days of plenary sessions, workshops, poster  displays and discussions, symposia,  roundtables, debates and cultural events,  and on to the somewhat less spectacular,  rather subdued closing ceremony on July  12th. Delegates heard evidence, as if for the  first time, about how AIDS is a global epidemic. We heard that 94 percent of the almost 22 million people with HIV and AIDS  live in developing countries, and almost  half are women.  We also heard how there has been a  slowing of the increase in the spread of  HIV /AIDS in North America, but dramatic  variations in who is now being infected—  women more than men, Black, Latino/a,  Asian and Aboriginal peoples more than  white people, heterosexuals versus gay  men, prisoners versus non-incarcerated.  We heard that AIDS is the leading  cause of death in African-American  women, in Brazil and many other countries,  and that women everywhere are the fastest growing risk group for HTV infection—  for every two men, three women are infected.  That took care of the "One World" idea.  One can only hope the organizers, who  came up with the title, were expressing an  idealistic hope that by imagining ourselves  to be united, we would be inspired to work  on a global response to HTV/AIDS. Though  many of the distinctly different worlds were  represented at the conference, it would take  more than a huge leap of the imagination  to believe there is indeed a global approach  to eliminating and/or treating HTV/AIDS,  KILL  or that the conference will effect the kinds  of changes needed in funding and research  priorities to turn the situation around.  As for "One Hope," long before the  conference there had been stories of scientists, academics and pharmaceutical companies bringing hopeful news to Vancouver about combinations of new and existing drugs that are having positive effects  on the health of some people living with  edly heard, when people do not even have  access to aspirin or malaria drugs, food,  water or housing, then drugs treating HTV/  AIDS are low among spending priorities.  Community Forum  In order to find ways to raise and discuss some of these issues at the conference,  a strategizing Community Forum was held  at the University of British Columbia prior  to the official conference. It was attended  by 100 people chosen from each of the five  regions of the world, defined by organizers as NorthAmerica, Europe, Asia-Pacific,  Africa, and Latin America/Caribbean. Out  of the Forum came numerous recommendations for international priorities for research, human rights, treatment, and community development.  Among the conclusions reached by the  participants was that AIDS is "more than a  virus. It is a combination of social, political  and economic factors..." and that "research  is knowledge created by all actors involved"—scientists, communities, financial  agencies, governments and people living  with HIV/AIDS. Participants called for a  politics of solidarity that integrates science  and activism, more networks, greater community involvement and collaborative research, and accountability by drug companies to people living with HIV/AIDS.  In their presentation to the formal Conference, Forum participants also an-  ■r  l¥|ir\I  WHmi      rivJl    Cm  •  HTV and AIDS. Numerous studies were  presented on how drug therapies have successfully reduced the amount of HTV and  raised T-cell blood counts to healthy levels  in the (largely Western white male)  populations they have been tested on.  Much of this information had been  anxiously anticipated by the community  workers, activists, and people living with  HTV/AIDS attending the conference. While  it fell far short of offering a cure for AIDS,  it may have brought hope to a small minority. It however, holds little hope for the  majority of those living with HIV/AIDS.  Many delegates pointed out that the cost  of the drugs are far too high to be accessible to people in the south or their governments. In the north, health care cutbacks,  welfare cuts and other attacks on poor people guarantee that the majority of newly  infected persons (women and those from  marginalized communities) will not have  access to these drugs. And, as we repeat-  nounced the formation of an international  human rights committee to monitor human  rights abuses, such as compulsory testing,  abuse of patient confidentiality, and travel  restrictions on people with HIV/AIDS.  Forum participants drew connections  between poor nutrition and poverty. Poor  nutritution impairs the immune system,  increases risks of contracting HTV, often  leading to job loss and increased poverty,  and the inability to maintain proper nutrition. The presenters said most of those afflicted with HIV die from wasting away  before they contract ATDS-related illnesses.  Demonstration of support  On the day the Conference opened, a  demonstration was organized in support  of people living with HTV/AIDS around  the world. The demonstration also aimed  to draw media attention to the urgent need  for the Canadian government to renew the  See AIDS, page 15  SEPTEMBER 1996 News  XI International Conference on AIDS: Violence against women:  Social factors  increase risk  by E. Centime Zeleke  In addition to plenary sessions and lecture style presentations, there were poster  symposiums at the XI International Conference on AIDS. Each poster symposium  lasted for one hour and consisted of six or  seven presentations using posters followed  by discussion.  Given the time period allotted to each  poster presenter (five minutes), it would  appear that the organizers of the conference  relegated some of what they perceived to  be the "less" important topics to the poster  symposiums.  However, one of the more inspiring  sessions at the conference was in fact a  poster symposium entitled, "Violence  against women and HTV risk." The session  was inspiring because it tried to make connections across various groups of community workers and organizers (something  sadly lacking during the rest of the conference) and offered a broad-based analysis  of issues around women's vulnerability to  HTV  Geeta Rao Gupta from the International Centre for Research on Women  (ICRW) in Washington, DC was the first  presenter. Framing the entire poster session,  Gupta's presentation insisted that theAIDS  community must foster connections with  the violence against women movement if  it wants to effectively protect women from  HTV She said that studies ICRW has conducted clearly show that sexual coercion,  violence and fear of violence still prevent  women from protecting themselves from  HIV even if they have prevention information available to them.  The key issue for many women is the  unequal power distribution between men  and women, and from that, women's inability to be effective decision makers.  Gupta stressed that social and economic  empowerment of women must therefore be  part of any AIDS prevention strategy. "A  move forward for the AIDS community  would be to build coalitions within countries at the grassroots level so that we can  think together for strategies...to challenge  social norms," she said.  Gupta expressed fear that if theAIDS  community continued to work on the issue of AIDS as an issue unto itself, it might  reinvent the wheel. Further, she pointed out  that the fatality of AIDS to entire communities "tragically provides an opportunity  to...underscore to governments the linkage  between violence against women, health  and economic development."  Gina M. Wingwood, a researcher at the  University of Alabama, presented a poster  describing a community-based study that  looked at the effects of physical abuse on  the sexual health and risk of HTV in African -American women in San Francisco.  Her presentation emphasized much of  what Gupta had said. However, she also  talked about an intervention strategy developed by the project designed to promote  long term condom use.  Wingwood said the strategy has been  successful in increasing education and condom use, if not all the time, at least sometimes. She attributed its effectiveness "to the  focus on gender relations in which HIV  sexual risk behaviours occur...Few HTV prevention interventions have been based on  theoretical models that address gender relations."  Allison Morill from the New England  Research Institute was also quick to point  out the gaps in traditional AIDS intervention programs. "Historically, models that  look at HIV risk in women have been developed out of research with gay men  where there is a more individualistic approach to what contributes to sexual decision making," she said.  WOMEN UNITE, TAKE BACK THE NIGHT  In 1981, women across Canada took to the streets to demonstrate against  male violence against women in the first coordinated national Take Back the  Night march and rally.  This year, women in Vancouver will come together again to Take Back the  Night Friday, September 20th. The annual action, organized by Vancouver Rape  Relief and Women's Shelter as part of the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres, will start at 7pm at Trout Lake (Victoria Drive and E. 15th Ave)  with a rally, followed by a march and celebration. [Above is a photo from last's  year's Jake Back the Night march.]  All women are encouraged to participate. Childcare, sign language interpreters and mobility attendants will be available. For more information or to  pre-register for childcare, call Rape Relief at (604) 872-8212. Photo by Denise  Howard.  Most of the presenters agreed that after years of AIDS education, it has become  obvious that a woman's intention to protect herself from HIV infection is not  enough to guarantee protection. Most participants at the symposium also agreed that  prevention strategies must address all aspects of a woman's life.  It was also pointed out that the Beijing  [4th World Conference on Women] Platform for Action includes specific recommendations for governments to adopt to  address this very issue. Participants felt it  was now time to hold governments accountable to their commitments.  There was also a call for AIDS organizations to work more closely with women's groups to implement the sections of  the platform that deal with women and  HTV/AIDS.  In a conversation after the session,  Geeta Rao Gupta spoke about what an innovative AIDS prevention strategy would  look like. She said that in Zambia, the National AIDS Program found that women  fish-trade workers were often at risk when  they performed sexual favours for fishermen in exchange for access to fish and  transport. The AIDS program therefore  advocated for the creation of a credit cooperative for these women. Through it, the  women are now guaranteed access to fish  and transportation. Because the women are  more economically independent, they have  reduced their risk of HIV infection.  E. Centime Zeleke covered the AIDS Conference for Kinesis and Coop Radio. She is a Vancouver-based Ethiopian feminist activist.  iht for.  • •  OUR COMMUNITIES!  OUR PUBLIC SERVICES!  A message from the Public Service Alliance of Canada   •   (604) 430-5631  SEPTEMBER 1996 News  Women teachers in Ontario:  Forging a new federation  by Andrea Maenza  At their annual meeting, members of  the Federation of Women Teachers' Associations of Ontario (FWTAO) voted to continue a process to discuss creating a new  federation representing all public elementary school teachers.  The FWTAO is one of five teachers'  federations in Ontario, along with the Ontario Public School Teachers' Federation  (OPSTF), and unions representing Catholic school teachers, French teachers, and  secondary school teachers. The FWTAO,  the province's largest union, represents  41,000 women elementary school teachers.  The FWTAO was formed 78 years ago  to combat sexism and address concerns of  women teachers, such as the disproportionate representation in leadership positions. Even today, while 75 percent of elementary school teachers are women, only  37 percent of the principals are women.  The FWTAO also has long taken a  strong advocacy role for equality for  women as an active member of the National Action Committee on the Status of  Women, and through its support of feminist organizations in Ontario and numerous projects promoting women's rights.  With discussions still in the early  stages, the FWTAO voted to continue negotiating a proposal that could end the all-  woman membership of the union in favour  of forming a new federation with their  male-dominated counterpart, the 30,000-  member OPSTF. Feeling pressure from the  increasingly conservative political climate,  the unions are considering joining together  to strengthen their numbers to fight for a  variety of issues concerning public education. The two unions will work together to  develop a constitution for a new federation,  for approval by members of both unions  next summer.  Margaret Gee, the newly elected president of the FWTAO, explains the process is  necessitated by the funding cutbacks to  education and social programs being  brought in by Mike Harris' Ontario government, as well as its repeal of the Employment Equity Act and removal of sections of the Education Act requiring  progress towards employment equity.  "Times are such that we must now  fight for all teachers' rights," says Gee, but  she maintains that women's representation  and equity issues cannot be separated from  those rights. She adds the two federations  have been working more closely together  to challenge the funding cuts to education.  Gee says the proposal for a new federation is only in an exploratory stage and  does not rule out other options for safe  guarding teachers' rights and public education. She stresses that FWTAO's members  will not abandon their previous work, and  will seek to maintain their strong leadership role in areas of social justice and advocacy. Within broader efforts to preserve  public education and ensure job security,  Gee says work will also continue on women's equity and leadership programs.  The FWTAO says it will consider joining with OPSTF only if a set of principles  are met in the constitution, such as: ensuring a number of seats for women in the new  federation's executive, and maintaining  training programs for women, regional representation, and the advocacy work for  women's equality. "Rest assured... we will  not lose our heritage/'says Gee.  Interestingly, the current discussion of  creating a new union of both men and  women teachers comes after the FWTAO  has spent more than ten years in court fighting a battle over the right to safeguard their  all-women membership. In 1985, after two  women complained about mandatory  membership in the FWTAO (requiring all  women elementary school teachers to join  the FWTAO), the Ontario Human Rights  Commission (OHRC) ruled that the federation's mandatory membership clause constituted sexual discrimination. The OPSTF,  which by then had dropped the word  "men" from its title and was offering voluntary free membership to women, was a  co-complainant in the case.  In a 1995 appeal, the Ontario Court  General Division upheld the decision of the  OHRC. The FWTAO is further appealing  that ruling and the case will be heard by  the Ontario Court of Appeal in November.  If the ruling is upheld, the FWTAO  would be forced to remove the mandatory  membership clause from their constitution,  while other teachers unions (such as the  Catholic and French teachers unions)  would not. The federation would then become the only voluntary teachers' union in  the province, potentially threatening their  collective strength.  Even though the FWTAO is considering forming a new "Federation for the Future" with the OPSTF, the right to maintain  a women-only mandatory membership  clause is still an important issue for them,  says Gee. Regardless of where the discussions for a new union end up, the FWTAO  remains adamant in their plans to take their  fight all the way to the Supreme Court of  Canada, if necessary.  Andrea Maenza recently escaped Mike Harris'  Ontario.  Women, welfare and the US:  Single moms hardest hit  by Smita Patil  The National Organization of Women  held a large demonstration outside the  White House in Washington, DC last  month, to protest the signing into law by  US President Clinton of a bill that will dismantle the already minimal US welfare  program and social safety net. The law will  affect millions of unemployed Americans  at a time when there are few jobs available  at above-minimum wage.  Women chanted slogans like "No veto,  no vote," reminding Clinton that by signing the bill instead of using his presidential veto to block it, women are not going  to vote for him in the next election.  The new law will have devastating  consequences for tens of millions of people living in the US, and in particular single mothers. Single moms make up 90 percent of all people who receive welfare in  the US.  The core of the new law abolishes Aid  to Families with Dependant Children,  which provides monthly cash benefits to  almost 13 million people, including 8 million children. This is to be replaced with  block grants to the states to run welfare and  workfare programs. The block grants are  contingent on states withdrawing support  from the recipient if they remain unemployed after two years. And states could  lose some of the federal financing if a quar  ter of welfare recipients in the state are not  working by next year. The bill also sets a  five-year lifetime limit for aid from federal  block funds, which will affect over half of  the Americans currently receiving welfare  payments.  Single mothers are required to work  within two years of receiving benefits if  their youngest child is over the age of 5,  and are only eligible for Medicaid if they  are receiving welfare. A single mom with  children under 5 years is allowed to draw  benefits if she is not working, but only if  she proves she cannot find suitable, affordable childcare.  Unmarried mothers under 18 years old  are required to live with an adult and attend school in order to receive welfare.  They are exempt from living with a parent  or guardian only if they can prove they or  their child is at risk of "serious" physical  or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation.  All single moms will be required to  provide information about the father of her  child(ren) as a condition of receiving welfare, to enable the state to force him to provide child support. In many cases, this is  almost guaranteed to endanger the life of  the mother and/or child(ren).  Low-income disabled children will no  longer be eligible for welfare. It is estimated  Photo courtesy Welfare Mothers Voice  that over the next six years, at least 315,000  low-income children with disabilities will  be denied access to benefits and Medicaid.  Childless unemployed people may receive food stamps only for three months in  a three-year period, with three additional  months if she gets a job and then loses it.  This affects at least one million people.  Anyone who has ever been convicted  on a drug charge under federal or state law-  will not be allowed to receive either cash  benefits or food stamps, with the state being given the option to override the ban.  The bill also attacks the rights of legal  immigrants, who for their first ten years in  the USA will no longer be eligible for food  stamps or supplement welfare assistance,  presently available to immigrants who are  needy, aged or have disabilities. States will  also be allowed to cut off cash assistance,  Medicaid and social services for  noncitizens currently receiving such aid. In  assessments, the income and assets of an  immigrant's sponsor will now be assumed  to be available to the immigrant.  A large portion of the $55 billion that  the bill is intended to save the government  over the next six years will come from the  cuts in immigrant aid, and $24 billion alone  will come from cuts in food stamps to all  needy Americans, immigrant and non-immigrant.  The bill was the third version of "welfare reform" plans designed by Republicans. It was accepted in US Senate by both  Republicans and Democrats, with an equal  number (23) of Democrats opposing the bill  as voting for it. Clinton's signing of the bill  is widely seen as an election-year concession to right-wing, anti-immigrant, poor-  bashing sentiments among Americans.  Pat Gowens, editor of Welfare Mothers Voice, a Wisconsin-based newspaper  written by mothers in poverty, points out  that: "[American] corporate politicians and  media have convinced too many average  Americans that if they can't receive any of  that "child care and health care" allegedly  given to the most destitute moms, then no  one should get it."  SEPTEMBER 1996 What's News  compiled by Andrea Maenza  RU-486 approved in US  After a long wait, the US Food and  DmgAdministration (FDA) recommended  the approval of RU-486, the so-called "abortion pill." In July, the FDA ruled the drug is  safe, effective and that the risks, including  pain and bleeding, are acceptable.  RU-486, designed to terminate early  pregnancies, may be taken by women up  to seven weeks pregnant. It has to be taken  in conjunction with another drug,  misoprostol, which has already been approved by the FDA. For American women,  the drug is the first approved alternative  to surgical abortion.  The FDA's decision was based largely  on the findings of two studies of French  women, which found an overall success  rate of 95.5 percent. RU-486 is already available to women in France, England, Sweden  and China. It has yet to be approved for  use in Canada.  BC psychiatrist acquitted for sex assault  The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to order back to trial a Vancouver  psychiatrist acquitted of indecent and  sexual assault against former patients. In  its ruling last month, the court rejected any  further attempts to secure a criminal conviction against James Tyhurst.  Tyhurst, the head of psychiatry at the  University of British Columbia from 1959-  1970, was charged with subjecting female  patients to indecent and sexual assault, including "master-slave" relationships. In the  original trial, four women testified about  assaults occurring between 1966 and 1983.  In 1991, Tyhurst was convicted and  sentenced to four years in prison. However,  that ruling was overturned by the BC Court  of Appeal in 1993, on the grounds that the  trial judge had not properly instructed the  jury on reasonable doubt. The case was sent  back to trial.  During Tyhurfs subsequent trial, only  two of the original complainants testified.  After deliberating for six days, the jury acquitted Tyhurst. The Crown appealed the  acquittal, but earlier this year, it was dismissed by the BC Court of Appeal. And  now the Supreme Court of Canada dashed  the women's last hope of getting a conviction.  One of the women says she intends to  pursue civil suits against Tyhurst and the  College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC  She says the college should have removed  Tyhurst's medical license 15 years ago.  New study links  estrogen and Alzheimer's  The findings of a study from Columbia University in New York suggest that  women who have reached menopause and  take estrogen replacement drugs have a  reduced risk of getting Alzheimer's disease.  While not prepared to recommend that  most older women start taking estrogen, the  scientists who conducted the research say  the findings do justify a large, federally  sponsored clinical trial to further investigate the matter.  The five year study found that only 2.7  percent of women who had taken estrogen  after menopause were diagnosed with  Alzheimer's each year, while 8.4 percent of  those who had never taken estrogen developed the disease. The scientists also say  other studies have found that hormone replacement therapy reduces the risk of heart  disease and osteoporosis.  However, the study did not focus on  the negative effects often associated with  estrogen or hormone replacement therapies  for post-menopausal women, including  increased risk of breast and ovarian can-  Childcare task force  urged  Child care advocates are calling on  Ottawa to create a task force which would  work to resolve the wrangling between provincial and federal governments over the  creation of a national child care program.  In June, the Liberal government did  give some indication it would consider the  idea of a task force at the National Action  Committee on the Status of Women's annual lobby of federal politicians.  A recent poll conducted for the Child  Care Advocacy Association found that 65  per cent of Canadians support a national  child care program, supported jointly by  fees and government funds. Despite this  widespread support, Ottawa and the provinces have yet to come to an agreement  about sharing the costs of creating licenced  day-care centres. The impasse has resulted  in thousands of families no longer being  able to afford good day care.  In Ontario, according to the Ontario  Coalition for Better Child Care, changes this  past April in how money is transferred  from Ottawa to the provinces [with the implementation of the Canada Health and Social  Transfer (CHST)], combined with provincial  cutbacks to transfer payments to municipalities, have led to an erosion in child care  services.  More than 9,000 child care subsidies  have been lost in Ontario since the Mike  Harris' Tories were elected in June 1995.  This is due to the provincial government's  new requirement that municipalities pay 20  percent of the cost of 14,000 day-care subsidies, or else lose the remaining 80 percent  provided by the province. As many municipalities have not been able to afford the  extra costs, thousands of daycare subsidies  have been cancelled.  Japan apologizes to  "comfort women"  On August 14, Japanese Prime Minister issued a long-awaited written apology  to women forced into sex slavery by Japanese soldiers during the Second World War.  The apology, accompanied by payments  from a private fund backed by the Japanese  government, was addressed to four Filipina  women who had applied to receive the  sums.  This is the first time the Japanese government has ever publicly apologized for  the forced enslavement of women and girls  by the Japanese military. While activists  welcomed the apology, many are still furious over the Japanese government's refusal  to use public funds for compensation.  Survivors and their supporters have  been organizing foi years to pressure the  Japanese government to claim full responsibility for the torture and abuse. A private  fund was established that expects to issue  payments of $25,000 to each of the estimated 300 surviving Asian women forced  to service the Japanese army. Approxi  mately 200,000 women and girls were subjected to sexual slavery in military brothels  organized by the Japanese Imperial Army  throughout Asia from 1931 to 1945.  The apology comes after testimony  from some of the former "comfort women"  was heard in an ongoing lawsuit against  the Japanese government, demanding  damages and a public apology.  Many of the survivors have said they  will refuse the payments from the private  fund because they want direct compensation from the government. They object to  use of private money to the assist the government in evading responsibility.  Sarah Balabagan freed  from prison  Sarah Balabagan, a teenage Filipina  domestic worker who was convicted of  murder for stabbing her employer in the  United Arab Emirates (UAE), was released  from jail on July 31.  Balabagan was despite evidence that  she killed the man in self-defence because  he was trying to rape her.  Balabagan was sentenced to death, but  last October, under pressure from women's  and migrant workers' groups worldwide,  the UAE president helped to convince the  family of the man to drop their insistence  for her execution. In exchange, Balabagan  was sentenced to one-year in prison and  100 lashes and ordered to pay US$41,000  to the man's family [see Kinesis November  1995.]  Balabagan was released after completing three quarters of her one-year sentence  for good behaviour, according to the Philippine government.  Native people take  health concerns to UN  The disparity between health care provided in Canada for Native people versus  the general population was presented recently in a report to the UN Working Group  on Indigenous Peoples by the Confederacy  of the Treaty Six First Nations.  The report listed comparative statistics  on health, including the following: life expectancy is almost 10 years shorter for Aboriginal peoples than the national average;  diabetes is 4.5 times more likely, tuberculosis nine times; and suicide is 2.5 times  more common than among the general  population.  The report also raised the fact that most  Aboriginal peoples live in poverty, and endure poor and overcrowded housing conditions which contribute to injuries, respiratory problems, spread of infections and  stress. The findings of this report are consistent with previous studies, including one  released by the Assembly of First Nations  in February.  The Canadian government maintains  there has been an overall improvement over  the past decade in First Nations health. Paul  Cochrane, assistant deputy health minister,  acknowledges a gap in health status, while  adding that "...in many cases the gap has  WOMEN UNITE,  TAKE BACK  THE NIGHT  A WOMEN-ONLY  PROTEST  All women live with the fear of rape. Each time we hear of a woman  being raped or beaten, we know it could have been us. We take what  precautions we can to be safe, but ultimately we cannot control  whether or not we are attacked.  Take Back The Night is one night during the year when women walk  together through the streets, at night, without fear of being attacked  by a man, BECAUSE WE WALK TOGETHER. We walk without  the protection of men, experiencing the freedom that should be  our right. Join us this year.  FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 1996  7:00 PM  RALLY AT TROUT LAKE  (VICTORIA AND 15TH AVE)  MARCH AND CELEBRATION TO FOLLOW  ORGANIZED BY  VANCOUVER RAPE RELIEF AND WOMEN'S SHELTER  AS PART OF THE  CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF SEXUAL ASSAULT CENTRES  Sign language interpretation • Wheelchair accessible • Childcare available  For more information, call Rape Relief @ 872-8212  SEPTEMBER 1996 Movement Matters  listings information  Movement Matters is designed to  be a network of news, updates and  information of special interest to the  women's movement.  Submissions to Movement Matters  should be no more than 500 words,  typed, double spaced and may be edited  for length. Deadline is the 18th of the  month preceding publication.  compiled by Joanne Namsoo  VSW celebrates  25 years  On Saturday, November 2, the Vancouver Status of Women will celebrate its 25th  anniversary with a gala fundraising  event—VSW 25 & Alive! Founded in 1971  as a voice for women, VSW provides education, advocacy and services, and strives  to create a just society in which all women  are equal. As well, VSW is the publisher of  Kinesis.  The anniversary event is being held in  conjunction with the Vancouver launch of  Politically Speaking, a book of conversations  between Toronto-based feminist activists  Judy Rebick and Kike Roach, on a variety  of issues including the evolution of feminism and anti-racism struggles, confronting the right-wing, and the challenge of left-  wing activism in Canada.  VSW is inviting everyone who has ever  been involved with the organization over  the past 25 years to come and celebrate. This  includes early collective members, former  staff members, women who have volunteered with VSW or Kinesis, members and  contributors, and friends of the organization.  In addition to a dialogue between Judy  Rebick and Kike Roach, the event will feature speakers from the early, middle and  present time-periods in VSW's history, and  a performance by Sawagi Taiko.  The event will take place in the Multipurpose Room, Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library, 350 W. Georgia St,  Vancouver. Doors open at 6:30pm. The  venue is wheelchair accessible. Advance  tickets, on a sliding scale, are available from  VSW for $5-$2,500. Refreshments will be  served.  For more information about the event, call  Audrey Johnson at (604) 255-5511, or drop by  VSW at #301-170 Grant St, Vancouver.  Breast cancer gene  screening challenged  An ad hoc collection of feminist activists and academics is planning to send a  message to Ottawa during Breast Cancer  Awareness Month (October) about the current direction in genetics research and practice.  The group says it is concerned with the  efforts of Myriad Genetics, a US-based biotechnology company, to patent the BCRA1  and BCRA2 genes—which it calls the  "breast cancer genes"—and to make genetic  screening tests for them widely available  on a commercial basis. Myriad claims that  detecting alterations in the BCRA genes  indicate "susceptibility" to breast cancer.  The group counters that there is no  convincing evidence that screening for the  BCRA genes has much value in preventing  breast cancer or is in the best interest of  women.  SEPTEMBER 1996  Currently, the group is gathering signatures from individual women and women's groups for an open letter to the federal  minister of health, David Dingwall, and  John Manley, the minister of industry and  science, expressing concern with the proliferation of tests to screen for genetic "susceptibility" and the attempts to patent human parts, products and processes.  The group is demanding a more open  process for groups and individuals to discuss and decide on these issues, saying it is  not good enough to just let the "market"  decide. About twenty women and organizations have already endorsed the letter,  which will be released in late October.  Among the concerns with genetic  screening is that the BCRA1 gene is associated with the development of breast and/  or ovarian cancer in only a small percentage of cases; that is, in women with readily  identifiable and extensive family histories  of these diseases. For most women, screening for these particular genes are of little  value. Furthermore, tests indicating the  presence of an altered BCRA1 gene do not  indicate a women will definitely develop  cancer; conversely, tests showing it is not  present do not guarantee a woman will not  develop breast cancer in her life.  The tests may also do more harm than  good. Some women who have gone  through the testing say they found the experience psychologically devastating. As  well, there is concern that a "positive" test  result will lead to discrimination against the  women, such as being refused various  forms of insurance, employment and immigration.  The group says the real benefits from  widescale screening will go to companies  who market and distribute the tests. Meanwhile, women will continue to be exposed  to environmental and occupational sources  of risk for breast cancer because research  into these will continue to be ignored while  the hunt for the genes goes on full speed.  For more information or a copy of the open  letter, contact Fiona Miller, Feminist Alliance  on New Reproductive and Genetic Technologies, #2-716 College St, Toronto, Ontario, M6G  1C3; tel/fax: (416) 537-4991; e-mail:  FMILLLER@YORKU.CA.  Bill of Rights for  contraceptives  Reproductive rights activists now have  a new resource to help them analyze research and development on contraceptives.  The ad hoc Canadian Women's Committee on Population Development (CWC) has  produced a policy document laying out  guidelines for research, testing, distribution  and use of contraceptives. The Bill of Rights  for Contraceptive Research, Development and  Use also outlines some general principles  related to planning and priority setting for  funders of health programs, and to the development and use of contraceptives.  This document was produced in consultation with women and women's health  organizations from many different regions  of the world. In developing the Bill, the  Committee says it was responding to a need  identified in Canada for a set of articulated  principles and ethical guidelines governing contraceptive development, testing and  use.  CWC believes that adoption of the  guidelines would lead to safer, more effective and accessible forms of contraception  in the context of integrated health programs  for women.  However, the group does not view this  document as the "last word" on these is  sues. Individuals and organizations are  urged to discuss and improve upon the  document and to share it with women and  men everywhere.  The Bill of Rights is available in both English and in French. Copies of the Bill are free;  however, a handling fee of $3.00 will be charged  for orders of 50 or more. To order, please contact the Canadian Women's Committee on  Population and Development, c/o Women's  Health Interaction, 58 Arthur St, Ottawa, Ontario, KIR 7B9.  Photo exhibit of  "Comfort Women"  The Canadian Coalition for "Comfort  Women" Redress (CCCWR) mounted a  photo exhibit last May in Toronto, documenting the lives of "Comfort Women"—  women and girls forced into sexual slavery during World War II by the Japanese  military. The Toronto exhibit was the first  in Canada, but the Coalition hopes the display will be shown in other cities.  The exhibit was amassed and curated  by the Washington, DC Coalition for "Comfort Women" Redress, and has been displayed throughout the US.  The "Comfort Women" were women  in their early teens to early 30s, and were  mostly from poor or working class homes.  About 80 percent were Korean, but Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Burmese, Indian,  Filipino, Indonesian, Malay, and Taiwanese  women and girls were also forced into this  sexual slavery. Many of the women and  girls were abducted and subjected to brutal violence, multiple rapes and imprisonment by the Japanese army. Many were  killed.  For more information about the exhibit  and the work of CCCWR, contact: Meerai Cho  (416) 466-3255, Katharine Kim (416) 536-  3465, or Beth Seo (416) 923-6998. Donations  to support touring the photo exhibit can be sent  to CCCWR, c/o 382 Harbord St, Toronto, Ontario, M6G 1H9.  Asian NGOs gear up for  World Food Summit  Representatives from 18 countries  gathered in Bangkok, Thailand last April  to discuss strategies for ending world hunger and ensuring food security within the  Asia-Pacific region. The meeting was organized by the Asia-Pacific Regional Office  of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as part of the preparations for  the World Food Summit to be held in Rome,  Italy from November 13-17.  From the discussions, a declaration  was formulated and presented to the FAO  at the Regional Governmental Consultation  which took place in Apia, Western Samoa  in May. In their declaration, the Asian  NGOs outlined specific tasks which need  to be undertaken in the region to ensure  food security for all. The framework of  these tasks rests upon the reiteration of the  principle of "democratic control of those  who produce the food and local communities themselves, with special emphasis on  establishing mechanisms to ensure the participation of women at all levels of the decision-making process."  Attendance at the meeting reflected the  minimal value given to women's contribution in the whole process of food production. Only 25 percent of the participants  were women, with only two women's  groups represented--Tsis International-Manila, and the World Alliance for  Breastfeeding Action (WABA).  At the meeting, Dr. Vandana Shiva,  Director of the Research Foundation for  Science /Technology and Natural Resource  Policy in New Delhi, India revealed the fallacies of the reasoning behind the pro-free  trade stance of the FAO. She stressed that  food security cannot be ensured by entrusting agriculture, food production and trade  to global markets.  The participants agreed that it is critical to meet head-on the current trend and  implementation of trade liberalization policies which allow the entry and dominance  of extremely powerful multinational  agribusinesses into agriculture.  For more information about the Asian  NGOs'position on world food production and  on women's participation, contact Isis International-Manila, PO Box 1837, Quezon City  Main, Quezon City 1100, Philippines; tel:  (632) 411-1526; fax: (632) 924-1065; e-mail:  '.apc.org.  Housing co-op for older  women  The sod was recently turned and construction is now underway on the first  housing co-op for older women in Toronto.  The co-op, initiated by the Older Women's  Network (OWN), is due to be completed  next spring.  The building will consist of 140 suites,  and is intended for women 45 years and  older who are in need of assisted housing.  Marketing is expected to begin this fall, at  which time OWN members will be the first  to be offered applications.  The construction of this co-op was  eight years in the making, having had to  struggle through multiple layers of bureaucracy. The project also recently survived the funding cutbacks to co-op housing by the right-wing Harris government.  It was one of the few co-op contracts not  pulled by the provincial government.  The Head Tax tool kit  The Toronto-based Ad Hoc Coalition  Against the Head Tax has released The Head  Tax Tool Kit: A Tool for Education and Action  to assist individuals and groups in challenging the $975 landing fee imposed on  all adult immigrants and refugees to  Canada, introduced by the Liberal government in 1995.  The kit was prepared by a working  group of educators, academics, activists  and frontline workers, and is designed for  use by secondary schools, community  groups, temples/mosques/churches,  grassroots social-justice groups, and unions.  The contents include: an overview of  the Head Tax and related issues, an examination of the particular impact of the Head  Tax on women and people of colour, case  studies, a review of the Chinese Head Tax  and Exclusion Act, activities, and suggestions for action and resources for further  study.  To order or for more information, contact:  Citizens for Public Justice, #311-229 College  St, Toronto, Ontario, M5T 1R4; or South  Etobicoke Community Legal Services, #303-  2970 Lakeshore Blvd. West, Toronto, Ontario,  M8V 1]9. Suggested donation is $5. Feature  Feature  Women in Bangladesh:  The sun is always rising in     the women's world  by Farida Akhter as told to Agnes  Huang   Farida Akhter is a longtime feminist activist and the executive director of UBINIG,  the Policy Research for Development Alternatives, in Bangladesh. She was in Ottawa in June  as an international guest of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women's  (NAC) annual general meeting. She gave two  workshop talks during Tent City as part of the  National Women's March Against Poverty and  participated in NAC's lobby of federal political parties.  Kinesis had the opportunity to speak with  Farida Akhter in Ottawa about feminist activism and grassroots organizing in Bangladesh  and about the recent national election held in  What we are finding is that [countries  like Canada and the US] are actually promoting their business and dumping contraceptives. For example, they do experiments on women's bodies in Bangladesh,  Indonesia and India, such as with the anti-  fertility vaccines [see Kinesis July/August  1995,] for their own medical science purposes—I don't call it science; it's business.  [In those countries,] they find cheap women's bodies, perhaps cheaper than guinea  pigs. I think in the West, guinea pigs are  getting expensive, and Bangladeshi women  are easier to get. When the Bangladeshi  government takes out a policy of population control and implements it with im-  The interview took place less than a week  after the election, in which the Awami League,  led by Sheik Hasina Wazed defeated the incumbent prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia and  the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) but  did not win enough of the 300 general seats to  form a majority government. However, the  Awami League has since achieved a majority  after appointing women from its own party to  27 of the 30 seats in parliament reserved for  women.  Agnes Huang: Can you start by telling  us about the work you do in Bangladesh?  Farida Akhter: UBINIG was formed in  1984 as a research organization, not academic necessarily, but in order to supplement the needs of the activist movement.  When we first started, we were working on the issue of population control. At  that time, it was not enough to say population control was bad. We could not say what  the real experiences of the Bangladesh  population control policy was, so we had  to collect information. We went around to  villages, talked to people, especially  women, about how it was affecting their  lives.  If you look at population control programs, they are very interesting. On the one  hand, they are very political in terms of  targetting poor people. Population control  is enforced on poor people—like forced  sterilization, dumping contraceptives on  them, inducing people to take contraceptives by giving them money...  The other part of population control is  very commercial, it's a business. When the  Canadian government supports population  control policies, one reason is that they supply [birth control] pills. Canada may seem  to be very nice when it is not supporting  Norplant, but that's because Canada is not  producing [or selling] Norplant; the US is.  ported contraceptives from the West, then  all these [abuses] are possible.  Population control policy is funded by  foreign money. It is a World Bank funded  project in which all developed countries are  putting in money: $600 million project per  year over several years. But the majority of  the money has gone back to import contraceptives.  This is what population control policy  is. It is not a family planning program;  that's what I also want to make clear. For  example, many people think we are against  family planning when we talk against  population control. We are definitely  against population control, but we are not  against access to contraceptives or safe  abortion facilities.  So don't tell me that Canada is supporting family planning programs in Bangladesh. Canada is only supporting population control programs.  Huang: Can you talk about the activism of women, like yourself, in fighting  against population control?  Akhter: Initially, it was not a women's  movement issue. The movement was more  interested in violence, dowry or rape cases,  equality questions. Somehow, they did not  think that the abuse of contraceptives was  their issue. After we had done all the research [on the abuse,] we focused on how  women are being affected.  By 1989, we got the women's movement to take up this issue. Now the majority of women's organizations, especially  the progressive ones, will speak out against  population control, clearly, and also against  the abuse of contraceptives. That is  progress. But the mainstream women's  movement is still focused on violence, poverty and discrimination in the constitution,  inheritance rights and property rights.  Huang: Do they not see population  control as clearly linked to violence and  poverty?  Akhter: They are making those links  now. They see that only poor women are  being targeted, and are questioning that.  Women are not poor because they are  breeding too many children; women are  poor because society discriminates against  them. Still, I would say it is quite hard to  get it into the mainstream discussion.  Huang:How does the women's movement in Bangladesh organize and carry out  activist work?  Akhter: Basically, there are individual  women's organizations, and some have 25  years of experience. Bangladesh's women's  movement is quite mature. Many people  think we only get ideas from Western countries, but that is not true. Even in the 1930s,  we had women who were talking about  feminist issues. And since 1971, we've had  a small countrywide women's group which  has been working mainly on violence and  equal rights issues.  Now there are many [national women's groups] and even the NGOs that are  working on development issues have special programs on women. They have become linked to the women's movement  rather than only to the development side.  There has been another trend since  1987 when the women's movement said we  should not work alone; we should form  alliances. In 1987, we formed a group called  United Women's Front, and we were very  much involved in the democratic movement, with the political process. We fought  against the dictatorship.  women's issues. In fact, more violence has  happened during this last sitting [of parliament] and there has been more fundamentalist reaction against women in the last  two years.  Again, women's groups organized together to bring out our demands. But what  happened was every time we held a press  conference, the first question journalists  asked us was: "Don't you think that by having a woman prime minister and a woman  opposition leader, [women] are better off?"  Just having a woman prime minister  and opposition leader—who are only there  because of their husbands or fathers—is not  a political process [that works for women.]  In Bangladesh, we have 30 seats in the parliament reserved for women. The seats are  not elected. We have been demanding that  these seats be directly elected by women  voters so that we get our representatives  into the parliament to talk about our issues.  What happens is the majority party—or the  one which forms the government—chooses  their own candidates for those 30 seats.  What they do is pull in their sisters or cousins or friends or whoever has been working for them, but not those who are talking  about women.  During the last five years, we have  been very vocal in raising this issue. Even  though in this election, the seats were not  elected directly because it requires a constitutional change, we were able to talk to  all the political parties about whether they  are willing to make changes. We did not  get commitment from everybody because  they have a vested interest in [the current  system.]  In 1990, we were on the streets marching against the dictator, talking about fundamentalists, and everything. We were very  vocal and were able to get rid of the dictator [Lieutenant General Hossain Mohammad  Ershad.]  For some time afterwards, we were  quiet because we had gotten a democratic  government (so we thought,) an elected  government, and also a woman prime minister and a woman opposition leader.  [Begum Khaleda Zia and the BNP won a huge  majority in the 1991 election with Sheik Hasini  Wazed and the Awami League forming the  opposition party]  We were quite disappointed because  they were not interested in talking about  Women's groups have become political. They are thinking that we really have  to intervene at the parliamentary level; we  have to make changes in the constitution  itself.  Maybe in the next election many of the  women activists will actually be contesting  seats. It's not enough that there are some  women in the political parties, and we are  only shouting from outside. We have to intervene in the political process.  Huang: In the recent election, a lot of  women went to the polls. Was that due to  what you were talking about: the  politicization of women and women realizing that they have to affect the parliamentary process?  Akhter: In the 1991 election, there were  women who voted, but not in such large  numbers. This time, the voter turnout  among women was 73 percent, and every  centre reported a significant number of  women coming out to vote.  Women's organizations mobilized  women voters this time particularly. We  had television programs before the election  specifically addressing women voters to  say that: "This time we will not remain  quiet; we will not keep our votes silent. We  will vote and decide the candidates...," even  though we didn't have much choice. [Neither the BNP or the Awami League are considered progressive political parties.]  The results showed one very interesting thing: the fundamentalists did not get  votes. And that is because, I think, there was  a significant number of women who did  not vote for fundamentalist candidates. So  even if the men voted for them, they could  not win.  Some candidates from the major political parties, and even some who were in  the last regime, were not elected. People  who are identified as bad [laughs], weren't  elected.  Before the election, women's organizations had been talking to all the political  parties, and we managed to at least get  some commitment on women's issues Irom  all of them. In their election speeches they  had to mention women's rights. They had  to say that they believe in women's rights,  and that they'll give this and that. At least  they promised something. I think this is a  change.  Huang: The Awami League won the  election but with less than a majority. The  BNP had a large majority coming into this  election. What does this signal in terms of  the political process in Bangladesh?  Akhter: We will still have a woman  prime minister and a woman opposition  leader, that is the same. But it is a different  person.  Huang: Is that a victory for women?  Akhter: At least it shows those people  who did not want to acknowledge that  women should rule the country, that  women can run the country, that women  should be leading political parties.  People said one thing through this election and that is: "If you are not doing a good  job, we need a change." Even if the change  may not be a good one—because we don't  have a choice, people wanted change, and  that change was expressed through votes.  I'm not saying the Awami League is  better or worse than the BNP; it may be the  same because actually it is the bureaucracy  which runs the government. The bureaucracy is also influenced by a lot of other international factors. For example the Awami  League will still be implementing Structural Adjustment Policies (SAPs) because  it is World Bank policy. So I don't know how  much they will be responding in favour of  the people rather than in favour of the donor agencies who are paying them.  The bureaucracy is still there and the  Awami League has much support from it,  which is a bad sign. The bureaucracy is not  accountable to the people. I think we will  have to be more vigilant, to keep on working hard to force the political parties at least  to address women's issues. And we will do  that.  For example, we plan to be vigilant in  seeking justice in the Yasmeen case—the  case of a girl who was raped and killed by  policemen last year. It happened during the  4th World Conference on Women in Beijing.  These police officers tried to make up a  story that she was a prostitute and was in  their van and that she jumped from the van  and died. But the post mortem report  showed she was raped and strangled to  death.  She was only 14 years old and was  working in Dhaka as a domestic servant.  She was going out to see her mother and  that's when she was raped. The people in  her [home village] revolted against her rape  and murder, and seven more people died  during demonstrations because the police  opened fire on them.  We organized marches in Dhaka city  and in different districts of the country to  demand a trial of these police officers. But  nothing happened because the administration was trying to cover it up. They did not  want to take any action against the police.  Since then, we have found out that the  police have continued these kinds of acts  in many other places in the country. So we  got even angrier. We demanded the removal of the home minister. And to give a  very important example [of the strength of  the women's movement...] the home minister was not removed by Khaleda Zia, but  this time our voters have removed  him....[laughs]. He was not re-elected.  So now that a new government is  formed, we are saying that the first thing  they have to do is to set an example that if  police are doing these kind of things, they  should be on trial.  Huang: The number of women who are  mobilized on the ground in Bangladesh is  clear from the number of women that went  to the polls and took progressive stands by  voting out the fundamentalists. In Canada,  this issue of grassroots organizing is important for women especially as NAC embarks  on a priority campaign of lobbying and influencing political parties and candidates  before the next federal election and raising  public awareness about women's equality  issues and the philosophical and policy  positions of the parties. What are your  thoughts about strategies for building a  grassroots movement that can be effective?  Akhter: I think the more we are organized at the grassroots level, the stronger we  are. What I found in Bangladesh is that  whenever we had more demonstrations at  the district level, those were much more  militant. Whenever a village woman speaks  up, that is the best speech because they talk  from their real experiences and feelings,  and those are so genuine.  I also found that people [in Canada]  who were speaking from their real experiences are the most "articulate ones. So I think  those people who are working more at the  community level, are definitely going to  succeed, one day or the other. I find so  much commonality in terms of the strategies. Maybe we differ only in the extent of  poverty—when you say $7.85 per hour [the  demand for the federal minimum wage,] it  is that for us for a month. That's the only  difference: the level of poverty and the extent of our demands. But in terms of strategy, it is very similar.  Huang: What are your thoughts then  of how to build up that support and activism at the community level?  Akhter: This kind of sharing is very  important. [It would be good] if we could  share our information between the journal  you're publishing and the journals we are  publishing. I think we really should be  working more to have more articles [in  Canadian feminist publications] so that  Bangladesh doesn't just become a far away  country.  One kind of solidarity method is to get  the message out that the sun in the women's world does not set, because when it is  setting in Canada, it is rising in Bangladesh.  The sun is always up somewhere in the  world—it is not setting anywhere; it is always rising. I think that is something the  women's movement should know. We  don't have to worry about darkness. If you  are seeing the darkness, somebody else is  seeing the sunshine.  Huang: That is very inspiring for a lot  of women who are quite disillusioned and  cynical about how much change we can  effect, and about how much struggle it will  take to actually make some positive change.  Ahkter: I was quite disgusted to hear  the way the Canadian finance minister  [Paul Martin] dealt with the $50 million  demand for feminist services working to  end violence against women. [The demand  ivas one of the 15 demands of the National  Women's March. Martin rejected the demand  at the NAC lobby meeting with the Liberal gov-  POPULATION CONTROL clinic  ernment.] In fact, no commitments to meet  the demands are being made because they  are all related to poverty or violence, or immigrant people or disabled people.  So when I see that the Canadian government has such a nice gender development program in Bangladesh—for women  in development—and they say they're concerned about us, I find it a real hypocrisy.  Poverty should be a concern all over the  world. I don't care whether it is in Vancouver or Bangladesh. Nowhere should  women suffer; nowhere should women be  discriminated against. How can a government present such a nice face in Bangladesh,  but totally deny the demands of the women  in its own country. That's hypocrisy.  Huang: You're smiling, and a lot of the  time, I'm not smiling. How do you stay so  optimistic and strong?  Akhter: It has been very hard and of  course we get a lot of leg aches [laughs] from  marching a lot. But the reason we are able  to smile—and survive—is that we have  roots with our own people. I often find  strength there. I don't care if the government is against us because we are with the  people. And we have genuine things; we  are not hypocrites; we are not saying things  out of vested interest; our demands are  genuine. Nobody can say this is our self-  interest. It is the interest of the people. And  because we have that strength, even under  such disgraceful conditions, we can smile.  And I think that without smiling we can't  survive [laughs.]  I must tell you one experience [I had  the last time I was in Canada.] We visited a  reserve and it was a reai poor community.  We went to a community centre where all  these women came to meet us. We were six  women from six different countries. At that  meeting, the women were talking about  poverty. And they were talking about the  beating by their husbands and the abuse.  But after every sentence they said about  violence, they laughed. I found it so similar to Bangladeshi women—they can be  talking about beatings and not eating for  two days and then they're laughing. I was  surprised about our own people and then I  saw the same kind of thing here in Canada  among the poor people. Maybe there's  something natural about it [laughs.]  SEPTEMBER 1996  SEPTEMBER 1996  9 Feature  Mental health legislation in BC:  Guardianship ripoff  by Irit Shimrat  Under the BC Mental HealthAct, you  can be confined and medicated against  your will if you are deemed by psychiatrists  to be a danger to yourself or others. One of  the ways mental health professionals  "help" us when we go off the deep end is  to incarcerate us, take away all our rights,  and drug us into a cooperative, or at least  quiet, state. Popular methods of dealing  with people who are particularly distressed  include solitary confinement, physical restraints (shackles) and electroshock.  If you are deemed mentally incompetent—that is, unable to make rational decisions about your own care—a needle in the  butt is the treatment of choice, with people  holding you down to ensure compliance.  (By the way, they can call you incompetent  just for refusing treatment: after all, if you  don't understand that you're sick, they  have to step in and take care of you.)  So how can you protect yourself from  harmful treatments when you're out of it  and can't think or communicate clearly?  Representation agreements  Also known as a Ulysses Agreement  or living will, a representation agreement  is a simple document you can write and  sign when you're officially mentally competent, naming someone of your choice to  make treatment decisions on your behalf  in case you are later labelled incompetent.  The document must be witnessed by a notary public.  In your agreement, you can set specific  conditions under which certain processes  will be put in place. For example, a woman  with young children goes off the deep end  every few months and starts thinking her  parents are evil and want to hurt her kids.  When she's with it, she knows very well  that her parents love the kids and can take  good care of them. So she has an agreement  stating that, when she gets locked up, her  parents get the kids, even if at the time she's  saying that shouldn't happen.  Another thing you can say in a representation agreement is that certain treatments, such as electroshock or particular  drugs, are unacceptable to you. But most  importantly, you can name another person  or people of your choice who will take responsibility for various aspects of your life  if you are ever unable to do so. Those you  name must be adults, and must agree and  be able to represent you.  In the absence of such an agreement,  your next of kin may be asked to make decisions on your behalf. In many cases this is  okay, but sometimes your family members  are the very people who had you locked  up, and what they think are your "best interests" may have nothing in common with  what you actually want or need. An abusive parent or spouse, for example, may  think that giving you electroshock—which  causes memory loss—is a really good idea.  Representation agreements are not legally binding but, if you're lucky, they  might work; some doctors have respected  them.  However, I know a woman who had  an agreement stating that she should not  be drugged with Haldol (a highly toxic  chemical commonly given to people labelled psychotic) because she was allergic  to it. Unfortunately, she arrived in hospital  raving and was immediately admitted and  shot up with—guess what?—Haldol. No  one bothered to find out that such an agreement was in place. She almost died.  Clearly, if agreements dealing specifically with treatment are to be the least bit  effective, enforcement mechanisms are  needed. Ideally, you'd be able to register  your agreement with every facility you  might get locked up in, and they would  then look you up on the computer upon  arrival and find it, and respect your wishes.  Furthermore, you'd have to know in advance that you could do this; some hardy  advocate would have to take on the task of  publicizing this method of rights protection  to ensure that all current and potential  mental patients knew about it.  But don't hold your breath waiting for  any of this to happen.  Guardianship legislation  Here in BC, new guardianship legislation is in the works which is meant to protect vulnerable people from abuse and neglect. According to a cheery orange booklet from the Community Coalition for the  Implementation of Adult Guardianship  Legislation, entitled Going into a Care Facility, the legislation would give you: "the  right to be treated as capable of making  decisions unless an assessment decides you  are incapable," "the right to get the information you need to make an informed decision," "the right to have information explained in ways you understand" and "the  right to choose whether or not to go into a  care facility." Only, there's a little box right  underneath this list of rights that says: "If  you are an involuntary psychiatric patient,  this Act does not apply to you... An involuntary psychiatric patient is someone who  has been admitted to a psychiatric facility  without their consent."  In other words, a group of people in  desperate need of such protection—those  who are grabbed off the street or from their  homes by the police and taken to the hospital because their behaviour is bugging  somebody—is shit out of luck. This is because doctors and family groups (such as  the Schizophrenia Society—relatives of  people labelled schizophrenic) have successfully lobbied to have an "override  clause" put into this legislation, especially  for us crazies. This means that, while doctors must respect the treatment-related  stipulations of anyone else, made while that  person is competent, they can "override"  (ignore) ours.  Other groups of people prone to systemic abuse have their right to protection  acknowledged. The Association for Community Living is a group dominated by  professionals and by the family members  of people labelled as having learning or  developmental disabilities. Yet they are  pushing for legislation that protects such  people from bad things families and professionals sometimes do to them! The Association recognizes the importance of  choice and self-determination, even for  people who have trouble communicating  or coping.  Mental patients, on the other hand, are  seen as dangerous and unable to make  choices, thanks to our friends in the media,  working hand in hand with the mental  health industry. We are so far beyond the  pale that our rights can go hang.  The forum  Last spring, advocate and psychiatric  survivor Lenny Gagnon put on a community forum in Vancouver, sponsored by the  West Coast Mental Health Network, to provide information about the guardianship  legislation and representative agreements.  The forum began with the showing of  the first few minutes of a video about Berta  Michel, whose fiance was diagnosed with  Alzheimer's Disease shortly before they  were to be married. He was put into an institution, where she saw him deteriorate  horribly. In the video, she talks about people there being subjected to chemical or  physical restraints. She complains that her  husband was treated like a mentally ill person. (Most people feel that it's okay to treat  "The Mentally 111" that way, as long as you  don't do it to anyone else.)  Michel removed him from the institution, took him off drugs, and set up a loving, supportive, stress-free environment for  him and a couple of other people with  Alzheimer's in her home. She is convinced  that violence in people who have Alzheimer's is produced by stress, so her answer  is to reduce the stress. People staying at her  house aren't subjected to the irrational rules  of institutions. They can get up when they  want, sleep when they want, get dressed  when they want. They can take it slow. They  aren't forced to do anything.  Naturally, the video featured a doctor,  to put forth a "balanced" view: it's unreasonable to say that all you need is a comfortable, stress-free home environment as  it is to say that all you need is restraints.  However, the video showed otherwise. The  point was clearly made that an environment of love, care and ease is the best kind  of help a person who's lost it can get.  We went on to discuss representation  agreements. Gagnon said she'd spoken  with Stan Nicol, head of the Society of Notaries Public of BC, and he advised her not  to tell people they can just go to any notary  with such an agreement and expect to be  treated respectfully. Many are prejudiced  against people labelled mentally ill, as  Nicol himself admits to having been until  a couple of years ago when he started working with people who have been so labelled.  Advocate John Shackleton, a psychiatric survivor (someone who has received  mental health "services"), spoke about lobbying efforts to get rid of the override clause  in the guardianship legislation. Shackleton  sits on the Community Coalition on Guardianship Legislation and also on the Representation Agreement Task Group in BC. He said  that, more than a year ago, he and two other  people went to see the provincial attorney  general and the minister of health to ask to  See GUARDIAN, page 20  from  Women  with  Disabilities  A special issue of Women's  Education des femmes  (Summer 1996, vol.12 no.2).  $4.89 per copy + postage  & handling; discount for  bulk orders.  €1  Order from: ^l-  Canadian Congress for Learning  Opportunities for Women  47 Main Street, Toronto, ON, M4E 2V6  phone (416) 669-1909 or  1-800-858-7558, fax (416) 699-2145,  cclow@web.apc.org.  SEPTEMBER 1996 Feature  XI International Conference on AIDS:  Health, healing, balance  by Diana Gubiseh-Ayala   Diana Gubiseh-Ayala is Cherokee/Taino  and works as the Care Coordinator of the  American Indian Community House (AICH)  HIV/AIDS Project in New York City. She attended the XI International AIDS Conference  in Vancouver as a delegate and previously participated at the International AIDS Conference  in Berlin in 1993.  The AICH HIV/AIDS Project initially  was based only in New York City, but has now  expanded to four offices statewide. It provides  HIV/AIDS services, health and employement  services, and women's wellness circles for Native Americans living in New York state. As  well, the Project disseminates information  through its community bulletin and other Native American and Two-Spirit publications.  Diana Gubiseh-Ayala provides Kinesis  with her thoughts on this year's Conference,  particularly related to indigenous peoples.  At the XI International Conference on  AIDS, I learned a great deal about First  Nations culture and how our traditional  approach to HTV/AIDS care is very effective. It also gave me an opportunity to meet  other Native Americans who are working  on the frontlines of HIV/AIDS in their re  spective communities. In Vancouver, there  were ten times as many indigenous people  represented than at the AIDS Conference  in Berlin.  The indigenous meetings began with  a Gathering held at the First Nations  Longhouse at the University of British Columbia. The majesty of the traditional  carved totems in the four directions of the  room was surpassed in beauty only by the  full attendance of Aboriginal people from  Canada, the United States, Alaska and Hawaii. There was such a diversity of people  who work in national, regional and local  HTV/AIDS agencies.  In the indigenous workshops, First  Nations and Native American panelists  addressed the impact of HTV and AIDS in  their communities, on reserves/reservations, and in rural and urban areas. We  talked about Traditional and Two-Spirit  perspectives and shared strategies for  achieving good health, healing and balance.  By living with respect for Creation, the  health of the whole being-that is, the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual-is  also r  At the opening ceremonies, I was  thrilled to see that First Nations people  were included and their protocols maintained. [Prominent leaders of the Musqueam,  Squamish and Burrard bands welcomed participants to their territories and performed an  opening prayer.] I was surprised by this because in the US, Native Americans are either excluded from events of this magnitude and importance, or we are merely an  afterthought, contacted only on the day  before the event when it is too late to participate. Indigenous protocols have never  been respected by the United States. As indigenous people, and as human beings, this  is one of the most basic of our sovereign  birthrights. Governments of the world have  historically brought out their artillery over  a lot less.  There were several Conference workshops and poster discussions I found particularly interesting. The workshops called,  "Plants and Herbs and Uses inAlternative  Therapies in the Treatment of HTV/AIDS"  and "How to Put The Service Back in Service Organizations" were two long sessions  I found informative and interesting, which  I can use in my work and share with clients and staff.  A number of Aboriginal organizations  including, Pauktuutit (the Inuit Women's  Association), the National Native American AIDS Prevention Center, the  Chigachimuit Alaskan Native Health  Center, and our own Project, also presented  poster discussions.  One thing that made me angry was the  poor planning of the "Protease Inhibitor"  [newly developed AIDS drugs] workshop. I  arrived moments before the workshop began and was told the room was full. How  could the conference coordinators not anticipate this would occur at the single most  important workshop on protease inhibitors? Hundreds were left out of that workshop.  Overall, I was very grateful to be  present for all the sharing. I learned much  and felt great pride in my own service and  in being among indigenous and other people from across the continent who have  achieved a great deal while serving their  communities in this field for so long, amidst  the greatest odds and with so little.  Mandatory testing of pregnant women and their infants:  Who are our keepers?  by Diana Gubiseh-Ayala   The issue of mandatory testing for HIV/  AIDS of pregnant women was a controversial  issue raised in several sessions at the International AIDS Conference concerning transmission of HIV/AIDS, particularly since just  prior to the Conference, the American Medical Association had issued its endorsement of  mandatory testing. Below, Diana Gubiseh-  Ayala provides a critical analysis of mandatory testing laws, and looks at the current legislation being debated in the New York legislative assembly.  Earlier this year, Native women from  the American Indian Community House  joined a group of Asian, African-American  and Latina women from New York City in  journeying to the State Legislative Office  in Albany to challenge a proposed bill requiring all pregnant women to be tested  for HTV/AIDS.  Those of us who went included  women who are HTV positive with children, service providers to HIV positive  women, and their attorneys who helped  organize a campaign against the bill.  The bill, introduced by New York State  Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn in  1993, called for New York State Department of Health to "unblind" the results of  studies that have been conducted on  newborns for the purpose of tracking the  statistics on total occurrence of HTV prevalence in newborns. ["Unblinding" would  mean the results would not be anonymous and  would be associated with the names of the  mothers and newborns.]  Mayersohn has stated that the goal of  the bill is to ensure that HIV-infected  newborns receive treatment for  Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia (PCP)  [one of the AIDS-specific illnesses and the only  opportunistic disease developed in newborns  testing HIV positive.] The bill also called for  informing the mother, as well as the father,  if the child is HTV seropositive.  There are a number of concerns with  mandatory testing of pregnant women, including that:  • Mandatory testing of newborns and  mothers does not equal mandatory care.  (The Mayersohn bill contains no provisions  ensuring that mothers identified as HIV  positive or their babies will receive care and  services.)  • Mandatory testing does not stop the  spread of HTV.  •This bill poses a threat to the constitutional rights of women to equal protection, due process, and privacy. (The bill  means that every woman giving birth can  be tested for HIV without her written consent and without counselling.)  • Women and children may face the  risk of exposure to domestic violence from  forced disclosure of their HTV status to the  child's father, as required by the Mayersohn  bill.  Ababy born to an HIV-positive woman  may test positive, but may not actually be  infected. In fact, because newborns continue to develop their own immune system  a year and a half after birth, so many ba  bies later test HrV-negative. Studies in the  US show that only 25 to 35 percent of HIV-  positive women transmit the virus to their  children.  HTV-antibody counselling and voluntary testing of pregnant women during  their pre-natal care, or before pregnancy, is  a better way than mandatory testing to getting women into care and reduce their  chances of contracting the virus. However,  it cannot be presumed that the standard of  care providing early intervention and clinical treatment will be available for HTV positive pregnant women and infants, particularly those who are homeless or living in  poverty, or for Native American women  and women of colour. These women are already under-served and often denied access to care by the medical and social service community.  Earlier this year, when the Ryan White  Emergency CARE Act was renewed, the  federal government showed it is moving  towards mandatory testing. The Act allocates a certain amount of federal health care  dollars for HIV/AIDS care. But the renewed Act also includes an amendment  authorizing care facilities to try and persuade pregnant women to get tested voluntarily and to provide the women mandatory counselling. This really is just a substitute amendment—the real goal of the  government is to implement mandatory  testing.  The Institute of Medicine will conduct  surveys on the success of voluntary testing  and mandatory counselling. If the results  do not satisfy the federal Health and Human Services Secretary, then that body will  re-submit a bill requiring all States to institute mandatory testing.  The Mayersohn bill made it past the  committee stage and is now before the full  Assembly—the House of Representatives  and the Senate—for final voting. All but a  couple of legislators who could have made  a difference in defeating the bill, at the  committtee level, allowed themselves to  trade their commitment to the public for  political back-scratching during late night  phone calls.  If passed, New York State would be the  first jurisdiction in the US with mandatory  testing laws. And once passed, it could set  a dangerous precedent for similar policies  to be passed in other states.  SEPTEMBER 1996  11 Women living with HIV/Aids:  '"."in  by Karen Lyons as told to Fatima  Jaffer   Karen Lyons is an HIV-positive lesbian,  mother and activist living in Philadelphia,  Pennsylvania. She is a support group leader  for HIV Positive Youth at a service centre for  runaway youth, and volunteers at WISDOM  (Women with Immune-Systems Disorders  Organizing and Meeting) and a peer-education program with Project TEACH (Treatment  Education Activists Combatting HIV) in low-  income communities of people of colour living  with HIV.  Founded by a community-based research  organization, Project TEACH focuses on prevention, treatment education, outreach and advocacy. Under one program, members of Project  TEACH translate scientific terms used in HIV/  AIDS research and treatments into language  that can be easily understood by those who do  not have a scientific background.  Karen Lyons co-presented this material at  one session during the Xlth International Conference on AIDS. The presentation was titled  "An Assay is a Test: Women Living with HIV  and Activists Helping Researchers Communicate with People Living with HIV."  Kinesis spoke with Lyons at the Conference.  Fatima Jaffer: Could you tell me about  WISDOM?  Karen Lyons: When I was diagnosed in  1989,1 went to a support group. I went for  a few weeks, and it was always guys so I  wouldn't say anything. One of the guys  said, "Karen, you've been here for a while  and you ain't talking about nothing." I told  them, "Well, I don't think you can help me  the/ ^<>c^-ec<>nc>mi^/ac€/(>/:*4IOS  with my problem." Our issues [as HTV positive women] were different from theirs.  They gave me the number for another  woman, Lorraine, who would come  through the centre now and again. We connected and 'Raine said, "It'd be nice if we  could form our own organization." And  that's how WISDOM came about.  We had applied for funding but were  turned down numerous times. A doctor  who works in the HIV/AIDS clinic knew  his clinic was not equipped to deal with the  emotional needs and problems of HIV-positive women. He also knew we were trying  to form WISDOM, so he went into his  pocket and gave us the money to start with.  Since then, we've been operating with  a private donation here or there, a thousand  here or there. Nothing like a lot of other  organizations. Basically the money covers  needs like car fare, lunch money, transit  tokens, childcare for a day, that sort of thing.  We've been around for about four-and-  one-half years, and now we have a grant  of about $20,000.  We were specifically designed to take  care of the needs of a newly diagnosed  woman. What we found was there were a  lot of women who had been diagnosed  HIV-positive but were not seeking services.  We go out to the community, let them know  we're here, and give counselling and testing.  We also help them with issues of disclosure because that's a big problem. I've  met women who've known they are HIV-  positive for over five years and haven't told  anyone but me. How do you tell your family, a mate? Some women haven't told their  partner and it has to do with fears he may  leave and you need his support to keep the  house in order.  Women have a lot of different issues.  There are a lot of women in recovery [from  relationships where the mate is sick, she has  to care for him [or her] and for the children,  and be the breadearner. That's so stressful.  In a lot of the women who come to  WISDOM, the disease progressed further  because of stress—not knowing how to  manage stress, not having an outlet to deal  with it. And on top of it, the silence is kept  because a lot of people are still homophobic and because AIDS is still associated with  gay men and drug addicts.  Jaffer: At a conference like this, while  there are a lot of good things being raised,  it doesn't as a whole make the connections  between socio-economic factors and HTV/  AIDS. It's almost as if there's the whole  world out there, and then there's HIV/  AIDS separate-  Lyons: Yes, and what I find is the different services women need are vast and  require a lot of money. Funding, especially  in Philadelphia, is being cut dramatically.  The issues we are hearing at this conference  around childcare, death and dying issues,  housing, drug addiction, schooling are all  great ideas, but who's going to give the  money so we can deal with them.  In Philadelphia now, agencies fight  among themselves for money. And Philadelphia is seeing about 80 percent of the  new infections [in Pennsylvania,] but we  are only receiving 20 percent of the money  [from the state for HIV/AIDS projects.]  And that 20 percent has to be divided  among about 30 organizations. When we're  at each other's throats over the money, it  hinders the service clients get.  jaffer: Your presentation dealt with  teaching members of the medical establishment to talk to their patients, especially low  income African Americans and other peoples of colour. Could you tell us how the  medical community in Philadelphia works  think you're talking to. D'you think I'm stupid. With all them abscesses on you?" But  the truth is, she did get infected through  her husband. She got married at 14 to a guy  who was about 25. The guy had a drug  problem and at 16, she was getting high  through him. She didn't know how to stick  herself [with a syringe], he always stuck her.  She never prostituted, never [trafficked]  drugs; her husband got her high as long as  she took care of the household.  This experience has hindered her from  going to a doctor. She told me, "I felt so  low when I was laying there, and they  laughed right in front of my face." We hate  to admit it but doctors are human—they  are biased, they are racist, they have their  own predjudices, and it hinders us from  seeking the care that we need.  The group I work with wants to have  a debate with the medical community  about clinical research and why protocols  are not set up or designed for women. I  found out that if a woman is of child-bearing age, she cannot participate in a trial [for  new AIDS drugs, or any medications]. But  now even though [that] law has been overturned, I still have a hard time convincing  people of colour to participate in trials. One  reason is racism. Most people of colour feel  medical science will use us as guinea pigs.  Last fall, we sponsored something in  Philadelphia called, "I don't want to be a  guinea pig," and we had the community  come in and talk about a variety of issues.  We explained to them that clinical research  is important. I asked them, "How did you  think that you got to a point where you  could take these drugs? Somebody had to  be the one to participate in a trial in order  for them to work effectively on you today."  Then often when people participate in  trials, most won't understand the terminology. After they come out of the research-  The issues we are hearing at this conference around  childcare, death and dying issues, housing, drug addiction,  schooling are all great ideas, but who's going to give the  money so we can deal with them?  alcohol and /or drug use] and Philadelphia  is not equipped to handle women in addiction. Often, a woman has to make the  decision if she wants to seek long term  treatments of giving up her child. I tell them  that's one of the things they've got to think  about.  Jaffer: I heard someone at this conference say that, for many of the women diagnosed with HIV in the "third world,"  both outside North America and in low-  income situations here, HIV is just one  more thing on the list of problems...  Lyons:...yes, poverty, drug problems,  social problems, racism...all this existed  before AIDS came along. Often if a woman  is working, she's making $4 or $5 an hour.  She doesn't have time to do other things  like worry about her health. For women in  with WISDOM and other organizations for  people of colour with HIV/ AIDS?  Lyons: You go into a doctor's office and  you're treated differently for whatever the  reason—stigma, racism—and people feel  that. Most people of colour, especially Black  people, will wait until whatever is going  on with them gets to a point where they  can't function daily, and then they'll wind  up in somebody's emergency room.  A lot of medical people and doctors are  biased. For example, one of the women of  WISDOM went to the hospital to have an  operation on her foot. She was laying on  the table, and before they administered the  [anaesthetic,] they were looking at the abscesses on her legs. She told them, "I got  infected through my husband." The doctor laughed and said, "Who the hell do you  er's room, I ask them, "You can be honest  with me, did you fully understand what  the doctor told you?" They say, "We understood." Then I ask them, "Tell me what an  'arm' means because I know that was on  one of the consent forms you just signed.  And 'placebo'?" Then they'll say they really didn't understand, so I explain [the terminology and procedures] to them, and in  a way they'll get it.  If a person's an addict, they know what  it's like to get a burn bag. They go home  and find out, "Goddamit, it's sugar." That's  a placebo.  There are also plenty of people of colour who are taking protease inhibitors and  don't know how to take them. A lot of people who are uneducated don't know what  the instructions the doctor gives them  mean. So I sit down and tell them how the  drugs work. I explain to them that if you  don't take the medication properly, you can  build up a resistance so that no other protease inhibitor will work for you.  I understand doctors really don't have  the time. If we have one or two doctors in  the clinic in a day, he may have 75 patients  coming in. He doesn't have the time to sit  down and explain to you in detail the way  I might do.  jaffer: Seems like doctors don't have the  expertise either to explain it the way you  can; they don't live the clients' lives, or  know their lives.  Lyons: One of the things we advocate  is you have to go to the communities and  ask them what works for that particular  community. For example, they had sent me  to a high school in southwest Philadelphia  to talk to kids. And after the presentation  was over, the teacher said, "Well hey, I want  to take you into a special room, we have  some foreign kids here. They know no English and I want you to talk to them." So I  went into the room and said 'hi' to them,  and we got to talking. I said, "Do you understand me?" And they said, "Not really."  So I asked the teacher where these kids are  from? "Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda..." I told  the teacher that I don't speak their languages. They assumed just because I'm  Black...  It's the same with Asians, who come  from different cultures, speak different languages. You can't assume they're all Chinese, beacuse they are Korean, Vietnamese,  Laotian, and so on. But the only Asian literature on HTV/AIDS we have in Philadelphia caters to Chinese people. Then the  [doctors] panicked when [Asians] started  becoming infected at an alarming rate and  wondered why the literature was not working.  Did they ever go to them to ask what  works for their communities? Doctors constantly make decisions for other people  without asking them first, and then two  years later, after they've spent millions of  dollars, they come crying to the community about things not going right. We need  to be involved from the planning stage up.  Don't come to us afterwards...and that way  maybe you'll save a few million dollars. It's  a waste.  Jaffer: Is that one of the messages you  are bringing to this conference? Why are  you here?  Lyons: I wanted to network, I wanted  to see if other countries were going through  similar things that we were going through,  I'm glad I made some connections with the  Asian population because I explained that  we have nothing in Philadelphia for people from different Asian communities. We  had a city meeting last month and the Asian  community came in and said they are getting infected at a rapid rate and that none  of the material is geared towards them,  women and men.  Now in Philadelphia, we don't even  have books in our inner city school systems.  We've got $30 million in our education  budget, but we don't have books. But when  I go up to the white suburbs, everybody's  got books. The government would rather  spend $30,000 to house a young Black man  in prison instead of activities in the neighbourhood, job training in the neighbourhood.  There are the issues we have to work  on and often I find, when working with  HIV positive women, that I have to cope  with issues to do with self-esteem, the environment they're in-there's a whole realm  of things before I can even get to [HIV/  AIDS].  In the Black community, a lot has been  suppressed for so long, that a lot of issues  are starting to come up. When I go to  schools to talk, although I'm supposed to  talk about HTV and AIDS, a lot of my talk  has to do with self-esteem. If I can't boost  your self-esteem, then there's nothing I can  say to you about AIDS because you're go-  AIDS is after all a  multibillion dollar  industry and if  they found a cure  today, hundreds  of thousands of  people around the  world would be  out of a job. So  there's really no  big rush.  ing to still practise the same stuff you've  been practising.  Jaffer: This is similar to what the  women from "third world" countries are  talking about.  Lyons: Yeah. It amazes me how our issues are so similar. Often women are on  welfare and they say, "If I get off welfare  and get a job, I can't do a helluva lot with  the $5 an hour minimum wage I'll get a job  at MacDonald's or at a factory. For $5  anhour...but then the daycare goes, then the  medicare goes..." You're lucky if, after taxes,  you bring home $150 [a month]. How are  you gonna pay electric/gas, phone bills,  food on $150 a month? Even if you get the  job, who's gonna watch the kids?  Often we sponsor retreats and things  to get women out of that environment—no  kids, no nothing—just to give them a few  days to unwind. Then maybe I could sit  down and talk to them about some issues.  jaffer: Ave other women's organizations  doing this kind of work?  Lyons: WISDOM is the first and only  organization for women [of colour] in  Pennsylvania. We are six women now. Several of us have died. I find myself on a lot  of days saying "I can't go on." But then I'll  get that call: "Hey Karen, how you doing?  I'm fine. I've enrolled in school, girl, and  da da da," or "I've graduated and I've got  that job...and girl, I never thought I'd be  making $10/hour." and 'Yeah, we're gonna  move outta here, and I've got a down payment on a house." That's my signal to just  goon.  I was stressed so much last year. My  lover was dying and I was working and  trying to care for her, her daughter and her  grandkids. When she died, I gave up my  apartment and got a house so I could take  her kids. And right after, I was laid out—I  couldn't walk.  They ran all kind of tests in the hospital, and everthing came up negative. My  doctor came in and said it was stress. He  said, "For 30 days, you don't want no  speaking engagements, no peer patients, no  phone calls. I want you to have total rest."  I haven't been in hospital since. So now,  when I get to that point, I cut off and go do  fun things and try and take my mind off of  my work because it can be very stressful  especially when you have six women doing the job of a hundred.  jaffer: Could you talk about the support you get being a lesbian?  Lyons: If you are HIV positive, there's  very little support from the lesbian community. Often you hear, "That's what she  gets for sleeping with men," or "She's messing with drugs," and this and that.  There's an organization called Sister  Space which has a midwestern thing where  about 1000 women get together on 1000  acres of land in Pennsylvania for camping,  canoeing, workshops. For the past four  years, WISDOM has sponsored a workshop  on HTV/AIDS, safer sex, lesbian issues and  all that, and maybe two or three out of 1000  women would show up. We let go trying.  Jaffer: I've been quite surprised by the  number of HIV-positive lesbians who are  here at this conference from all over the  world. It's interesting that there is such a  lack of interest in HIV/AIDS as a lesbian  [women's] issue, rather than as a lesbian  and gay issue.  Lyons: Yeah. Most don't seem to want  to know. We certainly don't get the support  from lesbians that gay men give each other.  We're isolated, looked at as dirty. But we  just go on.  You know the CDC [Centre for Disease  Control] definition of a lesbian is someone  who hasn't had sex with a man since 1977.  So if you're 22 years old and had sex with  a man three years ago, then you're not [officially] a lesbian. If I said I had sex with a  man eight years ago and I'm HIV positive,  as far as they're concerned, that's how I got  it and they don't care about nothing else.  How many lesbians do you know who  haven't had sex with a man for 20 years?  We don't even have material in Philadelphia in relation to lesbians. We just  formed a new commission and they're finding a lot of lesbians are coming out as HIV-  positive and that their needs for support  are not catered to. So they've decided to  have material geared specifically to lesbians. There hasn't been money for that before. It's a shame that the only way we can  get the help we need is if they count us and  find there's a lot of us. Then there's money.  It's a political thing. AIDS is after all a  multibillion dollar industry and if they  found a cure today, hundreds of thousands  of people around the world would be out  of a job. So there's really no big rush. A lot  of what I'm hearing at this conference I've  heard over and over again at American conferences and meetings...It's the same old  talk. Nothing's getting done.  Jaffer: So what makes the difference  then is not a conference like this but the  activism on the ground and organizations  like WISDOM?  Lyons: The activism on the ground is  what is going to make things happen. People are dying in Philadelphia left and right.  I hate to say it, but it's that kind of motivation—your lover dying, your sister, or whoever—that will make people wake up and  say, "Well, dang, maybe I need to get involved," or "Maybe I need to look at people who are HIV-positive a little differently  now."  When it's your sister or daughter, it's  no longer "them." It's knocking on your  door, ma'am.  " in lay terms? I don't even know  any lay terms/" Feature  HIV/AIDS and human rights:  Broadening the definition  by Kagendo Murungi  as told to E. Centime Zeleke   Kagendo Murungi is a Kenyan lesbian  living in San Francisco. She works as a program associate at 1GLHRC, the International  Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.  She attended the XI International Conference  on AIDS as a delegate and spoke to Kinesis  about HIV/AIDS and human rights issues.  E. Centime Zeleke: One would assume  that IGLHRC's mandate is to advocate on  behalf of gays and lesbians, yet the organization also works with people who are HTV  positive. How and why does your group  work on human rights issues with respect  to people who are HTV positive?  Kagendo Murungi: Our mission does  include work on issues of HTV and AIDS.  Specifically, we work on issues of gender  identity, sexual orientation, and HTV/AIDS.  As an organization working on sexual orientation issues, it was clear to us how belonging to a specific marginalized group,  such as gays, lesbians, bisexuals and  transgendered people, predisposes people  to a high incidence of HIV and AIDS, and  so it's a natural part of the work we do.  Zeleke: Can you talk about the specific  human rights issues IGLHRC has articulated as important in relation to people who  are HTV positive or living with AIDS, and  particularly for women?  Murungi: Issues that have been articulated to us by grassroots organizations we  work with include: discriminatory immigration laws in different countries, including the US, death threats, bombings of hospices for people with HIV and AIDS, mandatory HTV testing, and the distribution of  condoms in prisons being prevented.  Zeleke: How about vaccine trials?  Murungi: At the AIDS conference in  Vancouver, there was an issue of a drug that  had been tested on people in India where a  number of them died. The question that  comes up from this case is: how can these  trials be monitored? What human rights  standards can be applied? For example, if  it's just an issue of money and if having  money means you can do anything you  want in any developing country, how can  that be policed?  Cases like this one highlight the inequalities that exist and the framework of  our human rights response to HIV/AIDS.  We have to come out of the academic mode  and look at long term solutions. What that  means is locking at the preconditions that  exist that make people susceptible to AIDS/  HIV, such as racism, poverty, the impact of  colonialism, global economic discrepancies,  and so on. These are the things that need to  be focused on outside of just advocating for  people's civil and political rights in response to specific abuses.  Zeleke: Given that the standards of human rights have been defined by white men  and are based on an individual rights  model, fighting for human rights has often  meant fighting for the right to buy a Coke  or to have the "choice" to become massive  consumers of multinational products. What  kinds of choices does that leave us? How  has IGLHRC worked to open up the definition of human rights to encompass the  multiple realities that people live in, as  women, as people of colour, as people living in poverty, et cetera.  Murungi: I should start by acknowledging that what you said is absolutely  true. Traditional human rights application  and language is limited. Because of that  decontextualized individualism, it's assumed that each "man" has the right to xyz.  That's a bias IGLHRC has also been guilty  of in some of our work, focusing more on  advocating for civil and political rights at  the expense of economic and social rights,  because those are more difficult things.  But because of the strategies we use,  we are taken out of that mainstream human rights organizational model. Our work  is informed by what specific local and national activists want. What we do is support, campaign and lend resources. Sometimes it's information or access to funding;  more often it's requests for actual equipment. We do not use a top down human  rights model where we say, "here are the  human rights and we're going to impose  them on you." It's more about finding out  how can we lend our resources to support  people in their communities.  In the past, when other international  gay and lesbian organizations or other international human rights organizations  have dived into places, we have refrained  trom doing particular actions because we  have not heard back from local activists. We  don't just utilize United Nations conventions. We find out what the local laws are,  what the national constitution says, if  there's a powerful religious leader or other  figure that activists in that country feel  might support their campaign...We have a  very wide open approach and we focus on  issues and organizations that have been ignored by the more traditional human rights  organizations.  Zeleke: Let's go back to the whole issue of the economic rights of people. One  thing that's interesting about human rights  organizations is that they don't look at economic rights. I think the single most dangerous assault on women's rights in the US  is the attack on social programs. Does  IGLHRC have a position on this.  Murungi: We do within our practice,  and of course fundamentally, acknowledge  economic issues as impacting the lives of  people and specifically the lives of women.  One interesting discussion that came  out of [the 4th World Conference on Women  in] Beijing concerned the focus of a lot of  people on "negative rights"—the right not  to be violated. One of the things IGLHRC  brought from our perspective of doing  sexuality-based work was that people have  positive rights as well. Of course it's not all  so simplistic and there were major dialogues on these issues.  Zeleke: Has IGLHRC made any statements on the attack on social programs. I  don't think you directly answered that.  Murungi: We are in coalition with various groups in the US that do that kind of  work, as well as work on immigration  rights. We're launching a project focusing  even more on economic and social rights  issues called, "HIV/AIDS Health and Human Rights Initiative." We're going to be  Kagendo Murungi (right) and Rachel Rosenbloom at the Positive Women's  Network gathering for the AIDS Conference. Photo by Fatima Jaffer  working more closely with women's development and reproductive rights groups,  and focusing not just on international but  on national strategies as well.  IGLHRC definitely recognizes the limitations of traditional human rights practice  and is not prepared to fall into the same  trappings of focusing just on civil and political rights, so, of course, we focus on other  kinds of rights as well.  Zeleke: Some of the issues raised in relation to HIV and AIDS in Beijing were the  discrepancy of power between men and  women, increasing violence against  women, the growing feminization of poverty, and the lack of access to health care  services. Does IGLHRC work on these issues and others like them?  Murungi: The brief answer to that is  yes. Why? Because in order to have something more than just band-aid solutions, a  couple of things have to happen. There has  to be appropriate public health policy; that  is, public health policy which does not designate in a racist and/or homophobic way  high risk groups but rather focuses on high  risk activities, and which actually does  broad-based education campaigns on how  the virus is transmitted.  It's also impossible for anyone to attain good health if they're living in an environment that discriminates against them.  If we talk about poor people, if we talk  about women, if we talk about sexual minorities, we must list the ways in which  these groups are discriminated against.  That's something that has to be tackled  along with making sure that someone has  access to treatment and the broader public  is educated.  Zeleke: In terms of being a monitoring  organization and putting pressure on third  world governments, you have said that  IGLHRC looks to find who are the influential people in the communities and put  pressure on them. Don't you think IGLHRC  is replicating some of the power dynamics  between the north and south, particularly  when in the US, you've got somebody like  [Republican presidential candidate Bob]  Dole who probably would have nothing to  do with gays and lesbians if he could help  it? Do you want to comment on that?  Murungi: Recently, we've been seeing  a homophobic policing [of IGLHRC] in a  local San Francisco newspaper which interestingly enough makes that very same  argument. They were attacking someone  who was aligned with us saying, "God,  what is with these people, they're trying to  tell the prime minister of the "former Rhodesia" [Robert Mugabe] that he can't outlaw homosexuality in his own country."  If gay and lesbian citizens in a particular country call on us to support them in  an initiative they feel is going to actually  make them citizens or improve their human rights situation, then it is our responsibility to do whatever is in our power—  working closely with them—to support  their local strategies. That's our strategy,  rather than saying, "Hey, we're a US based  organization and this is how US organizations do activism, and therefore you have  to do it this way: you have to have a rally  outside Mugabe's office and use tactics that  well known HTV and AIDS organizations  in the US and other western countries use."  Zeleke: At the AIDS Conference, there  was a bit of a kerfuffle over an action called  by some prostitutes' rights organizations  and Act-Up. They wanted to hold an action against a Burmese delegate who was  going to give a presentation. The groups  were saying that everybody should turn  away from him when he came into the  room because of a massacre of HIV-positive prostitutes in Burma. I know some people thought the action wasn't appropriate  because nobody knew who this government delegate was, what the repercussions  on him would be, or if the evidence of the  massacre had been corroborated...  Murungi: I'll jump right in by saying  that one reason we were not involved in  that action was because of how problematic it was. The people who called for it simply wanted to highlight how sex workers  have been discriminated against historically; they had no concern whatsoever for  the Burmese situation historically or presently and were very ill-informed about the  issue itself. This shows the lack of political  savvy and that is, I feel, an example of irresponsible international action. That action  was an illustration of a direct imperialist  approach without any sign of appreciation  for how complicated the whole issue is.  For more information on the work of  IGLHRC, contact them at #200-1360 Mission  St, San Francisco, California, 94103 USA; tel:  (415) 255-8680, fax: (415) 255-8662; e-mail:  IGLHRC@IGLHRC.ORG.  E. Centime Zeleke is a Vancouver-based Efhz'o-  pian feminist activist.  SEPTEMBER 1996 Feature  AIDS, from page 3  National AIDS Strategy (NAS), a $42 million, ten-year commitment to address personal and societal issues brought on by HTV  infection and AIDS in Canada. The NAS is  set to expire in 1998. The federal government has so far refused to commit to renewing the strategy.  The march brought together over a  thousand AIDS activists, gay men, lesbians,  and members of the Aboriginal, people of  colour and women's communities [see  photo]. Although billed as "not a protest  march," most of the (white, male) organizers appeared more concerned with imparting the political message—"Shame, shame,  shame Canada, renew the NAS"—to the  media, than on supporting the needs or issues of people attending the demonstration.  A media scrum hid the speakers from the  crowd and made it difficult to hear them.  Many demonstrators standing on the  fringes drifted off. One Aboriginal woman  complained that the organizers were unwilling to accommodate or respect the  wishes or memories of AIDS activists.  Helen Johnson had asked the organizers if  she could sing a song before the demonstration got started in memory of her  brother, an Aboriginal AIDS activist and  founder of Healing our Spirit, Vancouver's  Aboriginal AIDS organization. She was refused.  The Conference opens  The protest to get the NAS renewed  continued at the three-and-a-half-hour-long  opening ceremonies that evening. About a  thousand people stood with their backs  turned to federal Health Minister David  Dingwall who delivered the keynote address. Dingwall was standing in for Prime  Minister Jean Chretien, who is the first head  of a host country ever to refuse to attend  an international AIDS conference. Chretien  was rumoured to be on vacation.  The opening held other interesting  moments. The very first speech was given  by a woman living with HIV, Doreen  Millman, an active member of Vancouver's  Positive Women's Network. Millman drew  a standing ovation when she said, "How  did a 63-year-old grandmother from North  Vancouver get AIDS? The answer is very  simple. It does not matter."  There was also a call by activists for  pharmaceutical companies to drop drug  prices. In his speech, Eric Sawyer, the  rounder of New York's Act-Up, accused  drug companies of killing people by charging exorbitant prices that limit access to  t reatment for most people living with HTV/  AIDS, especially in developing nations.  N/Iany in the audience joined Sawyer in  chanting "Greed kills, access for all," while  throwing photocopied US$20 bills with  "AIDS profiteers: Greed = Death" into the  audience.  Who was there  The Vancouver conference brought together scientists, academics, researchers,  and drug company executives. It also accommodated an unprecedented number of  activists, people with HIV/AIDS and community workers, due, in part, to the amount  of scholarship monies (about $2.5 million)  raised, which allowed 1,076 delegates to be  fully or partially funded to the Conference.  (Registration alone cost about $1250, and  delegate needs included monies for travel,  food and accomodation.)  However, because monies were raised  largely from Western-based agencies and  corporations, and because for the first time  the World Health Organization and major  United Nations agencies, such as UNICEF  and UNESCO, provided no monies for  scholarships, fewer people from developing countries were able to attend as might  have otherwise.  The next four days were a maze of sessions, presentations, and speeches. There  was a drug "trade show" at BC Place Stadium, which also served as the exhibition  hall for poster and other displays, literature and booths of non-governmental organizations from around the world. The  central and largest sections of the stadium  were occupied by multinational drug companies marketing their wares to hospital  administrators, doctors and people living  with HTV/AIDS. In some cases, the drug  companies had built elaborate two-tiered,  carpeted, structures with small lecture  rooms where one could experience multimedia demonstrations of the latest medical discoveries funded and marketed by the  company.  Conference agendas  The Conference program was divided  into four tracks. Track A dealt with "Basic  Science," where researchers and scientists  presented the latest discoveries in the laboratory, from new information about the  molecular structure of HTV, to the testing  eventually stop the disease, using various  education, prevention and outreach methods. For example, we heard evidence of  which prevention programs worked or did  not work in Palestinian refugee camps, or  for women in the US inner cities. We also  heard results of studies which found a high  prevalence of HTV in sex trade workers in  India and among cocaine smokers recruited  on the streets of Canadian cities.  Track D was titled, "Social Science,  Research, Policy and Action," and covered  the impact and responses by individuals,  families, governments and communities to  HTV/AIDS. Sessions looked at ethical dilemmas around clinical trials in third world  countries, issues for women, AIDS and  human rights, why women use the female  condom, HTV-risk behaviour in youth, and  the connections between AIDS activism, illness and the politics of identity.  Both tracks C and D attracted higher  numbers of women, people of colour, members of Aboriginal communities, and people from third world countries, both as audience and presenters.  The Conference organizers had also  highlighted three "pathways," or areas of  interest, that ran through the four tracks—  Women and HIV, Development and HTV,  in HOWR of/*w$ww-  Helen Johnson and Florence Hackett hold up signs at the opening day demo.  of different chemicals and drugs in test  tubes. There was a fair amount of debate  and excitement at these sessions as scientists came up with new information on such  discoveries as chemokines—chemical messengers that work with CD4 cells to prevent HIV from entering blood cells.  Track B was called "Clinical Science,"  referring to the sciences that research and  develop clinical care and the medical management of HIV. Presentations were made  on studies that tracked the health progress  of people taking different combinations of  new and existing drugs. Drugs known as  nucleoside and non-nucleoside reverse  transcriptase inhibitors and protease inhibitors, as well as clinical facts around viral  load and drug toxicities were discussed in  these busy sessions.  Sessions in both tracks A and B tended  to be fairly high-tech, with language that  indicated they were geared towards the  academics, scientists, and doctors. I was,  though, impressed with the large number  of activists who displayed the required  amount of expertise to be able to follow the  proceedings. However, little room was left  for debate or dialogue between scientists,  academics and doctors, and lay people.  Track C was titled "Epidemiology and  Public Health" and basically consisted of  studies and papers looking at who gets  HIV /AIDS, why, where, how many, and  how HIV has evolved as a disease. Also  covered were strategies to slow down or  and Living with FHV Sessions dealing with  the pathways tended to occur more often  in tracks C and D than in A and B, which  did not study, for example, the effects of  drugs on women as opposed to men, except where pregnancy was involved.  Overall, track D sent a clear message  that community-based action and research,  and peer-led programs need strengthening.  As well, programs that looked beyond the  issues of HIV to develop a broader focus  were more effective, such as those which  dealt with injection drug use, sex work and  HIV; or male bisexuality, sex work and HTV;  or lesbians, injection drug use and HIV.  Another message was that most research and intervention programs, unless  done by women, continue to ignore the  ways in which women are particularly vulnerable to HIV or tend to re-invent the  wheel by spending huge amounts of money  to survey areas already over-researched [see  story on page 4.]  Much of the information in this track  seemed to confirm what most women and  communities already knew.  The feminist voice  In all, the Conference saw a record  amount of research being done by women,  both HIV-negative and HIV-positive, or in  collaboration with academic researchers.  Much of this work was in the area of HIV  transmission. However, much of the research related to pregnant women and the  risks of transmission of HTV to the foetus,  or on women as sex trade workers, once  again categorizing women as transmitters  of disease and "walking wombs."  And, as lesbian delegates repeatedly  pointed out in various sessions on theme  of Women and HTV, discussions around lesbians were almost completely absent. The  only presentation to look at incidence of  HTV in lesbians and woman-to-woman  transmission was by the UK's Terrence  Higgins Trust, a gay and lesbian AIDS organization. The presenter, Robin Gorna,  challenged the ten or 15 women who made  it to the presentation, by arguing that latex  for lesbians is an alarmist and an inadequate safer sex strategy.  Contrary to the absence of lesbian material in the Conference sessions, there was  a sizeable presence of lesbians at the Conference, many of them HIV-positive. In sessions and outside, they challenged the notion that lesbians are not at risk for HIV,  pointing out the high incidence of lesbians  who are injection drug users, and /or sex  trade workers, and/or who sleep with men.  They were unanimous in calling on lesbians to talk to each other more openly and  honestly about sex and HTV  Overall, a clear feminist voice was absent from the Conference, even though  there were a number of feminist activists  in attendance. The only spaces for women  to debate or discuss analyses and strategies  among themselves were created outside the  formal Conference structure.  One satellite symposium—a caucus for  women working on HTV/AIDS issues—  was organized by the Western-dominated  International Community of Women Living with HTV/AIDS (ICW) together with  the broader International Women's AIDS  Caucus. Participants expressed dismay that  even with a "pathway" on Women and HTV  there was a gaping lack of attention to  women's issues as a whole in the Conference. One of the organizers of the next International AIDS Conference, to be held in  Geneva, was present at the symposium and  noted the concerns and promised to do  something more at the Geneva Conference.  Another more informal space for  women from the Conference to interact as  well as to meet local feminists, HIV-positive women and women AIDS activists was  provided by the Positive Women's Network. Despite tight schedules and the venue's distance from the Conference site, several hundred women from all over the  world made it to network, converse, and  share ideas.  By the end of the Conference, I did get  a glimmer of hope: I realized that while  many of those I had heard present papers  at the Conference seemed oblivious or resistant to the idea that HIV/AIDS affects  women and poor people differently, or that  sexism is rampant in medical, academic  and some activist establishments, it was  hard to totally ignore the message that the  fight against AIDS is as much about ending poverty, ending violence against  women, and ending the inequality of  women, as it is about eliminating a virus.  And so ultimately then, fighting HTV/  AIDS is also about the need to continue to  work together across communities and socially progressive and responsible movements for social change.  Fatima Jaffer is a Kenyan-born, South Asian  lesbian feminist activist living in Vancouver.  Thanks to Prudence Mabele, Agnes Huang,  Kagendo Murungi and E. Centime Zeleke for  their help in preparing this report. Special  thanks to Nancy Pang and the Positive Women's Network for information and support.  SEPTEMBER 1996 Arts  Women and the information highway:  Whose road, whose rules?  by Penny Goldsmith  NATTERING ON THE NET:  Women, Power and Cyberspace  by Dale Spender  Garamond Press Ltd, Toronto, Ontario  WHOSE BRAVE NEW WORLD?  The Information Highway and  the New Economy  by Heather Menzies  Between the Lines, Toronto, Ontario  Recently, I was interviewed on a radio  show as a prelude to a workshop called  "Serfing or Surfdom: Women on the  Internet" I was facilitating at a computer  conference in Vancouver. The woman interviewing me asked the usual questions  about harassment and pornography online,  favourite web sites and finished by querying why were there so few women on line.  To the last question, I quipped, "perhaps  because we're smart." At that point, the  interviewer got quite upset and accused me  with some vehemence of being a Luddite.  My reaction to Dale Spender's Nattering on  the Net and Heather Menzies' Whose Brave  New World? will probably have Spender, at  least, agreeing with the radio interviewer.  Although Spender's book is subtitled  "Women, Power and Cyberspace," most of  it is about the history of writing, literature  and education and its various participants  and audiences; only one chapter is specifically about women online (although  Spender refers to women's role in each of  the other chapters).  Spender has lived most of her life in  the world of books. She is an international  expert in the fields of language and communications and the author and editor of  over thirty books, includingMan Made Language and Women of Ideas. And now she is  a convert to cyberspace.  Spender begins her book with the history of print and the myth of objectivity in  man-made language, including the birth of  the dictionary. She goes on to debunk the  idea that literature provides any truths,  because it has always been controlled by a  certain segment of society. She claims that  "because there is no place for a single, ex-  WOMEN  IN PRINT  BOOKS  & OTHER MEDIA  3566 West 4th Avenue  Vancouver BC  Voice   604 732-4128  Fax       604 732-1129  10-6 Daily ♦  12-5 Sunday  Discountsfor  book clubs  Special orders  welcome  ^0m>#ss  OCEANSIDE ACCOMMODATION  SALT SPRING ISLAND  (604)    537   2727  L_  elusive, standard in the new global networks, the canon and much of the justification for literature now have little credibility."  Spender talks about readers and the  growth of a reading public, the birth of the  author, and then her or his death. She asks  if there will be a role for the author at all, if  the information highway democratizes authorship and makes writing a collaborative  process.  She also talks about education, the new  role for students and the death of the traditional teacher, and provides an analysis of  indexing and why it is not objective, any  more than dictionaries are.  Finally Spender gets specifically to  women in cyberspace. There is a lot of depressing information about how girls still  don't use computers as much as boys (this  was confirmed by the women in my recent  workshop). There is a large section about  sexual harassment online and various ways  that this issue has been and should be dealt  with.  The first six chapters provide an interesting and sometimes controversial retrospective of communications techniques  through time. The chapter on women,  power and cyberspace examines the problems for women because of the fact that  men (predominantly white, middle-class  Californians according to her) are still writing the rules of the road. Spender offers  suggestions for women who are not online:  she urges women to see the computer as a  means of communication—"nattering on  the net."  What I disagree with in this book is  Spender's assumption that somehow or  other, in spite of her awareness about the  limits of access, the information highway  is a democratizing tool. In the introduction,  she says:  "Women—and Indigenous people and  those with few resources—cannot afford to  be marginalized or excluded from this new  medium. To do so will be to risk becoming  information-poor. It will be to not count; to  be locked out of full participation in society in the same way that illiterate people  have been disenfranchised in the print  world."  But she only touches on access and  equity in two and a half pages in the conclusion, and this I think is a major flaw.  Spender is aware of barriers to access and  equity she mentions them in passing in each  chapter, but they feel like add-ons. (They  are often literally in parentheses.) It seems  that, for her, the seductiveness of the information highway has superseded the politics of who has access to the cars.  Heather Menzies is not romantic about  the information highway. Menzies is an  Ottawa writer, teacher, activist and mother.  She teaches at Carleton University.  image from Whose Brave New World?  Whose Brave New World is her fourth  book on technology and restructuring. In  it, she describes in Orwellian detail what is  happening to people and their jobs as they  turn into commodities to be erased at the  push of a button. She then goes on in some  detail to explain how the information revolution is facilitating this process. She asks  if it makes sense that we keep trying to do  things faster and faster. She questions the  structure that has been created to feed  transnational corporate gobbling.  Menzies illustrates her argument by  describing case studies in the areas of the  garment industry, railways, telecommunications, automobiles, and aerospace. She  stresses the dangers of computer monitoring, telework, and job-related injuries in this  so-called "brave new world." (There are  physical injuries, such as repetitive strain  injuries.) But equally dangerous are the  situations where employees and customers  both become objects—human interaction  disappears as workers work out of their  homes by themselves and customers shop  by computer or phone.  The federal government enters the picture wearing the hat of THAC, the Information Highway Advisory Council. Menzies  points out that government involvement in  this area is useful, as long as the involvement is driven by people and not corporate interests.  But IHAC's report was so dominated  by big business that Jean-Claude Parrot, the  one labour representative on the Council,  wrote a dissenting report, which was published as an appendix to the document.  Menzies, however, does not countenance inaction or despair. She harkens back  to Harold Innis, who suggested in 1984 that  we need to recover a sense of time. She recommends that we need a social charter for  the information highway where we control  its agenda and make sure that it is open,  inclusive and locally controlled, and that it  is also dedicated to sharing knowledge and  building national and international communication. She says that we have to be  involved in policy making but reminds us  that we have to stay grounded in what is  happening to us in our own communities:  "Regional, national, and international  networking is vital as a source of sharing  analysis and gaining strategic support  I  through common and collective action.  Everything I've read and personally experienced through twenty-five years of  "grassroots" activism in the women's  movement and the peace movement convinces me this is true. We are the movement.  We are the information highway and the  new economy. We have to act as though  these structures are a place where people  really are the bottom line, where communications is first and foremost a matter of  human relationships and community. By  acting that way, we can make it so."  Whose Brave New World is the first book  I have read in a long while that gives me  hope. It is a clear and perceptive analysis  that cuts through the glamour and glitter  of the "brave new world" of communications to show clearly how we can take back  our voice.  At the workshop I facilitated, the group  of twenty-five or so women talked about  our experiences online, and then our discussion broadened to encompass how we  envisioned using the internet. Suddenly we  were talking about the economy, about federal transfer payments and their effect on  provincial social programs, about jobs,  about volunteerism. Someone said, "I guess  we're getting off topic." My response was  that perhaps finally we were on topic.  We cannot ignore the information highway. But we have to be able to follow its  path on the map and watch carefully how  it continues to plough through our lives and  then decide whether or not we want to take  an alternative route.  Penny Goldsmith is the chair of the Equal Access Committee of the Vancouver  CommunityNet (formerly the FreeNet). She is  also the owner ofLazara Press, a local publishing house which has recently published a speech  by Dr. Ursula Franklin entitled Every Tool  Shapes the Task: Communities and the Information Highway.  16  SEPTEMBER 1996 Arts  Interview with playwright Addena Sumter-Freitag:  Stay black and die  as told to April Sumter-Freitag  Addena Sumter-Freitag is an accomplished playwright. She is a seventh generation African-Canadian, whose roots are in  Truro, Nova Scotia on her mother's side and  Colombia, South Carolina on her father's side.  She currently lives in Rae Edzo,Northwest Territories where she works as a program coordinator at an Aboriginal friendship centre.  Sumter-Freitag will be in Vancouver in  September to perform her play, Stay Black and  Die, at the Fringe Festival. She has previously  performed it at Fringe Festivals in Winnipeg,  Adelaide, Australia, and last month in Halifax. Stay Black and Die is the story of a young  Black Canadian girl growing up in the 1950s  and 60s in Winnipeg's North End, describing  the social and racial climate of that era in  Canada.  Addena Sumter-Freitag was last in Vancouver in May and was interviewed by her  daughter April Sumter-Freitag on Obaa, a  show produced by for and about women of colour on Vancouver's Co-op Radio. That interview appears below.  April Sumter-Frietag: In 1993, you won  Theatre BC's National Playwrights Competition for the play you will be performing here at the Fringe, Stay Black and Die.  When you won the contest, were you asked  about the title?  Addena Sumter-Freitag: Yes, I was asked  about the title, and some of the comments  from the people who judged the play were  that the title sounded so foreboding that I  should think about changing it.  April: And your response was?  Addena: My response was initially, "Oh  God, what does that mean?" But I would  never change it. I was tempted to but I  couldn't. I really couldn't because the  whole play to me is Stay Black and Die. It's  what it means actually.  April: Could you let us in on that? What  does "stay Black and die" mean?  Addena: It's a saying that many Black  people say to their kids to scare them out  SEPTEMBER 1996  of their wits. It means that there are only  two things [Black people] have to do. When  we were kids we'd say, "Oh please can I do  it, please can I have it?" My mother would  look at us and cut her eyes and suck her  teeth and say, "Girl, there's only two things  in this world you have to do and that is  stay Black and die."  April: Quite a powerful statement. I  assume she was a very interesting woman.  Addena: My mother? Oh God yes. Very  interesting. That's a nice way of putting it.  Very interesting. Quite complex, [laughs]  Very unique. Quite dynamic.  April: I have some actual previous  knowledge of this work and know that it's  semi- or completely autobiographical.  Addena: It's completely autobiographical. I made nothing up that I can think of. I  left out lots but...  April: So it is non-fiction.  Addena: Oh yeah. It's life. It's me. It's  about a young Black girl growing up in  Manitoba.  April: How many characters does it  involve?  Addena: Maybe 10,15.  April: That many?  Addena: Yeah. I play a lot of characters  so it's hard to say. The characters go in and  out like they were described as beautifully  drawn characters. They were actually quite  fun, but it's really quick. It goes from one  to another and back and forth. It's quite  unique. I think it's great.  April: And how would you describe  it...as a drama, comedy, biography?  Addena: All those things. It was described as a roller coaster ride of emotions  by one reviewer and I thought "wow, that's  what it is." It's really funny at times and  sometimes it's really painful for some people to watch. It's a challenge to an audience I think.  April: You've performed Stay Black and  Die in its entirety since 1993.  "Ever since slavery there's been horrible  pictures and statues and little lawn jockeys  which I talk about in the play and ugly Aunt  Jemimas and gollywogs, ugly  little pickaninny dolls,  and things like that."  Addena: I performed it twice. Last summer, 1995, at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival  and in 1996 at the Adelaide Festival inAus-  tialia.  April: Let's keep it in Canada for starters... The Winnipeg Fringe Festival is quite  a large festival, I assume.  Addena: Yes it's quite big.  April: And how big was your space?  Addena: It was a small space, 120  [seats.] Really nice studio; really comfortable, really intimate.  April: And what were your houses like?  Addena: Sold out every night.  April: How long did you run?  Addena: I think six performances. It  was spread out over the length of the  Fringe. Every night was sold out; we turned  away 206 people.  April: That's amazing.  Addena: Yeah, it was a dream come  true.  April: And it was well received?  Addena: Very well received. Some people found it really painful in parts to watch  because it parallels so many people's lives  and lots of times we put things behind us  and pretend they didn't happen but when  you see [the play] it gives you a little twinge  and reminds you. Some people just are really empathetic and sympathetic for the  young girl and it's painful for that reason,  [even though] it might not parallel or reflect their lives in any way.  April: I have heard that it is so painful  for some people that they have had to leave  during the performance.  Addena: Yeah, a couple times that's  true.  April: And some of them had to leave  assisted.  Addena: Well, a couple of people  fainted. A couple of people had to leave  because, I guess, if you see something that's  very painful, the best thing to do would be  to leave. It didn't hurt my feelings or insult  me; it made me feel that the pain of the  young girl came through. It made me feel  that I'm a good storyteller, I'm a good actress. I'm not trying to freak out the audience. I'm telling a story—this is her story,  this is not something I made up to be dynamic or whatever; it's just truth, that's all.  April: And in Adelaide, Australia your  audiences had similar responses?  Addena: Yeah, in fact in the lobby, I set  up some memorabilia from that era for  young Black people. I do a Black history  display and I also have a book so that the  audience can write down their comments,  responses or whatever they want to say.  When I read it, it is just absolutely unbe  lievable the way the play was embraced  with such passion and love and respect.  April: You have a display that goes with  your show?  Addena: Yes, I do. I know for the Chinese community, there was a lot of negative statues and pictures and stuff depicting what a Chinese person was supposed  to look like and a lot of racial epitaphs and  stuff written. And it's the same for the Black  culture. Ever since slavery there's been horrible pictures and statues and little lawn  jockeys which I talk about in the play and  ugly Aunt Jemimas and gollywogs, ugly  little pickaninny dolls, and things like that.  April: A gollywog?  Addena: It's a little Black English ugly  nigger baby doll.  April: And you've collected some of  these items?  Addena: I have a incredible collection  at my house. Unfortunately I haven't been  home in five years. But I have some with  me; some I just sort of carry. So those are  the things I have in the display, and I also  have some nice stuff—some Black Canadian history. Stuff about what life was like  for them from the beginning of Canada 'til  now: the history of Black Canadian people,  where different groups of them came from,  like the States or the West Indies, or the ones  who were born here seven, eight generations ago, like you and me.  April: ...and you have a very incredible document as well.  Addena: Yes. I have a slave auction notice. I have a copy of that document. That  was in Canada by the way, in Halifax. It's  not an American document.  April: We'd like to think there wasn't  slavery in Canada. Unfortunately there is  documentation that there was.  You're living in the Northwest Territories now. What has been your experience  in the North?  Addena. Do you mean like freezing cold  to death? [laughs] Isolated in the middle of  nowhere? Those kind of things?  April: I was thinking more of arts and  issues to do with women of colour.  Addena: Well, it's actually been a really  good growth period for me. Really positive reinforcement, learning. I work with a  lot of women—older women, young girls—  and I do self esteem workshops, assertive-  ness workshops and healing circles. Working in those areas, I've been doing a lot of  my own healing and growing, and it's resulted in my starting to write and starting  to come out and say "it's time to get off your  butt and do your stuff."  Stay Black and Die will be performed at  the Edison Electric Moving Gallery, 916 Commercial Dr, Sept 5-10 and Sept 14-15. For exact times and ticket information, call the Fringe  Festival office at 873-3646 or pick up a Festival program. Tickets are available at the Community Box Office, 280-2801.  17 Arts  Feminist artists and activists:  Add guerrillas and stir  by Leanne Johnson  An uneasy quiet seems to have settled  around the Canadian art scene these days.  Continual cutbacks at all levels of funding  have everyone reeling. As the death knells  toll for various organizations, the survivors  wander about in shock waiting for the next  cut. As you are reading this, the federal government is deciding on the future of tobacco  sponsorship. [US president Bill Clinton recently signed a bill to ban tobacco sponsorship of arts, culture and sporting events in the  US.] It's bad enough that arts organizations  have been relegated to  the ethically murky waters of tobacco sponsorship and casinos, but the  threatened removal of the  tobacco sponsorship has  left Canadian arts organizations looking more like  the shocked survivors of  the threatened Vancouver  earthquake than lofty  cultural guardians.  Everyone is silent  these days. The impending sense of doom seems  to have crushed dissension amongst the ranks.  The arts community has  taken an "all for one, one  for all" approach to funding. Nobody wants to rock the boat lest they  lose their own funding. I don't know about  you, but I miss the lively debates of old.  Back then, there wasn't enough money either, but it wasn't the focus of all arts activism (if you can call this pervading gloominess activism).  So, thank goodness the Guerrilla Girls  are coming to the Vogue Theatre to shake  things up in these sad parts. The New York-  based Guerrilla Girls-self-proclaimed conscience of the art world-are an anonymous  group of "art world feminists." They made  their first appearance in the New York art  scene in 1985. Decked "out in gorilla masks  that hid their identities, the Girls went to  town ,shaking"up the art world with catchy  slogans like, "Do women have to get na  ked to get into the Metropolitan Museum?  Less than 5 percent of the artists in the  Modern Art section are women, but 85 percent of the nudes are female."  Armed with humour, wit and posters,  the Guerrilla Girls raised the profile of gender and racial inequity in the all too often  untouchable art world. Bringing down elitist arguments about aesthetics and free  markets, they have been tireless lobbyists  against the entrenched hypocrisy of the  visual art scene. Curators, critics and artists found themselves  mouthing arguments  that sounded vaguely  like, "I don't know  much about equality  but I know what the  public likes." Through  careful research and  alternative media, the  Guerrilla Girls have  outed organizations  and individuals that  have excluded or un-  der-represented  women artists and artists of colour.  Legend has it (or  you can read it in the  tell all book, Confessions of the Guerrilla  Girls) the Guerrilla Girls have never personally profited from their work. They have  managed to remain anonymous, choosing  to name themselves after under-appreciated deceased women artists. Over the past  ten years, the Guerrilla Girls have helped  improve the conditions for women artists  and artists of colour, but they admit there  is still a long way to go.  Which brings me back to why I'm excited about the Guerrilla Girls' first appearance in Vancouver. Equity in the arts in  Canada is an issue that needs to be revisited and monitored-even in these times of  cutbacks. Canadian arts advocacy is beginning to resemble arts abdication. We need  things stirred-up. Everyone should be  clamouring for equal representation. It will  Armed with  humour, wit and  posters, the  Guerrilla Girls  raised the profile of  gender and racial  inequity in the all  too often  untouchable art  world.  Guerrilla Girl finds time for a little light reading. Photo courtesy the Girls.  be inspiring to see a fun and lively debate  instead of the usual liturgy on organizations and funding.  We could all take a lesson from the  Guerrilla Girls in grassroots advocacy.  We've quietly protested, remained polite as  all the avenues to funding have steadily  been shut down. I don't know about you,  but I'm going to be at the Vogue Theatre to  see two of the founding members of the  Guerrilla Girls speak out on equal representation and give us an update on the state  of the arts. And in particular, I want to stick  around and hear what the locals have to  say during the discussion period that follows.  The Guerrilla Girls will be speaking at the  Vogue Theatre in Vancouver on September 22  at 3 pm and at 7pm. Tickets are available  through Ticketmaster (604) 280-4444.  Leanne Johnson is a Vancouver-based writer  who is tired of being depressed.  ii \       Western Canada's  14/ Lesbian & Gay  Bookstore  30K&  V V      ART EMPORIUM  Celebrating our brand new location at 1238 Davie Street  Come visit us at our new store with over twice the space and fully  wheelchair accesible. Check out our large variety of books, magazines, cards, music, calendars & much much more.  Little Sister's Book & Art Emporium  1238 Davie Street, Vancouver B.C. V6E 1N4  Internet Address:www:lsisters.com  Telephone (604)669-1753 Phone Orders 1-800-567-1662 Fax 685-0252J  Coming  Out  Emma  Grief and  Tigerhea  Loss  M.S.W.  Relationship  Issues  Childhood  Trauma  COUNSELLING  THERAPY  Family  Issues  CONSULTATION  Sliding  Scale Fees  Call  Inquiries  327-4437  Welcome  Vancouver, bc  SEPTEMBER 1996 Arts  Women at the Vancouver Fringe Festival:  Playing on the fringes  compiled by Shannon e. Ash   Celebrating its 12th year the Vancouver's Fringe Theatre Festival is part of a  phenomenon that began in Edinburgh,  Scotland and has spread to many locations,  including Edmonton, Victoria, and Vancouver. Fringe Festivals feature performers and  works on the "fringe" of the mainstream  theatre world. This year, the Vancouver  Fringe Festival is happening from September 5th to 15th at venues on and around  Commercial Drive in East Vancouver.  Grandview Park at Commercial and  Charles will be a central gathering place  during the Festival and will feature a  number of free performances. Productions  from Europe and across North America are  coming, but there is also a wide variety of  local talent on display; the majority of productions are from the Vancouver area.  Women—as actors, writers and directors—  have found the Fringe a place to do the  work they want to, addressing issues and  taking political views not often found in  mainstream theatre productions. Below,  Kinesis brings readers previews of some  productions created by women. As well in  this issue, Kinesis presents an interview  with Addena Sumter-Freitag who will be  performing her award-winning play, Stay  Black and Die, at the Fringe [see page 17.]  For specific times and locations of performances and ticket information pick up  a Festival program available at various  cafes and retail outlets around town, or call  the Festival office at (604) 873-3646.  CROSSING BOUNDARIES  "The only play that brings you face to  face with issues of control, power, and  abuse between women." Written by Penny  Gummerson and directed by Sandra  Ferens—both local artists—Crossing  Boundaries explores the issue of lesbian battering through the relationship of two  women friends who become lovers. Presented by Lone Pine Productions.  MOMENTS OF TRANSFORMATION:  Jewish Women's Stories  Writer, performer, and storyteller  Helen Mintz presents a one-woman show  about Jewish women's lives, past and  present: stories of the Holocaust, nineteenth-century Eastern Europe, and Jewish  lesbians. Mintz has previously performed  at the Women in View Festival in Vancouver to great acclaim. [Her performance Jewish Voices of Resistance was reviewed in Kinesis, April 1994.] Directed by Susan Astley.  DIRTY LAUNDRY  In a new comedy by Judi Price, three  women attempt to dispel the folklore that  states, "Women must bear the burden of  doing laundry...forever." Mona Lisa,  Bottecelli's Venus, and Lady Godiva make  guest appearances. Dirty Laundry is presented by Penniless Theatre, which has  done other Fringe shows such as Bert and  Ernie are Gay, and whose mission is to "create humourous works with a social conscience."  SEPTEMBER 1996  Crossing Boundaries  THE TURKEY BASTING METHOD  A single woman, over 35, with no male  parter but wanting a child, endeavours to  get a male neighbour and female friends to  help her become a mom. Writer Teresa  O'Leary, a CBC Radio reporter originally  from Newfoundland, "takes a swipe at religion, motherhood, and even traditional  concepts of love and romance." A comic  look at a serious theme.  ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES  Archaeologist Molly finds a four million year old cave woman and brings her  back to live with her. As cave woman Victoria "evolves," Molly begins to question  the role that Woman has played in human  history. Written by Bryony Lavery, with East  Vancouver resident and lesbian actor Taylor  Stutchbury playing the role of Victoria.  WUMPA  Vancouver's full figure theatre, a feminist theatre company, presents a "fast-paced  romp" through a metaphorical circus, centred on the misadventures of one woman  who is unwillingly thrust into the circus  ring. In a play written and performed by  Tammy Bentz, Jacqueline Dandeneau, and  Sharon Heath, the three women use acrobatics, dance, music and myth to explore  women's roles and self-discovery. The production has toured internationally and was  voted Best of the Fringe in Melbourne,  Australia.  THE TROUT SISTERS  Foursight Theatre returns again with  a "darkly comic mystery" about the Trout  Hotel on the Devonshire coast in southern  England. Featuring performances by  Naomi Cooke and Lori Weidenhammer.  Directed by Kate Hale, who directed last  year's Fringe performances, Boadicea and  Slap.  WOMEN WHO RUN WITH SWINE:  Myths and Stories of a Lesbian Gal  Musician/comic Monica Grant, based  in San Francisco, presents this one-woman  comedic look at life and relationships, featuring such numbers as "The Co-dependency Polka."  MRS. CAGE  "Supermarket shopping can be murder. Just ask Mrs. Cage. "An after-the-fact  murder story, where the woman who  killed—the middle class, middle-aged Mrs.  Cage—is interrogated by a police detective,  and the psychological abuse she suffered  from her husband and daughter is revealed.  Written by Nancy Barr and directed by  Candace O'Connor. Produced by Stage  Troupers/Equity Co-op.  MOVING SIDEWALKS, BOARDS  AND NAILS  A "true story of one woman's journey,"  told through prose, poetry and song. A  one-woman show by Vancouver writer,  singer and songwriter Janet Walker, Moving Sidewalks was first seen at Theatre in  the Raw at La Quena Coffeehouse in Vancouver, where it garnered this comment,  among others: "I'm a chain smoker and  once you started I didn't even think of a  cigarette."  LADY AND THE HOOVER  San Franscisco actress KayLynn  Raschke, tired of being treated like "another  blonde piece of furniture," found an outlet  in the Fringe for her ideas. She wrote and  performs in this one-woman show about  family secrets, suburban housewifery, and  the erotic possibilities of electrical appliances.  WANTON DISREGARD  Playwright Susan Helenchilde and  Style of Cause return to the Fringe with a  production about society's expectations of  maternal behaviour, asking the questions,  "when is deviation from that behaviour  criminal, and who decides?"  THE GERANIUM WARD  "Beatrice MacNeil's acclaimed piece  from the Cape Breton Festival of Plays" is  set in a mental institution where four "disparate personalities" cross paths. Sexual  repression, religious dogma and pyschiatric  labelling are all attacked. Produced by the  Vancouver Makeshift Theatre.  DUSA, FISH, STAS AND VI  A chronicle of four women struggling  to live in "a society that undermines and  discriminates," this play centres on Fish, a  young woman seeking equality within the  patriarchal structure. Written by Sherry  O'Brien and produced by the P.O. W Company in Vancouver.  ONLY NINE  Written by Tina Overbury, Only Nine  is the story of a woman who yearns for intimacy while struggling with the effects of  an abusive childhood. The play is written  completely in poetry, incorporating movement and text. Presented by Persimmons  Theatre Company  Shannon e. Ash is a regular writer who is used  to being on the fringe.  Lady and the Hoover Letters  dear   readers  Kinesis loves receiving mail. Please  get your letter to us by the 18th of  the month.  If you can, keep the length to about  500 words. (If you go way over, we  might edit for space.)  Hope to hear from you very soon.  Love,  Kinesis  Respecting women with  breast cancer  Kinesis:  Just received my third issue of  Kinesis, a gift from my daughter in  Vancouver. It is most informative,  interesting and exciting to be informed  from a womyn's point of view from the  West to East. Especially enjoyed  information on "The Women's March  Against Poverty." Recognized one of  the womyn, who was also in our rural  town of 1500, that also had a "March"  with a gathering of 56 diverse people.  We were ecstatic!  Congratulations and thank you to  the Vancouver Women's Health  Collective and the Georgia Strait  Alliance on the excellent work they are  doing of informing and educating the  public. Too many womyn are dying  passively of breast cancer and we need  to unite and stand up and shout. It  must stop, more research needs to be  done, to prevent. Keep up the good  work.  Now for the other side...Most  disturbed and outraged to again see  the womyn with the clock on her  breast, re: Time [which accompanied the  article on breast cancer and xenoestrogens  in the July/August 1996 issue.] Point  taken, but have you considered women  who have had their breast amputated?  Perhaps one does not realize the  impact of this photo to some of us, that  feel like "Picasso's Women," the title of  book written by Rosalinda MacPhee of  Vancouver.  As womyn we need to honor  Roslinda MacPhee for helping many  womyn by telling her story of breast  cancer. [Ed note: MacPhee passed away  earlier this year.] Rachel Carson is  another womyn to honor, who was  aware over 30 years ago of the  environmental toxins.  Thank you for your time and keep  up the good work.  Sincerely,  Donna M. Gall-Chapeskie  Barry's Bay, Ontario  White Ribbon Campaign  takes money from women  Kinesis:  I know very little about the White  Ribbon Campaign: does anyone out  there know what they actually do with  the money they raise? Apart from  buying mailing lists and hiring fundraisers? [The campaign involves men in  Canada wearing white ribbons as their  symbolic contribution to ending male  violence against women.]  The letter they sent me included a  questionnaire. I thought (I am quite  gullible) they might actually be  conducting a survey. Then I thought,  maybe the questions will educate  people about violence against women.  But the questions were inane, leading  only to the "conclusion" that if I truly  care about violence against women, I  will send money to the campaign  (whose activities I know nothing  about).  They urged me to respond within 10  days. I did, and asked them to respond  within 10 days. [Her letter is printed  below.] A month later, nothing.  The White Ribbon Campaign's letter  is in fact a model of behaviours that I  would like to see men change: it  arrives uninvited and unwelcome; it  misrepresents its intentions; it makes  inappropriate demands.  But if I am a nice person I will do  what he wants anyway, right?  Norah Fraser  London, Ontario  Richard Berry, National Coordinator  White Ribbon Campaign  PO Box 20224, Stn Brm B  Toronto ON M7Y 3R1  Dear Mr. Berry,  I received your form letter asking  me, an impoverished woman who has  experienced male violence, to give  money to men who promise to 'work  together' to stop violence against  women.  I hope that all money raised by the  'white ribbon campaign' will be turned  over to women who are already  actively helping women escape male  violence.  While I support the concepts of men  working to unlearn violent behaviours  and of men helping other men with  that process, I am very angry that an  organisation is fund-raising in the way  that the white ribbon campaign is  fund-raising, targetting (I use the word  consciously) the very people who  might otherwise give money to women  working against violence against  women.  Please take me off your mailing list.  Please tell me how you got my name  and address so I can contact your  source, and stop the further release of  my name and address. I enclose the  mailing label so you can trace it.  Please respond within 10 days,  informing me of how the white ribbon  campaign funds will be used to change  men's behaviour and stop violence  against women.  Thank you,  Norah Fraser  PS. Don't ask women for money. Give  money to women, instead.  P.PS. I have, with the limited resources  available to me, attempted to mimic  your fund-raising letter's style in the  hope that you will better understand  my message.  P.P.P.S. Post-scripts to word-processed  letters are tacky, don't you think?  GUARDIAN, from page 10  have the override clause removed. They got  nowhere. (Interestingly, when asked  whether there had been any support for this  from the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities, members of whom also sit on the  implementation coalition, he replied, simply, "None.")  One audience member asked if the override clause could be challenged under the  Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,  which protects people from discrimination  on the grounds of disability. Shackleton said  that this is possible and that he's been thinking of taking this matter to the BC Human  Rights Coalition [an advocacy group.]  Spitting out the Big Pill  Towards the end of the forum, activist  L.E. Roze took the mike. Roze founded the  Puzzle Factory Theatre Company in Ontario. Puzzle Factory has helped psychiatric survivors get together to talk, socialize,  write and think about how their experiences in the msmtal health system have affected their lives, and express themselves  creatively. The powerful, funny, political  plays its members have produced have  been vital to the Ontario psychiatric survivors' movement, which is part of the international mad movement: groups of people all over the world promoting alternatives to psychiatry and fighting against  forced treatment, electroshock and other  human rights abuses perpetrated in the  name of "mental health." The movement  has suffered horribly from infighting between people with political differences and  personality conflicts, and many activists  have pulled back from the movement as a  result (Roze and myself among them.)  However, we have had time to renew our  energies, and are back.  This is what Roze had to say at the forum:  "I wanted to say nothing but my blood  is boiling and I have to speak. I don't want  this day to be in vain. I see a lot of compassionate, hardworking people here. I see that  we have to fight for legally recognized representation agreements.  "But we also need to take power. We  need to take responsibility for our own lives  and our own health, including our mental  health. I have had many labels. I spent four  years pacing the wards. I lost my kids to  the system.  "In the 1980s, I started Puzzle Factory. I also helped put on the first national  psychiatric survivors' conference in Montreal in 1989. In the early '90s, I had to leave  the psychiatric survivors' movement, and  leave Toronto, to get some clarity. Working  inside the movement with people who have  the same experiences and the same anger  as I do became too much. I needed space,  and moved to the west coast to do  some thinking and some healing. I've been  in hospital a couple of times since then.  "I think the first video we saw today  made the most important point: what we  need when we're in trouble is someone who  really cares about us.  "So many of us have fallen into what  I call Swallowing the Big Pill: 'I'm a schizophrenic' or 'I'm a manic depressive.' Well,  I say: No! I'm me! I'm a whole human being. I was told I was manic depressive. I  was told I was schizophrenic. These are just  opinions. In fact, they're the opinions of  psychiatrists, who have spent 10 or 12 years  in university, getting their ideas out of textbooks.  "I took a lot of pills. But I finally got  clear and took responsibility for myself.  "I've had emotional and spiritual crises that this society has chosen to see as  mental illness. I don't believe anyone is  mentally ill. I don't believe in mental illness.  "I'd like to be part of the movement  again. It's been hard to sit back getting  healthy. My heart is with my people. But  I'm not manic depressive, thank you very  much. And I will never collect welfare  again—14 years was plenty.  "I'd like to do something, but I have a  hard time being in an environment where I  feel like my feelings and opinions are not  listened to.  "I realize it's really hard to take responsibility, to take control of your own life.  And I'm not saying that medications are  bad. Nothing is black and white. But I'd  like this to end with something being set  up. I'd like to move on to do something  with the people in this room."  If you are interested in helping lobby  against the override clause, please contact  Lenny Gagnon at (604) 941-8652.  Irit Shimrat escaped from her third and  last psychiatric lock-up in 1980 and has not  seen a shrink or taken medications since then.  From 1986 to 1990, she edited the magazine  Phoenix Rising: The Voice of the Psychiatrized.  Between 1990 and 1992, she coordinated the  Ontario Psychiatric Survivors' Alliance, and  also presented two CBC Ideas radio programs:  "Analyzing Psychiatry" and "By Reason of  Insanity." She is currently working on a book  about the psychiatric survivors' movement in  Canada, to be published by Press Gang Publishers in 1997, and has recently founded an  information network called the Lunatics Liberation Front.  Thanks to Lenny Gagnon, as well as Persimmon Blackbridge and Carla McKague, for  their help with this article.  Bed & Breakfast  A Beautiful Place  Centre yourself  in the comfort and tranquility  of B.C.'s Super Natural  Gulf Islands.  Healthy Breakfasts  Hot Tub & Sauna  5 acres of forested  foot paths with ponds  ocean and mountain views  A Memorable Escape  (604) 537-9344  1207 Beddis Road,  Salt Spring Island, B.C. V8K 2C8  20  SEPTEMBER 1996 Bulletin Board  Bulletin Board listings have a  maximum of 50 words. Groups,  organizations and individuals eligible  for free space in the Bulletin Board  must be, or have, non-profit  objectives.  Other free notices will be items of  general public interest and will  appear at the discretion of Kinesis.  Classifieds are $8 (+$0.56 GST) for  the first 50 words or portion thereof,  $4 (+$0.28 GST) for each additional  25 words or portion thereof and must  be prepaid.  Deadline for all submissions is  the 18th of the month preceding  publication. Note: Kinesis is  published ten times a year. Jul/Aug  and Dec/Jan are double issues.  All submissions should include a  contact name and telephone number  for any clarification that may be  required.  Listings will not be accepted over the  telephone.  Kinesis encourages readers to  research the goods and services  advertised in Bulletin Board. Kinesis  cannot guarantee the accuracy of the  information provided or the safety  and effectiveness of the services and  products listed.  Send submissions to Bulletin Board,  Kinesis, #301-1720 Grant Street,  Vancouver, BC, V5L 2Y6, or fax: (604)  255-5511. For more information call  (604) 255-5499.  INVOLVEMENT  WANNA GET INVOLVED?  With Kinesis? We want to get involved with  you too. Help plan our next issue. All  women interested in what goes into  Kinesis—whether it's news, features or  arts—are invited to our next Story Meetings: Tues Sep 3 and Tues Oct 1 at 7 pm at  our office, 301-1720 Grant St, Van. If you  can't make the meeting, but still want to  find out about writing for Kinesis, give  Agnes a call at (604) 255-5499. No  experience is necessary. Childcare subsidies available.  CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS  Are you interested in finding out how  Kinesis is put together? Well...just drop by  during our next production dates and help  us design and lay out Canada's national  feminist newspaper. Production for the  October 1996 issue is from Sep 15-24. No  experience is necessary. Training and  support will be provided. If this notice  intrigues you, call us at 255-5499.  Childcare subsidies available.   ABORIGINAL WOMEN'S NETWORK  The Aboriginal Women's Action Network  (AWAN) holds regular monthly meetings at  VSW, 301-1720 Grant St. We work towards  equality and justice for Aboriginal women.  Workshops and projects will be developed  for Aboriginal women in the Eastside. All  Aboriginal women are invited to participate.  If you have any questions, please call (604)  255-5511.  INVOLVEMENT  EVENTS  VSW PROGRAMMING COMMITTEE        VSW 25YEAR BASH  All women are invited to join Vancouver  Status of Women's programming committee and become involved in planning  community activities, such as the Women's  Film Series and Single Moms Day in the  Park. It's fun. It's important. It's cool.  Interested? Call 255-5511.  VSW WANTS YOU!  Want to get more involved but not sure  where to begin? Join us—become a  volunteer at Vancouver Status of Women.  VSW volunteers plan events, lead groups,  raise funds, answer the phone lines,  organize the library, help connect women  with the community resources they need,  and get involved in other exciting jobs! The  next volunteer orientation will be on Wed,  Sep 18, 7pm at VSW, 301-1720 Grant St.  For more info, call 255-5511. Childcare  subsidies available.  VSW is 25 and Alive! Help celebrate the  Vancouver Status of Women's birthday at a  gala party and book launch on Sat Nov 2  [see display ad below for details.] Featuring  Judy Rebick and Kike Roach launching  their new book, Politically Speaking, plus  fab performers and speakers from VSW's  past and present. Everyone welcome! For  more info call 255-5511.  ANNUAL KINESIS BENEFIT  The annual Kinesis Benefit will be held on  Thurs Sep 19 starting at 7pm at the WISE  Club, 1882 Adanac St, Vancouver. The  event will feature performances by Sandy  Scofield, Penny Singh and the Onna Zoku  Bang Band (where Taiko meets the wild  west), the draw of the annual raffle (for lots  of fabulous prize packages), and loads of  fun. The event is for women and children.  Childcare is available on site. The venue is  wheelchair accessible. For more info, to  volunteer, or to buy raffle tickets, call 255-  5499.   SOCIAL JUSTICE SOCIALS  The Unitarian Church of Vancouver's  Social Justice Committee is presenting a  series of Social Justice Socials every  second Fri from Sep 20 to Dec 6, 7-9pm,  at The Unitarian Church at 949 W.49th Ave  (at Oak). The theme is "Share the Wealth"  and will include speakers, videos, small  discussion groups, chances to make  posters or create skits, snacks and music.  The first speaker in the series on Sep 20  will be Jean Swanson of End Legislated  Poverty. Cost is $2 per evening or $10 for a  season pass. For more info or to register  call Lydia at 734-3769 or Margaret at 738-  4217.  Vancouver  Status of  Women is.  Z5 and Alive!  A (rala Pirthday Party and  Pook launch  Saturday, November 2  Featuring Sawagi Taiko and others,  VSWers from yesterday and today  and rf^H  Judy Rebick and Kike Roach  launching their new book  Politically Speaking  (Douglas & Mclntyre)  Refreshments! Cash bar! Door prizes!  Schmoozing from 6:30 pm  Main event at 8 pm sharp  Vancouver Public Library  350 W. Georgia  (Multipurpose Room)  Tix: $10 - $2,500 (employed)  $5 - $25 (un- & underemployed)  Available around town (Call 255-5511 for info.)  STAY BLACK & DIE'  Award winning play by Canadian Playwright  A ddena Sumter-Freitag  The story of a young black Canadian girl  growing up in the 50's and 60's in  Winnipeg's 'North End'  Funny, sad, tender, graphic, racy, & racial.  You'll 'laugh your face off one minute and cry the nexi  "If you can only see one play this Fringe,  See This Play. It's wonderful!"  Vancouver Fringe  Sept 05-15th Venue #6  Edison Electric Moving Gallerv  916 Commercial Drive  and at the Cowichan Fringe in Duncan, BC  Sept 17-21  e Fringe Office for Dates and Tii  Strap yourself in - You're in for the tide of your life!  SEPTEMBER 1996 Bulletin Board  EVENTS  EVENTS  GROUPS  GROUPS  WHAT'STHE RISK?  AIDS Vancouver, in conjunction with  YouthCo, the Positive Women's Network  and Healing Our Spirit, is organizing an  information evening about HIV and STDs  for women who have sex with women on  Thurs Oct 3, 8-1 Opm at Harry's Off  Commercial, 1716 Charles St. Four  speakers will present information for  women on what puts women at risk, living  with HIV, and what we can do for ourselves  to keep us and our community healthy,  whether we are HIV+, HIV-, or don't know  our status. Limited childcare subsidies are  available. ASL Interpretation is available for  the evening and the venue is wheelchair  accessible. For more info or to request  childcare subsidies call Maria Stanborough  at AIDS Vancouver, 681-2122, ext. 226.  TAKE BACK THE NIGHT  This year's Take Back the Night march and  rally in Vancouver will be held Fri Sep 20  starting at 7pm at Trout Lake (Victoria Dr.  and E. 15th Ave.) The event is organized by  Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's  Shelter in association with the Canadian  Association of Sexual Assault Centres. The  march and rally is a women-only event.  Sign language interpreters and mobility  attendants will be available. For more info  call (604) 872-8212.   TAKE BACKTHE NIGHT -VICTORIA  The annual Take Back The Night Rally and  March in Victoria, BC is set for Fri Sep 20.  Women and children are gathering at  Centennial Square at 7 pm and marching  to the Legislative Lawns for the Rally. The  evening also includes a celebration at the  YM/YWCA.The theme of this year's Take  Back The Night is "Making Links" between  various types of oppression and the  resulting violence against women and  children. For more info contact the Victoria  Status of Women Action Group at (604)  383-7322.   WOMEN'S FILM FESTIVAL  The 7th annual St. John's International  Women's Film and Video Festival is taking  place Oct 19-20, screening films and  videos directed, written or produced by  women. This year's festival will feature films  from Atlantic Rim countries bordering the  north Atlantic. For more info contact PO  Box 984, St. John's, Nfld, A1C 6C2.  BETH GOOBIE  Beth Goobie, author of Scars of Light and  Could I Have My Body Back Now?, and  winner of the 1995 Pat Lowther Award, will  be reading on Wed Sep 11 at 7:30pm at  Women in Print, 3566 W.4th Ave, Vancouver. Admission is free. For more info call  732-4128.  i»^*^»/^rr^»/^^«  A Unique Publication  Welfare Mothers Voice  Subscribe to Welfare Mothei  Voice, a 24 page national  quarterly (Unglish/Spanish)  written by mothers in  poverty. Published by  the Welfare Warriors,  moms fighting lor the  lives of mothers and  children struggling to  survive in a system not  working for them  W  Mothers in Poverty and Other Victims of IV  $15 Oilier Individuals  $25 Organizations  VIVIAN MARPLE  Calgary writer Vivian Marple will be  reading from her acclaimed book of poetry,  / Mention the Garden for Clarity at Women  in Print, 3566 W.4th Ave, on Tues Sep 10,  at 7:30pm. Free admission. For more info  call 732-4128.   MEG HICKLING  Come and chat with Meg Hickling as she  launches her first book, Speaking of Sex,  on Thurs Sep 5, anytime between 1-8pm  at Women in Print, 3566 W. 4th Ave,  Vancouver. This is an informative primer for  educating kids about sex. Free admission.  For more info call 732-4128.  DYKEWORDS  Dyteivords.readings by local dyke writers  is held every second Thurs at 9pm at The  Lotus, 455 Abbott St, Vancouver. Thurs  Sep 26 features Jackie Crossland, Nora  Randall, Faith Jones & Juliet O'Keefe.  Admission is $1-4 sliding scale. Everyone  welcome. For more info call 685-7777.  WOMEN'S HISTORY NETWORK  The second annual B.C Women's History  Network conference, entitled Cultural  Contacts, will be held at at Malaspina  University-College in Nanaimo Sep 27-28.  Subjects for discussion include the history  of Aboriginal women elders and the  presence of women on the internet. For  more info contact Helen in Nanaimo at  (604) 753-3245 (local 2129).   WOMEN &THE LAW  West Coast LEAF is presenting a Women  & The Law series entitled Talking 'Bout A  (R)Evolution Of The Law Wednesdays,  Sep 4,11,18 and 25 from 7:30-9pm at  Bollum's Books , 710 Granville St. Topics  are, respectively each week: "Making  Canada A More Equal Place For Women;"  "Sexual Assault Law Reform;" "Bringing  Equality Home;" and "Equality In The  Workplace." For info and reservations call  West Coast LEAF at (604) 684-8772.  THE GUERRILLA GIRLS  The Contemporary Art Gallery and Opus  Framing & Art Supplies are hosting a  benefit featuring The Guerrilla Girls.The  Conscience of the Art World. Visual artists  with a humourous and feminist perspective,  The Guerrilla Girls will present their  illustrated lecture on Sun Sep 22 at 3pm  and 7pm at Vancouver's Vogue Theatre.  Tickets are available from Ticketmaster:  $15 regular, $10 students. For more info  contact Chris Tyrell at (604) 736-7535,  local 2315.   AMAZING GREYS GATHERING  The 4th annual Amazing Greys Gathering  is happening in Parksville at the Island Hall  Oct 25-27. The event is a celebration of the  energy, creativity and wisdom of mature  women willing to explore the opportunities  of age with joy, curiousity and openess. For  more info contact Shelagh Wilson at (604)  954-2395.  RADICAL WOMEN  Radical Women is holding an evening  study group called Recipe for Winning  Women's Rights: Revolutionary Politics!  every Wed from 7-8:30pm at Rebel Centre,  2278 E. 24th Ave., Vancouver. Topics for  open debate and freewheeling discussion  include the interconnections of race, sex,  sexuality and class, and the revolutionary  possibilities of women's leadership in  action. Wheelchair accessible. For more  info, call (604) 874-2943, 874-9048; or fax  874-9058.   SUBURBAN DYKES IN POCO  The Port Coquitlam Area Women's Centre  will be hosting an Open House to explore  the creation of a lesbian friendly space.  This evening will be held on Mon Sep 9 at  7:30pm. For more info, contact the Centre  at (604) 941-6311.   EVERYWOMEN'S HEALTH CENTRE  Everywomen's Health Centre is seeking  pro-choice women for Board positions.  Everywoman's is a free-standing abortion  clinic in Vancouver. For more info, leave a  message for Kim Zander at (604) 322-  6692.   RAPE RELIEFVOLUNTEERS  Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's  Shelter needs women who are interested  in volunteering for their 24- hour crisis line  and transition house for women and  children. Training sessions are on Tues  evenings. For more info and a training  interview, call (604) 872-8212.   PREGNANCY SUPPORT  The Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship  Centre Society has a Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) support worker available with  information and counselling on drug and  alcohol use during pregnancy. The Centre  is located at 1607 East Hastings St.,  Vancouver. For an appointment or more  info, call Jenelle McMillan (604) 251-4844.  LEGAL CLINIC FOR WOMEN  Battered Women's Support Services  (BWSS) and UBC Law Students Legal  Advice Program are co-sponsoring free  legal clinics for women, to be held every  otherTues, 6:30 to 8:30pm from Sep 17 to  Nov 12. For info or to make an appoint-  ment, call BWSS at (604) 687-1867.  LEAF IS MOVING  The West Coast Women's Legal Education  and Action Fund is moving. As of Sep 1,  their new address will be #1517-409  Granville St, Vancouver, BC, V6C 1T2.  Their phone and fax numbers will remain  the same. Tel: 684-8772; Fax: 684-1543.  HOST PROGRAM VOLUNTEERS  The North Shore Multicultural Society's  Host Program needs volunteers to spend 3  hours a week for about 6 months, assisting  newcomers in adjusting to Canadian life  and practising their English skills. A 2-hour  volunteer training and orientation is  provided, and you can start at any time. For  more info contact Theresa Chong at (604)  988-2931.  GRASSROOTS WOMEN'S GROUP  The Philippine Women Centre in Vancouver initiated the Grassroots Women's  Discussion Group to allow women opportunities to share common issues on a  monthly basis. It is open to all women. The  discussions led to the objective of making  connections between the specific issues of  women and the global context. The group  is currently launching the No! to APEC  (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation)  Campaign which was launched in August  at the Under the Volcano Festival. A series  of activities will follow, leading to a rally for  the International Day of Protest Against  Imperialist Globalization on Nov 25. For  more info on the discussion group or the  campaign, call Mable at (604) 322-9852.  BIG SISTERS  Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland and the  Positive Women's Network are looking for  women to become Big Sisters for children  of HIV+ mothers. You must be 20 years of  age or older, and willing to commit for a  minimum one year match with a Little  Sister or Brother, and be able to spend 3-5  hours each week with them. For more info,  contact Bronwyn at 681-2122 ext 200 orTai  Holley at 873-4525.   WAVAW VOLUNTEERS  Women Against Violence Against Women  (WAVAW) rape crisis centre in Vancouver  needs women to do rape crisis work.  WAVAW offers extensive training in counselling & crisis intervention, advocacy &  liaison work, and providing information on  medical, police and legal procedures for  rape crisis work. WAVAW is striving to be  anti-racist, Jewish women supportive, anti-  classist, anti-homophobic and anti-ableist.  and wants the women in its collective to  reflect the diversity of women in our  community. The next training begins on  Sept 14 for 12 weeks, on Wed 7-1 Opm and  Sun 11am-5pm. Childcare and transportation subsidies available. Sign language  interpreters will be provided if needed. For  more info, call 255-6228 orTTY 254-6268.  WOMEN AND AIDS  A new women's support group in Vancouver for women living with AIDS will be held  every other Sat until Oct 26 at the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre, 44 E.  Cordova St. The group will be facilitated by  Wanda from Healing Our Spirit and Nancy  from the Positive Women's Network. The  group is confidential and attempts will be  made to ensure the group is safe and  accessible. Refreshments and snacks will  be available. For more info call Nancy at  681-2122 ext 200.   BWSS FACILITATOR TRAINING  Battered Women's Support Services will be  offering volunteer Group Facilitator, Peer  Counselor/Advocate training in the fall of  1996. If you are interested in working with  battered women as a volunteer at BWSS  and would like to be considered for the  training program, please call (604) 687-  1868 for an application form.  ^****&****xfrr*<********^***r**^**r***<<*'^*********0*~  iMiiiiiMiiiiim  San gam Grant R.P.c.  MUSTERED PR0FFESSI0NAL COUNSELLOR  Private Practitioner,  Workshop + Group Therapist  phone (604) 253-5007  when the music changes so does the dance...  DR. PAULETTE ROSCOE  NA TUROPA THIC PHYSICIAN  HOMEOPATHY  COUNSELLING  DETOXIFICATION  HYCROFT MEDICAL CENTER  108-3195 GRANVILLE ST.  VANCOUVER, B.C. V6H 3K2  THE KEEPERTM  (MENSTRUAL CUP)  SEPTEMBER 1996 Bulletin Board  SUBMISSIONS SUBMISSIONS  BRONWEN WALLACE AWARD  The Writers' Development Trust is calling  for submissions of short fiction prose  (under 2,500 words) for the Bronwen  Wallace Award. Respecting the wishes of  Bronwen Wallace, writers must be under  35. As well, they should be unpublished in  book form, but have had their work appear  in at least one independently edited  magazine or anthology. Prize is $1,000.  Send submissions by mail to: The Bronwen  Wallace Award, c/o The Writers' Development Trust, 24 Ryerson Ave, Suite 201,  Toronto, ON, M5T 2P3. Deadline is Jan 15  CHILDREN OF EXILE  Carol Camper, creator and editor of  Miscegenation Blues: Voices of Mixed  Race Women, is seeking submissions for  an anthology of women and men of colour  who were raised in white families or  institutions, tentatively titles Children of  Exile. Essays, articles, letters, journals,  artwork, photography, interviews, et cetera  are welcomed. Send submissions to Carol  Camper c/o Sister Vision Press, PO Box  217, Stn E, Toronto, ON, M6H 4E2. Deadline is Sep 30.  THIN LINES OF COMMUNICATION  Women who have had anorexia and/or  bulimia are invited to submit poetry, short  fiction, personal non-fiction, and black and  white visual art to the anthology Thin Lines  of Communication, forthcoming from  gynergy books. Send up to 20 pages, a  brief biography, and a SASE to: Thin Lines,  PO Box 1164, Saskatoon, SK S7K 3N2.  Deadline is Nov 1.  AFRICAN CANADIAN WRITING  North: Contemporary African Canadian  Writing is seeking unpublished manuscripts of poetry, short fiction, and non-  fiction relating to contemporary Black  writing practices and their contexts. Peter  Hudson and Clifton Joseph are guest  editors of this special issue of West Coast  Line. Send manuscripts in duplicate plus a  bio to West Coast Line, Attn: North, 2027  E. Academic Annex, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6. For more info  call (604) 291-4287. Deadline is Sep 15.  JOURNAL OF LESBIAN STUDIES  The Journal of Lesbian Studies is calling  for theoretical and research articles, poetry,  fiction, debates, and personal experiences  for a special issue on the experiences of  lesbians of colour of mixed racial heritage  to be published in Spring 1997. Authors are  asked to submit a one-page outline of your  submission plus a 2-3 sentence bio to: JLS  Special Issue, LWC, 4 Wild Court, London  WC2B 4AU, United Kingdom. Selected  authors will be contacted and asked to  write/submit a full-length article or story.  Deadline is Oct 1.  barbara findlay  B.A. M.A. LIB.  is delighted to a  that she is now practicing law  with the law firm of  Smith and Hughes  321-1525 Robson Street  Vancouver  Tel: (604) 683-4176  Smith and Hughes offer a full range of legal  services to the lesbian, gay and bisexual  communities of Vancouver. Initial consultatio  are without charge.  BREAST CANCER CONFERENCE  The first World Conference on Breast  Cancer will be held in Kingston, Ontario  Jul 13-17,1997. Delegates from around  the world will be discussing a wide range  of topics. For those interested in attending  or presenting, or for more info phone the  conference office at (613) 549-1118.  BEIJING PHOTOS  The Vancouver Assoc of Chinese Canadians and the Burnaby Art Gallery are  collaborating on a photography exhibit of  the 1995 4th World Conference on Women  in Beijing. Send a maximum of 10 b/w or  colour prints. Include a one page statement  about your experiences at the conference  along with contact information, and a  SASE if you want your prints returned.  Contact Grace Thomson, Burnaby Art  Gallery, 6344 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby, BC,  V5G 2J3, or call (604) 291-9441. Deadline  is Sept 30.  BRIDGING NORTH AND SOUTH  Canadian Woman Studies is seeking  submissions for an exploration of feminist  practice and theory through the lens of  women's growing global connections and  organization. Send essays, research  reports, manifestos, true stories, brief  anecdotes, poetry, cartoons, drawings and  other artwork to: Canadian Woman Studies, 212 Founders, York University, 4700  Keele St. North York, ON M3J 1P3. Call  (416) 736-5356. Fax (416) 736-5765. E-  mail cwscf ©yorku.ca Deadline is Oct 30.  CLASSIFIEDS  PUBLISHING OPPORTUNITY  Caffyn Kelley is moving and is wanting to  pass on Gallerie Feminist Publishing  Company, including assets of books and  cards by women artists—and no debts!  Free to enthusiastic applicant. Located in  North Vancouver. If you're interested, call  (604) 929-7129.   AFFORDABLE CERTIFIED IN FULL  REFLEXOLOGIST  Certified, experienced, reflexologist.  Experience and enjoy this natural healing  art for better health. Releases tension and  stress and toxins built up in your body. Feel  deeply relaxed, nurtured and a wonderful  sense of well-being. Appointments are  available 7 days a week. Call 291-2019.  Introductory special.  COUNSELLING SERVICES FOR  WOMEN  Offering group, individual and couple  counselling with a feminist philosophy,  Hakomi techniques, art and gestalt therapy.  Sliding fee scale. Please contact Miljenka  Zadravec, M.Ed, Sydney Foran, MSW, Fran  Friesen, M.Ed, or Elli Tamasin, M.Ed at  304-1720 Grant St, Van, or call 253-0143.  WOMEN'S SELF-DEFENSE  Women Educating in Self-defense Training  (WEST) teaches Wenlido. In Basic classes,  you learn how to make the most of mental,  physical and verbal skills to get away from  assault situations. Continuing training  builds on basic techniques to improve  physical and mental strength. By women,  for women. For info, call 876-6390.  CITYVIEW CO-OP  Cityview Co-op has one, two and three  bedroom suites for $565, $696, $795 per  month and refundable share purchase.  Carpets, blinds, appliances, parking and  laundry room. Children and small pets  welcome. Please send a business size  SASE to Membership Committee, Cityview  Housing Co-op, 108-1885 E. Pender St,  Vancouver, BC, V5L 1W6.  KALEIDOSCOPE: WOMEN IN MUSIC  A weekend of women and music is happening September 28 and 29 as  Kaleidoscope: a Festival of Women in Music hits the stages at three venues  in Vancouver. Organized by the Women in Music Society, the Festival is the  first of its kind in Western Canada and will provide a unique forum for  women involved in every aspect of music to publicly present and discuss  their music and experience.  The Festival will feature performers from Canada, the US and the Netherlands and more than 20 hours of musical performances ranging from folk to  classical, pop to performance arts, as well as 30 hours of workshops on all  kinds of topics.  Among the Festival highlights is the Saturday night concert, Donne Borealis,  featuring perfomances from SawagiTaiko, Winnipeg jazz pianist Marilyn  Lerner, Vancouver's Academy Strings, harpist Rita Costanzi, and others. The  Festival concludes Sunday with a Gourmet Jazz Brunch at Performance  Works on Granville Island featuring delicious food and musical performances by local jazz artists Dee Daniels [pictured above], Jennifer Scott, and  June Katz with Bonnie Ferguson, Barbara Fisher and Colleen Fisher.  The events will take place at the Vancouver Academy of Music, the H.R.  MacMillan Planetarium and Performance Works. Weekend passes for the  full festival are available for $110. Single event tickets can also be purchased. For tickets, a full program or more information, call Women in Music  at (604) 684-9461.  CLASSIFIEDS  PRO-CHOICE PRESS  Subscribe to Pro-Choice Press, the BC  Coalition for Abortion Clinics' quarterly  bulletin with news and information on the  fight for abortion rights. $10 per year for  individuals; $25 for groups—includes  membership in the Coalition. To subscribe,  write to 219-1675 W. 8th Ave, Vancouver,  BC, V6J 1V2; call (604) 736-2800; or fax:  (604)736-2152.   SELF-HELP DIRECTORY  The Self-Help Resource Association of BC  is seeking info about self-help or mutual  aid groups to include in its annual Directory  of Self-Help Groups in Greater Vancouver.  Deadline, ASAP. For more info, contact  Karen at (604) 733-6186.   BREAST CANCER EVENT  Two nights of talks on breast cancer will be  held at the Waterfront Centre Hotel in  Vancouver on Mar 7- 8,1997. For more  information call (604) 822-2626 or fax  (604) 822-4835. Brochures to Breast  Cancer: Myths and Realities will be  available in November 1996.  CLASSIFIEDS  RADICALTHERAPY  Feel like you're walking around in an  undeclared warzone? You are! Come let  that inner child out and release your  warrior in group therapy with Sangam  Grant. For info regarding group therapy for  women and individual sessions.call 253-  5007. A women of colour group will be  starting late fall.   WOMEN'S FITNESS EVENINGS  Trout Lake Fitness Centre features an all  women's evening every Tues from 7-9pm.  The Centre is located at 3350 Victoria Dr.  in Vancouver. The drop-in cost is $3.65,  including sauna and whirlpool. For info call  257-6955.   WOMEN'S WEIGHTTR AINING  Trout Lake Community Centre is offering an  intermediate "Weight Training for Women"  program every Tue from Sep 10-Oct 8  from 7-8pm.The costs are $18.25 plus  centre membership. The Centre is located  at 3350 Victoria Dr. Call 257-6955 for info.  SEPTEMBER 1996 Wr  LIB1Z3 A/97  LIBRflRY PROCESSING CTR - SERIALS  £286 EAST MALL, U.B.C.  VANCOUVER, BC V&T 1Z8  II    III  come out  for the  Kinesis Benefit...  ...but we will have fabulous entertainment, food, Kinesis volunteers from years past & present,  great raffle prizes and gift giveaways!  f \us S>e6- * Emcee Emma msM *  * Taiko meets "the wild west" in the Onna Zoku r3ang band *  * Penny Singh blast the blues *  * Sandy Scofield, singer sans compere *  At the WISE HALL. 1662 Adanac St., September 19th, 7pm  Wheelchair accessible, non-smoking, non-alcohol, on-site childcare.  $3-10 or pay what you can  See you there!!!!  One year  □$20 + $1.40 GST □ Bill me  Two years □ New  □$36 + $2.52 GST □ Renewal  Institutions/Groups □ Gift  □$45 + $3.15 GST □ Donation  □ Cheque enclosed   For individuals who can't afford the full amount  for Kinesis subscription, send what you can.  Free to prisoners.  Orders outside Canada add $8.  Vancouver Status of Women Membership  (includes Kinesis subscription)  □$30+$1.40 GST  Name   Address _  Country   Telephone _  Postal code_  Fax   Published ten times a year by the Vancouver Status of Women  #301 -1720 Grant Street Vancouver, BC V5L 2Y6

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